With Memorial Day weekend under our belts, the unofficial start of summer has arrived. Kids are starting to get off school, warmer weather is ramping up, and summer adventure is calling our names.
If you’re anything like the typical stressed-out American, the thought of a summer vacation is probably sounding pretty good right now.
…But then again, doesn’t it always?
The moment you start fantasizing about the endless fun destinations that you and the kiddos could end up this year, reality starts to set in. How much time can you afford to take off work? Exactly how stressful will it be packing up a toddler and two middle schoolers? And then, of course, there’s money? Do we actually have enough MONEY (without dipping into Susie and Johnny’s college funds)?
The list of potential roadblocks really is endless.
So is it really WORTH it?
Well, the answer from 27-year-old mama Vicki Tate is a resounding “YES.”
“It’s still pretty early in summer, so for those of you thinking of taking your family on vacation but you’re not 100 [percent] sure, take the trip,” Tate challenges in her story published by Love What Matters. “You may worry about money, finances, work days missed, kids behavior, etc, but don’t. Just do it. Take the trip.”
She reflects on a powerful piece of wisdom she learned from a grieving husband and father at a funeral that has changed her perspective forever:
“A few years ago during a funeral visitation, I remember walking up to a casket to a grieving husband, friend, father. He left my husband and I with words we’ll never forget and since then we have lived those words. He told us no matter what, when it’s all said and done, you need memories because sometimes that’s all you have left. You need to take those trips with your kids. Every single one you talk about. If you have to put it on the credit card (a reasonable amount) and pay it off later, take the trip.”
“Even if it’s just for a couple of days, take the trip,” Tate reiterates, explaining that while you can always find an opportunity to make more money, you may not get the chance to make more memories.
“When your kids are older, that’s what you have left.”
The 27-year-old thinks back fondly to her own recent trip with her family and the unforgettable memories they made.
“On our trip we’ve laughed, had fun, slept very little, watched our kids fall to the ground and make sand angels during family pictures, and borderline bout lost our minds because our toddlers were so tired & off schedule they could barely function. Does any of that really matter? No, because we’re headed home with memories that you can’t replace.
My kids seen [sic] and experienced things they can’t see and do at home. They saw a sea turtle, crabs, fish, sting rays, and 3 manta rays swam within inches of my husband and 4 year old. That’s an experience you can’t replace. Take the trip.”
Tate encourages parents not to worry if they can’t do a long vacation, as the kids will be just as happy with a few days to enjoy your company outside of the home.
“Time is precious & we’re not promised tomorrow,” she reminds us all. “Trust me. TAKE. THE. TRIP.”