Gramps and I just returned from a two week vacation, which we take every summer to get out of the Texas heat. It’s always such a relief to head north, where the air is cooler and moister. In my head, it seems so easy — just put what we need in the RV and go. Basically, transfer our life from a hot place to a cool place.
But in reality, no vacation (or any trip for that matter) is so easy. Nothing goes as smooth as expected and never does the written word match what actually happens.
Everyone in the vehicle starts to get impatient and antsy after hours of driving. I don’t care now much you love road trips, hours in one car/truck with no ability to change the scenery, company or sometimes even the radio station can drive anyone to wonder if the trip is really worth it.
And then there’s the waiting, in lines mostly, at toll booths, at restaurants, for the next bus, for the next subway, for that special tour, for that fantastic ride. We may find ourselves in lines in our normal lives, but it gets very concentrated when we become tourists in another town or state. Instead of occurring once a week or so, it starts to occur several times each day. Patience begins to wear thin.
Best advice? Get over it! Gramps and I long ago developed the spirit that the fun starts the minute we leave our front door. That’s when the vacation starts. The process of “getting there” is half the fun. We have no expectations — what happens is the good stuff. All the time is precious whether spent in line, in a restaurant, in a truck or at a toll booth.
And the best time to take a vacation is right now. Don’t put it off. Don’t wait for the perfect time, weather, finances, etc. It will never happen. It doesn’t have to be long, far or expensive. Each trip is its own special memory and occasion. It never has to be more than what it is. Gramps and I once took grandson Mac, who was than about 6 yo, camping for two days. We went all of about three miles from our house, but you would have thought we took him to the moon, he was so excited!
Be sure to document the entire trip. I always say, “Every OP is a photo OP.” Even the driving portion needs to be recorded, in a fashion. There must be a law some where that every one of our trips must have a photo of me sleeping in the truck. Gramps always manages to get one of me without me being aware of it!
Remember, every photo is a precious memory. Everyone should have a copy, Make an album for each vacation and reminisce, especially with children.
Gramps and I usually plan some down time, if we are on an especially busy trip. Every vacation needs a day off, a day of rest or a day of unorganized activity. A day when everyone can do what they want, even if it is just reading a book or laying on the beach. A day of regeneration prevents burnout before the vacation is over.
Eating on the road can be difficult for some. With the RV, Gramps and I generally plan for and bring most of our meals with us. I don’t worry a lot about my diet while on vacation. I want to try new and different foods wherever I happen to be and want that to be part of my enjoyment. The general thought is, the calories don’t count while I am away. I don’t necessarily binge but I certainly don’t try to lose weight either.
The best vacation attitude is: RELAX. Don’t stress about anything. Whatever happens willbe great. Getting there will be great. Being there will be great. Recording it will be great. Remembering it will be great. It will be so great, you will do it again.