Why I Believe in Vacationing with Kids


This picture, to me, is what vacations with kids are all about: THE FUN MEMORIES.

My dad’s dad – my grandfather – owned several successful businesses in Pine-tree-dotted small town Magnolia, Arkansas. But unfortunately, he went to be with the Lord at a young age. My mother never even met him. I think that experience made my dad really purpose to create fun memories with his children. He knew life was short, and the only thing you have at the end of life are the memories you shared with those you love. So, he and my mom bravely took all five of their children camping, road tripping, etc – it wasn’t always glamorous, but it was always FUN. We built FUN MEMORIES with our siblings and parents that we still talk about today in adulthood.

I’ve never been a huge spender. But I’m a softie for vacations and memory-making activities. I just don’t think I will ever regret one red cent spent on creating fun moments between me and those I love the most. And if you think about it, if we do nothing, your family can deteriorate to just room mates that exist together vs. fun best friends. THAT’S WHY I LOVE TRAVELING! It helps snap us out of care taking mode and into fun! I.e. Mean Drill Sergeant Mom is suddenly fun hotel roommate in a pillow fight. Bedtime Taskmaster Dad is the one to beat on the hotel hallway races to the elevator. Samson and Esther create FUN memories to talk about for days and weeks to come, “Esser! ‘Member ‘dat CWAZY big BOAT RIDE?!?!?”

Yes, vacations are a lot of work with little kids. (My friends call the family TRIPS, not VACATIONS). Esther did puke all over her carsear from carsickness, bless her heart. (Such a nice smell while driving in an enclosed area for five hours.) And no three-year-old can pack themselves. But the memories? PRICELESS.

And what you don’t see in this picture is the weeks of tough parenting Samson and I have been battling. (We’ve really been working on respectful, cheerful obedience when I tell him to do something – and I thought a strong-willed toddler was exhausting ?).

But when a tickle game started, this is exactly what frustrated mom vs. defiant six-year-old boy needed. A laugh over a $3 custard vacation sundae.

That’s why I love vacations.

“Take vacations. Go as many places as you can. You can always make money. You can’t always make memories.”


Why are hotels so magical to kids? I don’t know. The novelty, I guess. I never tire of them bursting in the door of a very normal hotel room and gasping, “MOM! WOOK! It has TOWELS! It has a TOILET! MOM!!!! It even has a SHOWER!!!” I love experiencing life through little eyes!#stopandsmellyourchildren

Want more like this? Order Leah’s new Amazon Best-Seller book Stop and Smell Your Children: Laugh and Enjoy the Little Years now on Amazon here or on her site here.

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