Vacationing with an only child

As many parents of an only child can only understand: You are the playmate.

I’m guessing all parents find themselves at a point where they say to themselves “I’m not going to have an actual vacation for the next 18 years”. I remember just being exhausted the first time we went on a trip and I barely got a break with my toddler as so much of my time was spend both caring for him and playing with him. It was overwhelming.

And now that he is a bit older, it has evolved into seeing him be bored and lonely – which often turns into whining for technology or finding other ways to drive us mad as he fidgets nonstop. He has no siblings to harass, so mom and dad are the lucky recipients of our sweet kid’s constantly overflowing energy.

I am so proud to have a son who can start up conversations with adults, who is great at entertaining himself, and who puts up with hanging out with my husband and myself so much of the time. But the truth is, I can be fun and convinced to play, but I’m pretty boring on the kid scale. I can definitely NOT talk Minecraft for hours on end.

There is just no substitute for the energy, babbling sounds and fun that comes with him hanging out around other kids.

I try to make playing a priority (for all of us). We’ve done trips with other families, taken our son to playgrounds to be with other children, and found creative ways to get kid time for our social guy. But for our biggest adventures, I have started seeking out family tours.

It takes the pressure off of planning a trip and trying to meet everyone’s needs and just lets us just GO. I know the trip comes with friends for everyone to make, guides to worry about the details, and we can just sit back and make the most of our vacation. We get quality time together, and healthy time apart. And having a small group of families gives everyone a chance to socialize and connect with like-minded people.

Creating this healthy balance of quality family time, play time and time to unwind is what we are striving for on our family trips with Pearl Adventures – and having a group of kids is a big part of creating that. Whether you are vacationing with your only, or a bigger family. We all need time to play!