We think summer vacation will be a nice break for everyone. We imagine our family eating ice cream and taking selfies in exotic locations. We think the kids will be too busy exploring and enjoying the new scenery to fight with one another.
In our minds, this will finally be our chance to relax and enjoy some much needed sunshine and maybe even read a book. But the reality of summer travel with kids very rarely lives up to our expectations.
The real version of traveling with kids is mostly the same complaining but in a different location. We still get stuck refereeing fights, cleaning up after everyone, and yelling at our kids to stop yelling.
At least the hilarious people of Twitter understand the struggle that is summer travel with kids:
Summer break is super fun:
Roses are red.
Violets are black.
The countdown is on
until school gets them back.
— OutnumberedMother (@OutNumbMother) June 26, 2017
SO MUCH FUN:
Day 2 of summer vacation: just told the kids to "fight nicely."
— Jen Simon (@NoSleepInBklyn) June 23, 2017
And the travel madness begins before we ever even leave the house:
Are you even going on vacation with kids if in the past 24 hours you haven’t shouted, THAT’S IT WE’RE NOT GOING ON VACATION at least once
— Janina Maria (@dontlosethekids) March 18, 2018
Or leave town:
*spends 5 hours packing & loading the car for family road trip
*child forgets to wear shoes
— Karen Johnson (@21stcenturysahm) August 31, 2017
And no, we’re not listening to KidzBop:
Road trip rules
1) I control the radio while I'm driving
2) I control the radio while you're driving
— Sara Says Stop (@PetrickSara) July 21, 2016
But that doesn’t mean your kids won’t find other ways to annoy you:
My kids don't always play with electronic toys on a car ride, but when they do, they press the same button FOR THE ENTIRE TRIP!
— Marl (@Marlebean) March 4, 2014
It’s good to set realistic expectations for your kids:
Now, you're going to hear some arguing, see some crying, & learn some bad words. But remember kids, that's what family vacations are about.
— Tiffany Hunter (@lifeattiffanys) August 10, 2016
And realistic expectations for yourself:
"Summer Vacation" is an oxymoron.
— Foxy Wine Pocket (@FoxyWinePocket) May 24, 2016
And expectations of the time you’ll spend together:
20% Daydreaming about how amazing it will be
30% Packing and unpacking
40% Hating your life and swearing to never leave house again
10% Actually enjoying your family
— Scary Mommy (@ScaryMommy) June 9, 2018
Once you’re there, you realize that time with kids moves just as slowly as ever:
I hate when I play with my kids for six hours, then it turns out it's only been 20 minutes.
— Ramblin Mama (@ramblinma) October 14, 2016
"Why is it still so early?!"
Every parent, every day, all summer long, counting down the hours until bedtime.
— MotherPlaylist (@MotherPlaylist) May 27, 2017
And it’s still hot as balls:
Yelp Review for Outside:
1/5 stars. Very hot out there. No Wifi. "People" (aka other humans) want to interact with you. Would not go again
— Online Participant (@SortaBad) August 1, 2015
And you’ll still end up on your phone:
*looks up from phone*
"Kids!! we're leaving the playground in 22 percent."
— Abhorrent Housewife (@abhorrent_wife) June 24, 2013
But at least your kids will learn real-life skills:
My kids are engaged in a heated debate over which of them has fingers that look more like hot dogs so take that, summer learning packets.
— Valerie (@ValeeGrrl) June 24, 2016
And your family will get some quality bonding time:
93% of a parent's time at the pool is spent "watching this" and adjusting goggles.
— Simon Holland (@simoncholland) July 1, 2015
And you’ll all end up stronger because of it:
Vacationing with your kids is a great way to see what you're made of. At this point I'm pretty much just wine and regrets.
— MyQuestionableLife (@2questionable) July 31, 2017
And the vacation would be awesome if it weren’t for those pesky kids:
Summer vacation would probably be a little more relaxing if these kids were vacationing somewhere else.
— Sarcastic Mommy (@sarcasticmommy4) June 20, 2017
But in the end they aren’t THAT bad:
Some lessons are learned the hard way:
The best way to travel with kids is not to.
— OneFunnyMummy (@OneFunnyMummy) October 18, 2016
The truth is there’s a better way to invest your money:
Instead of taking your child on a once in a lifetime outing where they beg to go home, may I suggest torching one hundred dollars instead?
— Mommy Cusses (@mommy_cusses) June 19, 2017
To all those families who are traveling this summer: Good luck, godspeed, and I hope you get an actual vacation to recover from your family getaway.