While scrolling on social media one day I saw three articles about taking kids on vacation; if you should take them, are they old enough and where you can take your children.  This got me thinking about my childhood and how I am now as an adult with my own children.

As a child we went to the beach a lot for vacation and that is actually my first vacation memory.  I honestly don’t remember a lot from that vacation, I was only 3 years old, but I get to hear all of the wonderful stories from my parents about that trip and that to me is enough.   Video and pictures help spark those memories and with this digital age if you are not taking pictures or video then you must not own a phone.

When my oldest was 3 years old we decided to take him to Disney World (when he can still get in for free) and we kept asking ourselves is this worth it?  Will he even remember any of this or are we wasting our money.  We worried so much about how much he would have fun or remember that we didn’t stop to think how much fun we would have while watching him interact with the characters until it happened. In that moment I knew it didn’t matter how old my child was, vacations are there to make memories for all family members.   

My mom always says “You can always make more money, you can’t always make more memories.”

That is a quote that we live by these days. Life is too short so YES take your children on vacations!  Don’t worry so much about what they will remember, if they will have a good time or is it worth it.  When you do take those vacations take a lot of pictures and video.  You will be surprised by how much you or your child will remember by looking back on a photo. Even though my son was only 3 years old when he went to Disney World he can look at the pictures and can tell you something that happened that meant something to him.

It’s a funny thing about memories, we can all go on the same vacation, but may have slightly different memorable occasions. That is because what means something to us may not mean as much to others.

Another question I see a lot is “should I take my kids out of school for vacation?” I know I live life by different rules than most, but here is my answer as a parent and an educator.  As a parent you want the best for your child and thinking taking them out of school will put them behind the other children or that they will miss something.  Just remember you can also make up any work you’ve missed in school.  As an educator, I stand behind this.  Parents think that teachers care if their child misses school, but in reality most of us understand why you are taking your child out of school and if you have a good teacher they will send work with your child that they feel they may need, but honestly your child is not going to miss that much in one week.  Some parents may not be aware, but your child is allowed 5 days of unexcused absence or vacation days so stop making excuses and take that vacation!

Now to answer the question where should you take them on vacation.  That is an easy answer, everywhere!  We all think that we should take our kids to places where they would have the most fun and of course Disney comes to mind first.  Well of course you should take them here at least once in their lives, but this shouldn’t stop you from visiting other places in this beautiful world. Remember vacations are for the family not just your children.

When you grow older and look back on your life, what memories will you have and what made them so special?