No matter what holiday you celebrate, this time of year can be stressful. Juggling family visits, holiday budgets and regular life is enough to drive even the sanest person a little crazy. What if you decided to skip the holiday traditions and travel with your kids? Here our Solo Traveling Mom gives you 6 reasons to say goodbye to holiday stress and hello to travel.
For the past few years, my family has skipped the normal holiday traditions in order to enjoy a new one; travel. We’ve said goodbye to large Christmas dinners, gifts under a tree and family gatherings, in order to reap the benefits of holiday travel. Whether you are considering taking the plunge this year or day dreaming of worrying less about stuffing and more about sunscreen, there’s no denying holiday travel has a number of benefits. Here are my 6 reasons to skip the holidays and travel with your kids.
The reality is that most kids don’t get to miss more than a certain number of school days. Besides the summer, the holiday break is the biggest window of days off of school in the entire year. For working parents, the holidays often also mean scoring a few extra days off work without having to take a vacation day. In some cases, this means a 7-10 day trip, may only cost you 4 or 5 vacation days. Take advantage of those days off.
Like most parents, I dread receiving my January credit card bill. No matter what budget I set for the holiday season, I always seem to exceed it. In the past few years, I’ve found that the credit card bill is much thinner since we’ve booked scheduled tours or all-inclusive vacations. This is partially because we pay for the vacation in advance and partially because it is nearly impossible to spend money at an all-inclusive resort. I also save a ton of money not buying holiday add-ons like hostess gifts and stocking stuffers.
Let’s face it, the holidays can be overwhelming. From buying the right presents to cooking up a feast, stress is a major part of the celebrations. Instead of worrying who you will sit next to at dinner or whether or not your kids will love their gifts, consider leaving the stress behind. My kids happily trade a traditional Santa Christmas for a family vacation. Part of that trade is that they get the best version of me: vacation mom who isn’t worried about how clean the house is or whether they are wearing nice enough clothing to dinner.
While a lot of people believe that holiday travel is expensive, the reality is that there are some great deals waiting to be snatched up. Many hotels drop their prices significantly on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day due to a surplus in rooms. One of my favourite hotels, the J.W. Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa turns into a holiday wonderland during the month of December with carolers, gingerbread houses, Santa and a light show. Booking a room for Christmas Day will save you almost $100 over booking on another night in December.
See How the Rest of the World Celebrates
Your kids have likely had at least 6 holidays in their own home so why not show them how other people celebrate around the world. Last Christmas, my family skipped out on Christmas at home and headed to Kenya on a safari with Intrepid Travel.
As our bus crossed through towns on the way to the Masai Mara, we were met by waving children yelling “Merry Christmas”. We saw different decorations and met families cooking traditional Kenyan holiday meals. We also got to tour with a Christian bus driver and Muslim chef who taught our kids about their families and holiday traditions.
It’s amazing how receptive children can be to traditions that differ from their own. There will no longer be a holiday that we don’t pause and think of our friends in Kenya.
Put Yourself First – Skip The Holidays and Travel With Your Kids
While you may think skipping the holidays in order to travel is a great idea, some of your extended family may not. As women, we are programmed to never really put ourselves first. The reality is that the more that you do, the better your family life will be.
While you may have to endure at least one guilt trip for taking your kids away during the holidays, it will be worth it for your kids to see you putting yourself first. My only caution is that once you skip the holidays, you are going to find yourself longing to do it year after year.