Does it actually make sense to have family vacations with little kids?

At the start of our marriage, Taylor and I had an on-going debate about Disneyland.

Now, the debate wasn't really all about the most magical place on this Earth. 1). Hello Harry Potter World. I haven't even been to HPW but I can feel the magic tinglies even in my slice of desert winter Utah. 2). What Taylor really wanted to discuss was whether we should take family trips with small children. Unfortunately, he chose the example family vacation place that my parents had happened to convince me in childhood was a theme park that stripped dollars and dignity. Disneyland. I'm actually not sure what vendetta my parents had against Disneyland, but alas, I've never been, and never plan to go. This was the debate:

Taylor: We should definitely take our baby on a family trip with us. My parents did Disneyland and it was super awesome.

Chaun: I heard Disneyland kidnaps lost children and turns them into dwarves for Sleeping Beauty's castle.

Taylor: Snow White. And she doesn't have a castle.

Chaun: Whatever. This is why I think Disneyland is a bad place. *begins two hour uninformed lecture*

two weeks later

Taylor: Okay. I want to talk about family trips. AND WE DON'T HAVE TO DO DISNEYLAND.

Chaun: You've been to Disneyland, right?

Taylor: Yes.

Chaun: You hate the Little Mermaid right?

Taylor: So much.

Chaun: So how could you even consider bringing our children to the land of shame and rodents? THEY KILLED BAMBI'S MOTHER.

Taylor: That doesn't make- THIS IS NOT ABOUT DISNEYLAND.

Chaun: You see, I have this opinion that I need to share. 

Taylor: *sits down defeated and ready to listen*

Chaun: You knew what I was when you married me.

The pity for Taylor is strong with this one.

Eventually, Taylor did win me over on taking our babies on trips. We managed to live overseas in Russia with our then 7 month old baby, and had a couple weekender road trips since then with both our babes.

Back in the day, my thought process as a childless, young, and naive little person was that it made no financial sense to take my kids on trips that they wouldn't even remember the next year. Or the next day, depending on their age. 

You guys. I was wrong. I repent.

Yes, there is sense in saving up for special occasions, but I've realized there's a lot more to living in the moment and doing fun things now as a family. My daughter doesn't remember taking her first steps in Russia. My son doesn't remember his first backpack hike in Southern Utah. I have no regrets taking any of those trips, because in that moment, the day was happy for all of us.

As morbid as it may sound, none of us really know when we're going to die, so I'd rather have fun when opportunity arises, instead of blowing it off for "a better day". 

(...Although if and I mean IF we go to Disneyland, then it'll likely be a day when these little people are bigger. Because that's a heck of a deposit to make to see where Mickey Mouse lives and in a perfect world, Arrow would remember seeing him.)

It's not so much about memories that last but in the fact that today, this day, we were happy. In whatever capacity that may be, traveling or not.

I did an interview with Exploring the Homeland, who is a couple who travels the United States... while living in their van 24/7. (What!?) We gave some more thoughts on why it's not impossible to do family travels, and, even better, how to do make them happen. Click here for the interview.

Enjoy! :)

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