By Judy Reiss
I have a summertime question for you…What is the difference between a vacation and a trip? Now before you answer, think about it.
Well, I have given it a lot of thought and here is what I think. If you take a vacation or go on one you do so so you have no worries and little to nothing to do. And unless your kids are old enough to know how to behave and let either one or both of their parents relax, you let them spend their vacation with their grandparents, who will probably be thrilled anyway!
So now you are on your vacation, without children and it is now time to enjoy! Of course, if you have taken your car, you have to make sure it is in good running condition because if it isn’t, you could spend most of your leisure time sitting in the repair shop customer’s waiting room and eating stale donuts. But assuming your chariot is ready to go, you should be, too.
You need to be sure you have plenty of insect repellent and of course sun screen and although you should carefully screen it, your fully charged cell phone and now, oh what to do? How about that massage you have ben promising yourself since your 48-year-old son was born? Or even better, a day at a spa which not only gives you that heavenly massage, they also ply you with incredibly presented and delicious snacks while giving you a manicure and a pedicure! Your feet will think that they finally are attached to someone who cares!
Now that you are all glammed up, you can do whatever you want to do and the only person you have to entertain is you. If your husband is with you he will be so enthralled with this gorgeous, relaxed new woman he will agree to whatever you suggest. Now that my friends is what I call a vacation!
A trip is something entirely different. First and foremost regardless of how many you have, the children get to go. Before you even go out the door, you have to make plans on where to go, bring whatever is necessary to entertain the kids and the most important thing of all is to bring enough money and a few credit cards, because you will always need more than you planned for. Especially if you are traveling by car, be sure you have enough snacks for an invading army and regardless of how much you bring, it will never be enough. Oh and probably the most important thing of all is to remember the chargers for the various electronics that you and your children will be carrying.
On a trip, you never sit back and wait to see what happens and what to do. I actually think parents have been killed by their own children for that faux pas. Nope, every moment of every day must be decided upon long before you leave home and then the schedule must be adhered to. Believe me, once your trip and places to visit and enjoyed have been carved in stone and even your youngest will remember if you either forget or decide to make a change, the peace talks that ended WWII were a cake walk in comparison.
As the adult or one of the adults on the trip, you need to prepare yourself way in advance and the best way is to get as much or even more sleep before venturing out. This will help you prepare for the days of little or no sleep as you try to maintain your temper and your sanity
Just a few more suggestions for your trip. Always wear comfortable, old clothing because it would be a shame to ruin good clothes by your own or your child’s vomit after terrifying rides at any of the child-friendly amusement parks. And don’t try and make your children eat healthy while traveling. It could come back, literally, to haunt you! No child ever dies while eating junk food on a trip. Hopefully you are smart enough to leave the family pet at home. They might be lonely for a week or so but none ever died of loneliness but plenty do after being left in a hot car or strange motel room with edible furniture.
So think carefully, do you want to go on a trip or a vacation? To me, it is a no-brainer!