Are you taking a trip or a vacation?

My mother reported that recently Kelly Ripa was talking on the “Live! with Regis and Kelly” show about a trip versus a vacation. Her husband Mark will filling in for Regis.

My mother says that Kelly explained the difference as this:

If your kids are traveling with you with then it’s a trip.

If your kids are not traveling with you then it’s a vacation.

I thought that was so true and very funny. I have written before about how I think beach trips are exhausting and are essentially just having to set up your operations in a whole new less efficient place. You guys ripped me a new one on that blog. (I can’t find the link. It’s too old.)

But I am hoping that now that my kids are older it won’t feel like that much work. They can all shower and dress themselves, even the 4-year-old. They can entertain themselves and will get in bed when you tell them. So hopefully we will get some relaxation too.

Do you see Kelly’s distinction between a trip and a vacation? How can you make a trip with kids feel more like a vacation?

– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, ajc.com Momania. Follow me on Twitter (ajcMomania) and read what I am reading each day. Great stories on family health, family fun, parenting,  fashion, stars, and more. )

34 comments Add your comment

Becky

June 21st, 2011
12:44 pm

No, I don’t agree with the “if the kids are with you, it’s not a vacation”..How can you go on vacation without the kids? Yes, I know that adults need time away, but not everyone worries like you do Theresa..When we go, we don’t haul around half of the house just to be gone for a few days..

Beach trips are exhausting? You take a couple of suits, sunscreen, towels, a cooler with drinks and some snacks..What else do you need? If we are taking food, I have containers that I use to take mayo, mustard and picnic supplies in..It really should not be that exhausting..

My husband has taken the twins to the beach 5 times since they got out of school on May 25th and trust me T, if he can do it without much hassle, so can you..Today, they are at Cave Springs and I’m sure that he packed them a lunch and plenty of snacks..

catlady

June 21st, 2011
12:44 pm

To me, a trip is somewhere you HAVE to go; a vacation is somewhere you want to go. I took at trip to FL when my mother died, to bury her. I am going to take a vacation to FL with children, spouses, and grands in July. I took a trip to Orlando to present at a conference. It was NOT a vacation, although I did have some fun.

I’ve never had the tough time you seem to have on vacation with children I have heard you talk about, Theresa. Not sure why.

College Mom

June 21st, 2011
1:03 pm

We take neither — we go on adventures. I think you need to head out with the idea that it will be fun no matter what. A friend of mine coined the phrase “making memories”. Whenever it looks like things are going right — we just use that phrase and start laughing. Some of our bigger misadventures are the memories that we talk about now that our daughter is 19 and in college.

JJ

June 21st, 2011
1:08 pm

To me – Vacation is ANY TIME away from work, and the old routine…….If I take a day or two off work, to me it’s a vacation.

I may take a day TRIP to the mountains, but it’s not a vacation, since it’s only one day, and it’s usually on the weekends.

I’ll be taking a VACATION for an entire week, going to PCB with the family. That means to me, a vacation away from the dogs, the cats, the house-work, my job, etc. R&R baby!!!!! And my brother and I plan on being intoxicated the entire week…LOL (I’m SO happy alcohol isn’t taboo in my family). Our kids are old enough (20, 19 & 15) to fend for themselves, and my Mom will be there too. We’ve already discussed what alcohol we will be taking…..

We will play board games, and card games, and play at the pool, go do some go-cart racing (quite competitive in my family), some putt putt, strolling the beach, and most of all, eating some fabulous fresh seafood!!!!!

JJ

June 21st, 2011
1:10 pm

@CollegeMom – my daughter has grown up taking adventures and making memories….

MomsRule

June 21st, 2011
1:17 pm

My husband and I have made this same distinction for years (mostly in jest with a tad bit of truth thrown in). (I’ve actually posted it on this blog before)

Making this distinction does not mean that we don’t have absolutely wonderful trips with our children. We do! And I cherish the memories. But, no matter how much fun we have or how well behaved the children it involves more work than an adult only vacation. I do not find them exhausting but I also do not find “trips” as relaxing or re-energizing as I find “vacations.”

