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April 19, 2024 6 mins

Consider splitting family vacations if people have different interests

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to Before Breakfast, a production of iHeartRadio. Good Morning.
This is Laura. Welcome to the Before Breakfast podcast. Today's
tip is that family travel doesn't need to involve the
whole family, Especially if you've got a bigger family, Splitting

the family out might make travel more enjoyable for everyone. So,
as longtime listeners know, I have five kids who currently
range in age from four to sixteen. I love to
do things with all seven of us when we can,

but as you can imagine, there are a few things
that are truly fun for the whole family. That is
even more true when you are mixing teens and preschoolers.
We went to Disney World a few months ago, and
that might have come close, but even so, one parent
generally had to leave the parks earlier in the day

with the younger kids once they had had enough. But
it turns out that family travel doesn't always need to
mean the whole family. It is possible to split the
family up and enjoy some time with family members and
enjoy your vacations without having everyone always all together. For instance,

over spring break, I took my two older boys to Spain.
Because they are sixteen and fourteen, they were able to
deal with any lines and carrying their own bags and
unfamiliar food and seeing museums, and if they woke up
jet lagged in the middle of the night, they could
deal with it on their own. None of these things

would have been true for my four year old, which
would have made it a much harder trip, and it
would have meant I couldn't have done as many things
that the big boys would have liked. My husband likes skiing.
I do not like skiing, so he took our younger
three kids on a ski trip over spring break. The

little ones were able to do ski school, so my
husband could ski solo or go with one kid at
a time. I would not have been thoroughly thrilled going
on a ski vacation, as I am not a skier.
My husband wouldn't have been happy to not get to
ski this year. I'm sure he would have enjoyed Spain,

but he's also been to Spain, so it all worked out.
It seems logical to me, But when I've suggested a
split like this to some other parents of bigger families,
they've sometimes been a bit surprised. I think sometimes we
have a story that all vacations need to involve everyone.

I get it, and we do sometimes take the kinds
of vacations that do involve everyone, like a week or
at least a long weekend at the beach. I know
that families can also do day trips together, and then
people will be less unhappy if it's not their favorite trip,
because hey, it's only a day. But as long as

you've got some time altogether, then you don't need to
have all your vacation time be all together. I know.
One practical objection to this split is that paying for
two trips might be more expensive than one. Now, for
some things, this isn't actually true. If airfare is involved,

each person would have their own airfare wherever they are going.
If you're paying for food for each person, you are
paying for it wherever they are going. That said, renting
one bigger space in one place might be perhaps cheaper
than paying for two smaller spaces in two places. Sometimes

you'd have to figure out the numbers and then maybe
make it up by doing something cheaper elsewhere. Sometimes splitting
doesn't mean everyone goes on a trip. If you have
one child who is significantly younger than the rest, you
might wind up in a situation where everyone wants to
go on a trip that just wouldn't be good with

a toddler. If so, it is really wonderful if you
have a helpful relative or two. Maybe grandpa or an
aunt might be willing to stay with the little guy
for a few days while the rest of you do
something that would be terrible with a child under age four,
or maybe one parent can stay, and if you're a

normal childcare still available for some of the time that
might not be too bad either. I have stayed with
my youngest child while the rest of the family went
on a ski trip during a different year, and we
had fun doing local activities. That was a win for everyone.
But I knew when I had a fifth kid who

was significantly younger than my older kids, that I would
be dealing with this issue. It turns out I would
rather have a fifth kid and get to do fun
stuff with my big kids too, then hold arbitrarily to
the idea that all family vacations have to involve everyone.

Family travel doesn't have to mean the whole family. As
long as everyone is having fun, it's all good. In
the meantime, this is Laura, Thanks for listening, and here's
to making the most of our time. Thanks for listening

to Before Breakfast. If you've got questions, ideas, or feedback,
you can reach me at Laura at Laura vandercam dot com.
Before Breakfast is a production of iHeartMedia. For more podcasts
from iHeartMedia, please visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or

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Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam

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