Posted by: Amy at FreshlyOrganized.com | July 3, 2009

A Grand Family Vacation Kept Simple

P6230197 My personal mantra is keep it simple.  But sometimes, even I get caught up in wanting…wanting to do things and wanting to have things.  I hate to admit this but as a mother, I will even use my children as a reason for wanting something.  One of the big things I use my kids for is to justify a great vacation.  I even have a vacation bucket list of things to do before my oldest is to busy to vacation with us.  Pretty crazy considering many of the places on my list are places I never saw until I was an adult.  Oh, and Yellowstone is on the list and I have never even been there, but for goodness sake, I want my kids to get there!  Thankfully, my husband is a good sport.  He just laughs and joins me for the fun.

Sometimes when I am planning vacations, I get caught up in doing “commercial” things like amusement parks.  For example, recently one of my friends was telling me about taking her kids to Mall of America and I thought, “Oh my goodness, my kids have never been to Mall of America.  I should plan a weekend trip to Minneapolis.  The kids would love it.”  Pretty bad huh?

P6250249Last week while we were on vacation, I had a light bulb moment that I would like to share with you.  My family went on a road trip to Grand Canyon.  We planned a long itinerary of all the things we wanted the kids to see and do along the way there and back ( Yes, I was checking off my vacation  bucket list!!).  Well, since we had a lot of excursions planned, and that had my dear hubby seeing a lot dollar signs, we decided we should try to save money on our nightly accommodations. Camping in tents was mentioned but it seemed like way too much work to pitch a tent every night.  In other words, I said NO WAY!  In the end, a compromise was reached.  We decided to stay at KOA Kampgrounds in their Kamping Kabins.  Just a little info on Kamping Kabins, the ones we stayed in were small log cabins with 2 rooms.  One room had 2 sets of bunks for our 4 kids and the second room had a double bed for us.  There was electricity and heat, but no running water.  We had to walk to the community bathrooms and showers.  I would say the cabins are a small step up from tent camping.

Here is my light bulb moment: After we settled in for our first night, one of my kids said to me ” Mom I love this place, it is better than Great Wolf Lodge.”  I had no response to this statement.  I was speechless.  Then, after a moment, laughter set in.  I thought about how much money we had spent over the years on the “kids will love this” weekends at Great Wolf Lodge. I then realized that my family thinks it is all an adventure and it is all fun…even the simple things.

It ended up that my family loved the cabins, even me.  Each of the cabins brought a new level of fun to our vacation.  One had lots of animals for the kids to pet, one had a pool and one had a cabin full of kids next door for us to hang out with. We were able to keep it simple and have more fun than we would of had in a hotel room.  We had a great vacation and the kids got to see and experience some of the beauty of our country’s landscape.  What more could I want…for my kids.

Are you planning a vacation for your family?  Remember to think outside the box and go for the adventure.  Even the simple things can be a lot of fun for the whole family.

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