Our Upcoming Family Trip

A picture of the apartment where we'll be staying

Right now I was supposed to be getting ready and packing my bags for a trip to the airport. A few months ago I booked tickets for a vacation for myself. I was to fly in to Frankfurt Hahn Airport in Germany tomorrow, take a bus to Luxembourg and stay there for the weekend at a a hostel, after which I was going to continue by bus to Paris, stay at my friends' house in nearby Versailles, and spend the next few days touring Paris, before heading back by the airport next Thursday.

Alas, because of many reasons, all divorce related, this trip is no longer an option for me to take. And unfortunately, my airfare (fortunately not too much) is non refundable. And my hostel still needed to be paid, as there was a non refundable deposit.

I was really down about not being able to go on this trip, especially as I really get excited about planning my trips and my itineraries, and I felt that just staying home and living my life like normal when I was supposed to be on my trip would be too painful, so I tried to figure out some alternative options.

And then it hit me.

Take a trip with my kids within my country. To a place that is bus accessible. And that has many indoor things to do because in the winter in my country it is often wet and rainy.

So I planned that.

I chose a city where I've never been to before, and found a gorgeous 3 bedroom vacation rental that wasn't too expensive for the 5 of us.

We'll be going away from Sunday morning until Tuesday evening.

And we're going to have a great time, bonding, and making memories.

The best science museum in my country is located there and that will definitely be done. The rest we'll play by ear. I am considering the air force museum that is there.

Both nights we'll be there we'll be meeting local friends for supper. And the vacation apartment where we're staying has a kitchen so we'll eat breakfast there and take sandwiches for lunch. I just bought some ground beef to make jerky to take along as well.

Originally I'd planned on taking public transportation there and back and pay however much that would cost. But now the train from the nearby city is free to the city where we'll be traveling (they extended the time period in which the train is free; it was supposed to be over at the end of December) so now we'll be taking the train and transportation will basically be free.

No, this trip is not what I'd originally planned. I could wallow in self pity about being unable to take my intended trip, or I could just make the most of it and build memories some other way.

That's what I am choosing to do.

A single mom friend of mine reminded me when I was telling her about my upcoming trip that this trip isn't going to be a vacation. That when you travel with kids, it isn't a vacation. It can be great fun and really filled with beautiful memories, but vacation it is not. It is not relaxing or refreshing. It is wonderful, but if I go with the expectation of going to relax, I'll be disappointed, so better go with the expectation that is closer to reality, and then I'll enjoy myself more.
I know this to be true. When I went with my son to Romania this last summer, it was very different from all my other international trips. It was wonderful, but vacation it was not.

When live gives you lemons, make lemonade!

My kids and I are looking forward to lots of delicious lemonade!

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I love your positive attitude! Your words give me encouragement and strength. It gave me pause to revevaluate my perspective on my kids upcoming vacation. Most kids just want us to be present ands sometimes just hanging out is the best vacation. May you be blessed with an amazing vacation and top notch memories. Looking forward to reading more...

  2. I hope you guys have a wonderful time. Take lots of pictures for those memories.

  3. Because I work so much, we can't really take long trips. But we often will just drive a couple of hours away for just a few days to either wine country, camping, the mountains, the cities. The time with our kids is priceless, and we laugh constantly.

  4. Sounds fun! Enjoy! It really could be relaxing and refreshing, just the change of scenery and forgetting about life's stresses could do that! Of course there are always stressful moments here and there that pop up, but altogether, I am sure you could find some rejuvenating moments!
    I find that when we go away as a family, it is more stressful than when my husband and me go away by ourselves, but at the end of the day I still find it relaxing and a great vacation, just in a very different way. And as you mentioned, the memories!! In a way we enjoy those more than the vacation itself!!
    Make a delicious lemonade! Try to make a switch in your head that it is a vacation, even for you, not just for your kids. Either way, have fun!

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