When hubby and I take a vacation it is all about us. We sleep when we want, eat when we want, and lay by the ocean doing nothing at all if we feel like it. I, for one, have never been able to relax at a pool or an ocean with my children in tow. (or lose myself in a good book!!) Someone must keep an eye on them at all times.

For us it is just a silly distinction and doesn’t imply that one is better than the other. They are just different experiences.

Tonya C.

June 21st, 2011
1:35 pm

MomsRule:

I don’t really like traveling with my children. Even on their best behavior they are well…children. I endure it because I want them to see places and have experiences, but it’s just not all that relaxing to me. We now have a 12-year-old, so it is easier with an extra set of hands. But there is work involved, from packing bags to planning rest stops that doesn’t happen without them (well, the packing but then it’s only my OWN bags).

I love my children deeply, but I gotta agree with TWG on this one.

JJ

June 21st, 2011
1:40 pm

That’s why I go on Girlfriend Weekend once a year. To get away from the kid…..and just be JJ for a few days.

Becky

June 21st, 2011
2:01 pm

I love traveling with the kids..I take them lots of places without the hubby..Just me, them and a couple of suitcases..Even when they are being kids, we still have fun..Guess some things just don’t bother me, because I grew up with 9 brothers and sisters, so I’m used to a lot of noise and not much “me” time..

Three years ago, I (yep just me) packed our things and we headed off to VA..We had a great time..Yes, they got cranky and acted up, but we just stopped and took a reak, got back in the car and away we went…

Like catlady said, I don’t get stressed out over vacations like you do T..Learn to relax..

JJ

June 21st, 2011
2:03 pm

My daughter and I have travelled so much, by the time she was 8 she could pack her own bags….

Nowadays, I keep a weekend back packed. I have friends who have homes in Savannah, St. Simons, and Hilton Head. One phone call, grab the bag and I’m off……..

motherjanegoose

June 21st, 2011
2:07 pm

JJ…then I have had a vacation all year, since mine were both out and will both be living here the entire month of July. I love them both but it is certainly more hectic when they are here. I am getting pysched for it now!

I take about 25 plus trips per year for business. Even though I am all by myself, I am working. I have tacked on a few extra days to see some fascinating things!

We went to Boston over Memorial Day weekend and that was also a trip ( to me) as we had an agenda. Anything with a plan and tickets for attractions is a trip. We have done MANY of those with our kids, Sometimes plane travel can turn into a trip, with all the hassles. If we are going to do nothing but hang out and RELAX, that is a vacation…like at the beach. We did that for a week in mid May, even though I was still working 3 days! We will do it again in a few weeks, at a different beach…my sister and then my husband will come down. I will work one day there.

To me, Disneyworld and Camping fall into the work category and thus are NOT on my radar either for a trip nor a vacation. When I was 13, we camped from Chicago to Los Angeles for an entire month. That was not a trip nor a vacation…it was a nightmare! If I ever WON a camper, I would give it away :).

jbm

June 21st, 2011
2:12 pm

I’m with all that are in favor of going without the kids. Even my adult children can keep me in a frenzy when traveling. Just sitting on the beach reading a book is boring to them, I happen to enjoy it. They on the other hand want to go out on the town and since they’re girls, I can’t help but worry about them. A relaxing vacation “to me” is just the hubby and I or friends going camping in the mountains for a week with no watch to keep time and plenty of cold beers.

jbm

June 21st, 2011
2:16 pm

MJG – camping is so easy! I keep mine pretty much packed all the time and all I have to do is buy a few groceries and load our clothes. The hubby gets the truck ready, hooks it up and we’re off.

Spacey

June 21st, 2011
2:19 pm

I’m with Theresa. Our first 2 trips with the baby boys were so much work. We were exhausted!
Heading out to Florida for a week with my Mother-in-law and several members of my husband’s family this summer. I think it will feel more like a vacation with others to help with the kids.
Plus, they will be entertained with their cousins.

jarvis

June 21st, 2011
2:26 pm

Relaxing? I’ll rest when I’m dead.
There’s a whole world out there, and I haven’t seen all of it yet.

motherjanegoose

June 21st, 2011
2:32 pm

jbm…good for you! I say driving on the interstate can be easy and renting a car at the airport and driving in a strange city can be easy but others may not agree. It is also easy for me to keep 100 children entertained for 30 minutes or speak 6 hours to 500 teachers.

