What I Learned About the Importance of Family Vacations

Family vacations are really important, but when your kids are young, let’s call them what they are: Business trips. Same work, different location. Despite that, getting away for a few days with kids provides the distraction from routine and time together that every family needs to reconnect.

My family took a beach vacation last week, and here are a few of the lessons I learned.


Lesson 1: Family vacations are what your kids will remember in the long run


Family vacations create the stories my kids tell their kids someday. Even though at one point all of our kids were standing on the beach crying because the salty ocean water made their mosquito bites burn, I know we will laugh about it one day. In fact, last night, one of my kids laughed and said, “Remember when we all ran out of the ocean crying?” Your kids will look back at photos of the trips you take and recall memories made fondly (or at least with laughter), no matter how amazing or disastrous they were.

 

Product Recommendation

There are times on vacation when putting the camera down and being in the moment is important, but there are also times when capturing your kids at the age and stage they’re in can add to reminiscing later on down the road. I love to make sure my kids have cute (and safe) swimwear when we take a trip to the beach. Two of our favorite brands for swimwear are Snapper Rock and Cabana Life.

Snapper Rock

This bright starfish swimsuit from Snapper Rock kept my almost-3-year-old looking cool and feeling comfy while she lounged on the beach and splashed in the waves. The white ruffle and halter fit were adorable and made for some sweet pictures of my youngest child during our time on the beach.

But, the sea blue and neon coral swimsuit did more than just look and feel good. Both the suit and rash guard kept her protected from potential damage from the sun, which was important to us in the intense tropical setting.

Swimwear from Snapper Rock blocks locks 98% of all harmful UV and UVB rays with UV50+ protection. In fact, Snapper Rock was founded by a mom who saw a need for cool, fresh, and fun sun protection swimwear. The combination of cute fashion details and UV protection is hard to find.

During our trips to and from the beach, she wore the White Batwing Kaftan. The classic white with adjustable draw cord waist was perfect for keeping her covered. Detailed with and white pom poms, her look was adorable.

Cabana Life

Melissa Papock, the founder of Cabana Life, was inspired to create her line of sun protective clothing after her melanoma diagnosis. All Cabana Life sun protective clothing provides 50+ UV protection. But the line isn’t just safe . . . it’s super stylish, too!

This Moroccan Tile 1-Piece Swimsuit has a cute print and adorable bead and embroidered details! It’s fashionable enough to make a statement, but comfortable and practical enough that it will become a favorite.

The matching cover up is super soft and can even be worn as a dress when she’s done at the pool. We love the breathable, quick drying fabric it’s made of! The embroidered trim gives it a unique look that you won’t find elsewhere!

The Navy Batik Stripe Rashguard Set was the perfect choice for my son. The long sleeved rash guard and printed board shorts offered a style he liked and comfort he couldn’t pass up.

The shorts have a mesh lining and side pockets, and are made of a micro-soft polyester fabric.

Lastly, the Palm Breeze 3-Piece Swim Suit & Cover Up Set is perfect for swimming or play. The tankini style makes diaper changes or potty breaks super easy, and the pops of green and coral make this suit trendy and stylish.

The matching tunic cover up is made of the same nylon/spandex swim suit material for quick drying and breathable comfort!


Lesson 2: Family vacations remove distractions


Getting away from home keeps you from being distracted by the everyday tasks that keep your attention divided. Removing your family from their routines of chores, work and school, and putting them somewhere unfamiliar, can bring you closer as a family.

Product Recommendations

Babyganics

Keeping my kids protected from the sun while we’re on vacation is a top priority. We love the beach and the pool, but fun can turn into trauma with a single sunburn. We love the products Babyganics has to help prevent that from happening.

The Swim Diapers have your little one covered with a brand new way to sense when it’s time to reapply sunscreen. These are the only swim diapers with sun sensing scenery. The scene appears with UV exposure, and when the green frog fades to gray, you know it’s time to reapply sunscreen.

The water resistant soft cover keeps water out to prevent swelling and sagging.

