Travel with Children

2015: The Year of the Mini Vacations

It’s a new year!  And that means that writing a new vacation blog is in my near future.  Last year, I was extremely excited about this year’s vacation, as it was supposed to be a trip to Ireland.  However, there were many factors that played into the reason why we will not be heading over to the Emerald Isle this year.  To me, one of the most important things about travel is the ability to remember it.  I use my youngest daughter as a barometer for when it comes time to book a trip to Europe.  My test is simple.  I ask her a few questions about the vacation we took the previous year, and if she is able to remember most of the vacation, then I will give myself permission to start looking into trips to Europe.  So far, my cute little barometer is flashing a big red “absolutely not” sign at me for this year.  Another factor that played into the decision was, again, reliant on my younger daughter’s opinion.  She’s never seen snow. For the past two years, she has been asking me if we could take a vacation where she could make snow angels and build a snowman (thanks a lot, Anna, Elsa and Olaf).  After two years of her persistently asking for something as simple as snow, I don’t think it is the worst thing in the world to take some vacation advice from my daughter.
So, this year, we have decided on the mini vacation, or a few mini vacations.  My definition of a mini vacation is a getaway lasting 3-4 days in a location that is preferably within driving distance.  Rather than taking a longer two week vacation, we are going to take three separate mini vacations to accommodate everything my girls would like to experience.  Although going to Ireland would have been a dream for me, I like the idea of having three separate vacations to look forward to-one in the beginning of the year, one in the summer, and one at the end of the year.
We have already booked our first mini long weekend in Orlando to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Our next mini vacation is most likely going to take place in August, in a place called Crystal River.  My older daughter wants to swim with manatees in their natural habitat, and due to Florida protection laws, this is the only place where people are allowed to do that.  Our final mini vacation will accommodate my younger daughter’s wish and will most likely be in the North Carolina mountains during one of the winter months, or possibly a short trip to Alaska.  We have plenty of time to decide on the particulars, but all of this talk of travel has gotten me extremely excited for 2015!
And for those of you who follow my blog, you can now look forward to reading about three separate experiences this year instead of just one!  I’m still hopeful that 2016 will be filled with leprechauns, but I’ll keep you all posted.  Until then, does anyone else favor mini vacations to longer ones?  If you have any mini vacation destinations you’d like to share, I’d love to hear about them!