Family Vacations More Stressful Than Work?

Filed under: Opinions

beach holiday

Are family vacations more work than fun? Photo courtesy sxc.hu

Well, it's almost that time of year again. Family vacation time! Or, if you are like me, it's family stay home and relax time! I am not big into family trips. We never took them when I was growing up and, like my father, I am super-conservative when it comes to spending money. I'd rather have new counter tops or pay off a credit card than spend a week or so schlepping a kid and all her stuff to some far-off place.

My reluctance to take a family vacation is not just about money, of course. Traveling with kids can stressful to the point that it sucks the fun right out of the happiest places on earth. And as evidenced by a conversation going on over at Cafe Mom, there are at least a few others who also view this summer tradition as more torture than treat.

"We frequently take day trips to amusement parks, the beach, and other places. With my 9 yr old I always get tense! I'm so worried she'll get lost. I can only enjoy myself when I know she is right with me."


Tense. Worried. These are not words that are generally associated with having fun. In fact, according to a survey out of the UK, about two-thirds of parents find family vacations to be more stressful than their jobs. Almost half admit that they dread going on family trips.

So, why do we do it? Perhaps, as another reader so eloquently points out, it is all about the memories.

"Chill out and enjoy the the moment. Get over the damn stress, go with the flow and learn to deal and don't sweat the small stuff. Vacations provide a learning experience for all, family time, lots of memories - even some of the bad, stressful stuff will make great memories 20 years from now! "

In the end, I guess it comes down to the details -- how old the children are, where you are going and how long you will be there. Still, we aren't going anywhere. What about you? Are you looking forward to -- or dreading -- a family vacation this summer?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.