Murphy’s Laws of Family Vacations



1. The night before departure, your child will come down with a cough, cold or broken limb.

2. They will have to pee three seconds after take off, despite having gone to the bathroom directly before boarding.

3. They will refuse to eat the very same six dollar macaroni and cheese that they inhale at home, when presented with it at an overpriced restaurant.

4. You will forget to pack at least one of the following: enough diapers or Pull-Ups, your cell phone charger, toothpaste other than Sponge Bob Square Pants gel or that most special teddy bear.

5. You will be completely unable to capture a smiling picture of your children in the adorable outfits you packed for that very purpose. Ever.

6. They will be up at the crack of dawn, ready for immediate entertainment, while they sleep soundly until seven at home.

7. You will spend an hour packing everything you can think of for the beach, only to be told twenty minutes in that your child is bored and wants to leave.

8. They will miss the toys they never play with at home and the rooms they never want to spend time in. Upon returning home, they won’t have any interest in either.

9. The souvenirs you purchase will break or be lost before you even make it back home.

10. You will come back from vacation in dire need of a vacation. Without the kids.


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  1. 1

    Alison says

    Oh how true, especially #1! Prior to one short road trip, my toddler fell off the couch and hit his head on the coffee table (blood! There was blood!). 2 weeks later, before we were due to fly off for a week long beach vacation, he caught a stomach bug and was vomiting all over the sheets all night long. We had to leave for the airport at 6am! Surprisingly, he was such a trooper throughout what became a very long day.

    Glad you had a vacation, Jill!

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  2. 4

    Stacy says

    Now you scared me! We are due to leave on our first family vacation ever on Thursday night, driving to North Carolina from New Jersey (9hrs), 3 kids (6yr, 3yr and 14mo.) and stay 9 days at my fathers house! Seriously, you had to send this out TODAY! LOL!

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    • 6

      Rebecca Schorr says

      My precise thoughts. As someone recently told me, “a vacation must be more than just a change in location.” And THAT is unlikely to happen with kids in tow.

      I usually count myself lucky that I return with the same number of kids as when I left. {Not necessarily the same kids; just the same number.}

      Welcome home.

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  3. 9

    Andrea says

    AND some weird double inverse multiplication takes place so if your vacation was 6 days it will take at least 12 to do the laundry from the vacation.

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  4. 11

    Nicole says

    The sad thing is, a lot of these apply to day trips as well. I frequently take the kids out of town to visit a zoo, park, etc….and after I pay all that money to get in (or for gas!), they are ready to go in 10 minutes. *facepalm*

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  5. 12

    Stephanie says

    Yeesh. I’m staying home. And as for the souvenirs, I break or lose them (or go to Mexico and actually have them stolen from my bag – true story) before I even get back. Ugh. I’m mad now.

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  6. 14

    Stephanie says

    You are making my eye twitch with unpleasant memories of our ill-fated Paris trip last month. We got to meet the hotel doctor at 3am the first night. So that was cool.

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  7. 19

    Matt says

    Taking electronics on a trip is a blessing and curse. It entertains them BUT they can also be a source of great friction between multiple kids fighting over them and they will not want to put them down to go do what you’re trying to do on the trip. I say leave them at home, one less aggravation with batteries, games, adapters, etc. If they fight, let it be about something more worthwhile than those things.

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  8. 20

    Kim at notmymomsblog says

    Ah, yes, number 4. Forgetting sh*t. We did remember the DVD player AND the charger for the 5 hour plane ride. What we forgot were the DVDs. That left our then 3 year old’s primary entertainment as kicking the passenger’s seat in front of him.

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  9. 21

    Irene says

    I feel like I have jinxed myself just by reading this!! We leave on Saturday for our first-ever trip to Europe…..I’m not worried about BEING there, but I’m certainly praying we all stay healthy while GETTING there….eesh.

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  10. 22

    Marc says

    Yes, yes, yes and yes! Oh, and if you’re in for a challenge… Visit our blog and try to make a Baby Hugo cocktail. The directions are in German, but we do have some nice pictures. Come, and tell us if you liked the drinks. Or if not. Or how terrible they were. No worries, we won’t bite. Your whole hand off. In one bite.

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