We used Babyganics Mineral Sunscreen stick and Mineral Based Sunscreen Spray exclusively while we were on our most recent vacation. The sunscreen spray is tear free and gentle on skin, but offers strong protection for your child’s skin against broad spectrum UV rays.  It sprays on and rubs in smoothly, without any resistance from my kids.

The Sunscreen Stick is perfect for my kids’ faces. It allowed them to put sunscreen on with little assistance from me, and the stick form kept it from running into their eyes. It went on white (and non-greasy) so we could see exactly where it went and if any spots were missed.

 

Babiators

Exploring under water got a lot easier for my kids with the Babiators Submariners Swim Goggles. They were flexible and no-leak, which made them super comfortable for my swimmers. The shatter-resistant lenses provided 100% UV protection for their eyes.

The strap was easily adjustable and made for the perfect fit.

When we were out of the water, we used the Aces Navigator unisex sunglasses to keep our kids’ eyes protected from the sun. Made from 100% rubber, these are flexible, durable and shatter resistant, so they can really take a beating.

With mirrored lenses and cool colors, they loved how they looked, too!

The Babiators Polarized Junior Sunglasses provide a perfect fit for kids ages 3 – 5. The polarized lens help kids to see more clearly when they’re playing near a reflective surface, like the pool. The fun printed frames and the aviator style make sure kids look good, too!

BONUS: Babiators offers a guarantee that provides a replacement if your sunglasses or goggles are lost or broken in the first year!


Lesson 3: Family vacations don’t have to be expensive or elaborate


We went to the Dominican Republic for our summer vacation, which was a once in a lifetime trip for our family. On the flight home, I lamented that the trip was coming to a close and mentioned to my husband that I’d love to do a vacation like this again. My 7-year-old overheard this and said, “We can! Let’s go to Lake Michigan this weekend!” He hit the nail on the head. We don’t have to fly anywhere or take a week off to “vacation” together. It’s as simple as a day trip to the beach or even an afternoon at the park. Anywhere that removes you from distractions and allows for quality time can help your family to deepen bonds and make memories.

Product Recommendation

Lifeproof

Lifeproof  is a brand that anyone with kids should be familiar with. On a vacation with kids who tend to drop things or get them wet and dirty, you can put your mind at ease and keep your phones free of dust, sand and water the entire time.

 

The cases provide water protection up to 6.6 feet with a slip, two-piece case that keeps it secure without adding a lot of bulk. FRĒ is available for many different devices.

We love to take music with us to the pool or beach and Lifeproof’s Aquaphonics speaker was the obvious choice. It’s also waterproof up to 3.3 feet and up to 30 minutes. It’s drop proof up to four feet!

It’s also sealed from dirt and water and can pair with up to 8 bluetooth devices.

The speaker is super portable and will float if it ends up in the pool, and inside the speaker is a drybox to store anything you might want to keep safe.

In the evenings, we used the speaker in our hotel room for white noise to keep everyone resting peacefully!


Lesson 4: Quantity time sometimes leads to quality time


When my oldest started Kindergarten, we had a 25 minute drive to school that I wasn’t fond of. A whopping total of 1 hour, 40 minutes in the car every day, just driving. When he was in the second grade we moved a mile away from his school, and I was thrilled. But only a few weeks into the year, I realized what I’d lost: Quantity time. That time in the car was what my kids needed to open up. Sometimes it took 10 minutes into a car ride before my son would start spilling about his day. There were many conversations during those two years that we would have missed out on had our drive been shorter.

This translates to vacations as well. Spending extended time together without interruption gives your kids time to open up and talk. Quality time may be more important than quantity time, but quantity time can lead to quality time. Vacationing together gives you plenty of time together and allows for conversations to start and continue because you’re all together, all the time.


In the past, I’ve wondered aloud if we can afford to take vacations. With 4 kids, the expenses add up pretty quickly. When I look at what I know about family vacations, however, I wonder if we can afford not to! We will continue to make family vacations a priority, whether it means getting on a plane to a different country or driving an hour to go camping!

Learn more about taking great photos while vacation at How to Take Great Family Vacation Photos.
Photo credits: Sara Luke

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