Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thank goodness for traveling grandmas

Hubby Hawks and I are thinking about how to spend our vacation time for the year -- where to go, whether or not to bring the kids, how long we might be able to stand to be away from them. Every vacation we've taken since having the boys has involved my mother who is gracious enough to come along and help out so we can enjoy some sense of "vacation" while on vacation. Is this a common occurance? How does anyone travel with kids (sans grandma) and truly relax?

In March, a national survey conducted by Synovate showed two-thirds of moms say “yes” more often to their kids while on vacation. The survey showed that once at the vacation destination, it’s kids who are “calling the shots,” especially when it comes to indulgences like extra pool time, eating more sweets and sleeping in later. The survey also pointed to a shared interest in cruising by parent and child. Moms and kids alike chose cruising as their second vacation destination of choice, preceded by Orlando. But to today’s multi-minding moms, who are mentally juggling work, home and self-care needs more than ever before (and have 20% more on their mind at once than do their male counterparts), deciding whether to bring the kids along can be a roadblock. Is vacationing with the kids really a vacation? Is there guilt involved in leaving them behind? Nearly one in three parents has never vacationed without their children, according to another 2008 survey commissioned by Kayak.com. The findings should be a call to vacation marketers that moms need to know more about kid-friendly vacation options that allow parents to truly “vacation,” guilt-free, but that also provide opportunities for kids to let loose. In the Synovate survey, Moms’ top reasons for taking their children on vacation included: to provide new experiences (79%); to relax and have fun (66%); to get away from the stress of work, school and home (63%); and to spend one-on-one time with them (44%). It's a fine line and tough decision. I miss my kids during the workday when I can't be with them. At the same time, when I've got days off, I want to relax...but with my family. Is it possible to have the best of both worlds?