According to a special family travel edition of the Vacation Rental Marketplace report from HomeAway…56 percent of Americans say they find components of taking a family vacation stressful. Even worse, 46 percent admitted stress actually prevents them from enjoying the vacation itself.
The author includes a detailed list of exactly why vacations with the fam get to be hairy, all of which I’m well-acquainted. Problems include lack of privacy, extra costs for certain amenities like an internet connection, no washer or dryer, cramped spaces and the need to bring stuff to keep the kiddos entertained.
For this year’s big summer vacation, RAS and I are going to Italy and Switzerland. We debated at length whether or not to take JRS and NLS, but even if their dad allowed them (which he didn’t, and they’re going to a family wedding in Minnesota anyway), we decided it wasn’t quite for them, right now. If we had, we might’ve encountered some of the above issues, magnified tenfold because of the unpredictable accommodations we’d find over in Europe. Even when we do take them on any kind of trips, we find that as they get older, we all need more space – both physically and psychologically.
It’s why we love getting rentals whenever possible – and why we aren’t always thrilled to stay in hotel rooms, especially if we all have to sleep together in the same room.
That became crystal-clear when we visited Whidbey Island near Seattle last summer. Even though the cottage we rented was only two bedrooms and two baths, it was just the right size for us. Equipped with a full kitchen, wi-fi and washer/dryer, we enjoyed being able to prepare meals and do laundry. We had plenty of space to spend solo time or come together as a family at dinner or playing a board game.
And having those separate bedrooms….yay! I think I slept really well on the two nights we spent there, because the younger one didn’t try to crawl in between the two of us.
The result? Happier kids, happier parents = great vacation!