Even on vacation, life happens. We’ve had bickering, exhaustion, stitches, broken bones, and IVs while away from home. How do you keep the bad things from taking over your vacation?
Plan, but don’t cast those plans in stone.
The name of my blog is “Holding Butterflies” because that is how I feel raising my kids–I hold them, but not so tight that I damage them, and not so loose that they don’t know I’ve got them. Hold your plans the same way. How many times have you had to cancel a playdate because of a cold or just not feeling good? Life happens on vacation, too.
Make sure you’ve planned adequate down time.
I don’t know about your kids, but mine don’t get along perfectly 24/7. Somehow, though, I always feel like they should get along extra-great while we’re out of town. Quiet or alone times probably happen at home while you aren’t really paying attention. On the road we have to be a lot more intentional about building that time into our days. There is a huge–enormous–temptation to use every single second while we are gone. Take it from me: don’t do that. Even injuries seem to happen more when everyone is tired. Consider this the vacation equivalent of a vaccine.
Get adequate insurance before you go.
If you’re traveling domestically, this is not a huge issue. But if you leave the U.S., check with your credit card to see if you have coverage while you are gone. One coverage you likely won’t have concerns transportation, should you get injured, from your destination back home. This comes to mind because we have a dear friend who was severely injured in a traffic accident out of the country. He did not have this protection, and merely getting him home to undergo several operations was harrowing. You WON’T need this, but if you do…
Adjust as needed.
On our cruise, I got severely ill. I suspect now it was an e. Coli infection, and I spent one entire day in the ship infirmary hooked up to an IV. (To be clear, I got sick while we were in port, not from ship food.) When we docked, I was released on the condition I head to the hospital. I got better quickly but was still incredibly weak. We could have let that day color the rest of our vacation, as we were set to spend a few days around Seattle and Mt. St. Helens. Instead, Bill took the kids out while I rested one day at the hotel. The next day was an easy day, mostly in the car, so I was able to pick back up and hang out. I didn’t hike around the volcano as much as I wanted, but I was there taking pictures and getting lots of rest in the car.
Look on the bright side.
A couple of years ago, we were taking our first pass down a green slope at Big Sky, just getting warmed up for the week. It was an easy slope, deceptively easy. Jack caught the edge of his board on the slope, flipping heels over head and tumbling down the slope. He left a bloody trail (sorry), and the fall even took his helmet off. Ski Patrol was called, and he got a free trip down the mountain. That was the end of his board day, but a quick check from the doctors told us that he just needed a bit of rest. He and I headed back home and settled into the couch for an afternoon of hot chocolate and Spiderman. I honestly can’t think of another day before or since that just the two of us had an afternoon to hang out together. I wouldn’t have chosen it (him neither) but since he wasn’t hurt, it really was a special day.
I hope you never, ever have to deal with any of these things while you’re on vacation. But we’ve had a much easier time learning to roll with the bad things so they don’t take over our vacations. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever had to deal with on vacation?