The Family Vacation or Don’t Leave Your Kids on the Metro


So, I’m here in Washington DC on a family-slash-business trip-slash-vacation. It’s a lot of fun, and I love being able to combine more than one thing into a trip. I know, there are some folks out there who say that it’s just not cool to constantly mash together the business trips and vacations. For me, it’s just part of slowly turning my life into one that is location independent. True location independence involves being able to run your livelihood from the road, hotel, or campground. I love it! Forget those naysayers who absolutely have to get away from work. If I truly enjoy my work, I can work it around my family while on a trip, and it doesn’t get in the way of…LIFE, then to me it’s an ideal situation.

Here’s a few tips I thought about as I’m experiencing the family vacation/business trip slice of life this week. For full disclosure’s sake, my family includes me, my wife, and three boys ages 6 years, 4 years, and 2 months.

  1. Don’t count on doing everything. Your family just doesn’t have that much energy. Plan your ideal tourist spots and activities by priority. For example, in a city like DC, understand that you absolutely will not be able to tour every museum and see every monument. So pick the coolest ones! Today we were only able to hit two museums. The breastfeeding of the 2 month old wee lad slows us down a bit. I’d offer to help, but my wife said “No”.
  2. Plan in a couple of half-days or complete rest days. These are days when you hang out a lot at the hotel pool, only plan one half-day activity, or do something low key and relaxing. This is necessary to stay sane and recharge your engines. This is also a great day to eat a nice meal out if you’ve been eating in a lot like we try to.
  3. Plan on time to wash clothes half-way through the trip. This goes perfect with idea #2, as the relax time at the hotel allows you time to wash. This keeps you from having to pack so much stuff and really helps keep the luggage weight down if you’re flying. If you’re driving, it still helps. Less weight = better gas mileage.
  4. Give everyone the chance to help create the itinerary. Everyone, even the kids, will have particular places they want to visit or things to do. It is a ‘family’ trip, remember?
  5. Have fun! Don’t pack the schedule so tight that you plan all the actual fun out of it.

I’d give you more, but that’s all for now. Time for me to head out to the new Pentagon Memorial and the Drug Enforcement Agency Museum. It’s our half-day agenda today.

Recommended Reading…

Travels with Baby: The Ultimate Guide for Planning Trips with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschool-Age Children"".

Travel With Your Children – Practical ideas making the trip a real joy!"".

The Rough Guide to Travel with Babies and Young Children, 1st Edition"".

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