Camping is torture to me and not something I enjoy and I have never even camped in a tent…many nights in a pop up Starcraft and a trailer with a full bathroom and kitchen though. NOT on my radar again :0. If I could retire and live in a camper or stay working…the choice would be easy for me.

Becky

June 21st, 2011
2:44 pm

@mjg..Ditto for me and hubby..About 12 years ago, he came home from a work trip driving a travel camper..Spent a week cleaning it up..He took it to Charlotte, NC for the race, he was there for 2 weeks and I went for the weekend..When he came home, he sold it and said the next time that we went “camping” we would sleep at the Holiday Inn..

We took the kids this past Sat. to The Rock Ranch and they loved it..Anyone that has young kids (about 12 and under), this is a great place to take them..Our two love it..They have “wagons” that you can rent out and we will take them there, so that will be our only adventure with camping for a while..

cofthenight

June 21st, 2011
3:01 pm

I’m totally with TWG. The beach is not relaxing at all with a 5 and 2 yr old. We’re still going, but…. I envy those without kids in tow. Guess I’m just too uptight and not “laid back” enough, like everyone else out there, apparently! :(

PHR

June 21st, 2011
3:04 pm

I think Kelly’s distinction is hilarious! I had never thought of it that way. HA!

I agree with JJ that a TRIP is to the mountains or Gatlinburg – a quick getaway. A VACATION is planned event where work is completely left behind for at least a week. We VACATIONED on a cruise to Cozumel & Grand Cayman last year, and we took a TRIP to Cades Cove in TN for a weekend in the fall.

We have also kept our son travelling around as he has grown up. He loves to pack the car up and head out for adventures. However, if I had 3 children like Theresa there would probably more work involved.

Tamara@catfishtocaviar.com

June 21st, 2011
3:25 pm

After taking our toddler twins to the beach for Memorial Day, my husband and I need a vacation.

Kelly said it...

June 21st, 2011
3:46 pm

…”tongue in cheek”, and she was correct! But, as usual, T took it too far, but we love her anyway…

JJ said it best regarding the difference between a “vacation” and a “trip” – however, they can be mutually exclusive (brings back math class teaching, huh, motherjane) in that a vacation might be a trip, but (most times) a trip may not be a vacation…

Techmom

June 21st, 2011
3:57 pm

Kids aren’t my distinction between a trip and a vacation but the reason is for sure. Going to see family is a trip, going to islands for a week at an all-inclusive where someone else cooks every meal and cleans my room, that’s a vacation!

jbm

June 21st, 2011
4:17 pm

MJG, you’re right as in what’s good for one may not be for another. We have a 29′ camper with a 16′ slide so it feels more like a house opposed to a pop-up. We just went to the Smokey Mtns with several friends and we all had a blast. We meet some of the best people at campgrounds and go camping pretty much once a month. That may be why it comes so natural and easy to head out, we’re use to it and we know how to do it. From the moment we decide to go, we can be packed and gone in one day and there’s no un-packing when you get to where you’re going. Now, I could never travel like you because I hate planes and although I adore kids, I could never spend the time you do with them. That’s what’s great about the world, different strokes for different folks.

motherjanegoose

June 21st, 2011
4:45 pm

@jbm…I love meeting new people too. We met a really nice couple from Ohio, who are retiring to the condo we always rent in May. Another family is from Chicago and they are usually at the condo we rent in July. I met a teacher from New Jersey once, at the beach, who was telling me that they can never go bare legged at her school…always had to wear “stockings” or socks with pants…never bare feet. She taught at an inner city school, that was interesting to me! I love to learn new things from random people I bump into!

motherjanegoose

June 21st, 2011
4:47 pm

Haha…I just got off the phone with catlady and she has taught me a thing or two …meeting DB tomorrow…Becky you are up if I ever get over to your area :)

Shannon

June 21st, 2011
7:30 pm

Well, I agree with Theresa. We actually stopped going on vacation because it was too much work. Now we take two vacations one with the kid and one without. We just got back from Curacao last Friday. We are taking the kid to Myrtle Beach next month. She is now 8 and a lot less work.

Poor Mom

June 21st, 2011
8:04 pm

We are taking neither…..husband got laid off and I am working the second job EVERY WEEKEND to make the mortage payment. Have FUN!!!!!

Becky

June 21st, 2011
8:34 pm

@mjg..yes I’m up for lunch any time you make it back into my area of town..

@Tamara..I’ve been taking twins with me (& us) for the last 9 yrs..-Can’t imagine being worn out after just a long weekend with them..

@Poor Mom..Hope things get better for you & your family soon..

djm_NC

June 21st, 2011
8:50 pm

i think that if you go to places that will be easy for you with chiildren it will be a lot more fun. if taking little kids to the beach is such a chore then dont go to the beach. to me a trip is a have to or a day trip…we used to camp all the time…i had all the camping stuff in boxes and ready to go every weekend. made it a lot easier. my daughter (oldest one) thinks she has to bring everything in the whole world just to visit me (who has anything she could possibly need here) so for her to come here is a total chore to her. i cant convice her she could cut down on 3/4 of what she brings and make it lots easier on herself. any vacation i ever took i had my kids-it just never seemed to much to handle. i didnt let it be. you just have to get in the relax mode and realize you dont need that much stuff to have fun and enjoy yourself. to me the more you think you need the less time for fun.

my sister and i are trying to plan a vacation together…she wants laguna beach, ca…its all easy to walk to anywhere you want to go. we have daughters the same age and they want to go…we decided its just gonna be us-we dont get to spend that much time together and we dont want to be worrying about having to have a car…the girls would die without a car you know. so if we get this gtrip off the ground itll just be us…i cant remember having a real vacation with no kids…probably before i had them lol

motherjanegoose

June 21st, 2011
10:22 pm

@djm…go with your sister! I take mine with me and we have the best time. We do have to have a car or at least be able to get to the train if we need it. I take the train in all sorts of places but cannot remember when is the last time I have ridden the MARTA here!

Becky…I will be in touch!

April

June 22nd, 2011
12:16 pm

We take our kids lots of places, and sometimes it is a lot of work. However, how will they ever learn to behave in new and different situations if they are not exposed to them?
I agree that the beach is one of the most labor intensive places you can take kids. It isn’t the packing to get from home to the beach that is the chore, but the daily work involved in lugging kids, snacks, beach toys, sunscreen, etc. from the house or condo to the beach and back again that wears me out.
But on the whole, I agree with Jarvis. What am I resting up for? I would rather be busy and active and doing new things than sitting on a beach anyway.

jbm

June 22nd, 2011
1:45 pm

MJG, we were walking through Harrah’s in NC on a busy Saturday night and met the couple I bought my 67 camaro from who are from Byron, GA. On a trip to Jamaica we ran into a co-worker of mine that I had no idea was going at the same time. We went rafting in NC and the couple sharing the raft were from our same home town. It’s odd how everywhere we go we run into someone from home.

motherjanegoose

June 22nd, 2011
2:48 pm

jbm…did you like Harrah’s? We went about 4 years ago for July 4th and were tremendously disappointed, Does not even compare to Las Vegas. I would not go again if the rooms were free. We do love to drive through Cherokee and visit that part of the state!

Short version of a funny story:

20 plus years ago we were in the Bahamas. Three “ladies” came into the restaurant in various stages of sleezy clothes. I thought I recognized one. My husband is rolling his eyes at me when I mentioned it. Then…YES is is the check out supervisor at Kroger. I dare him to go over and ask if they are from Atlanta. He does and they think he is hitting on them. He then points to the one lady and me saying, ” my wife thinks you work at Kroger..” They were about to crawl under the table.
I saw her many times in Lilburn, after the trip. Her outfit was a lot different! Too funny!

jbm

June 22nd, 2011
2:54 pm

MJG – other than losing 1k, I loved Harrah’s. They had some awesome shows while we there and they just redid the whole place last year and now sell beer (should be free, I know). The only thing I’d do different is not go on a Saturday. The place was just too crowded and nobody was winning. We went up there this past Christmas Day though and won a little over 1k so I guess they wanted their money back :( We’re going to try it again this Christmas I think. I would love to go to Vegas, maybe one day. I just hate to fly. Funny about your story, I find it so strange that everywhere we go we meet someone from home.