Vacation? What Vacation?!?

LOL With Lauren Sanders

Published On: Oct 31 2011 11:05:51 AM EDT   Updated On: Apr 07 2011 01:34:36 PM EDT

Make a plan, pack your bags and away you go! Finally, you are away from "the job", and excitedly anticipating a new adventure. You are ready to make memories with your family and create Kodak moments for the scrapbook. Ahhhh, time to decompress and catch up on that book you haven't finished, get that good "hotel sleep" and wake to the sun and not an alarm. Time to kick up your heels and just let the days effortlessly unfold. HA !!! Get real! Whose fantasy life is that ?!

As the turn of spring finds droves of eager college students, families and others scanning the globe for a spring break getaway and then putting in Herculean efforts to make it happen, inevitably the "travel trolls" will ride in on any fantastical expectations and riddle the excursion with frustration and gnashing of teeth, if you are not careful. The operative word-expectations!

Why do we vacation in the first place? What do we expect? Practically speaking, we vacation because we crave a break from our routine. We want a to change our perspective allowing us to see the world with fresh eyes thereby freshening our view of the "same ole same ole" upon our return. Or, maybe we are completely exhausted and need a mind body hiatus to draw the drapes and just sleep. We expect that our vacation will bring about the mental and physical transformation we feel we need to go on. Somewhere embedded deep into our psyches we expect, we long for our vacation to act like a magic wand, opening the doors to a new land where the 24-hour day and gravity don't exist. In "vacation land", everything is made of candy and carbs with no calories. And why shouldn't it? We hear tales of delight from family and friends about perfect hotels, great dinners and breath taking sites on their last voyage. We pour over websites and glossy brochures stocked with vacationers flashing a wide mouth, yelping smile showing all 36 pearly whites. They are having pure joy, so why can't we?

In reality, achieving a rejuvenating, family vacation for ALL parties involved is arguably an artful skill that has quite a steep learning curve and often a budget-breaking price tag. Although it can be done, but like most everything else, even a vacation takes work, and often a lot of it. especially if you are traveling with children.

SURVEY:

Despite the fact that recession and joblessness continue to be on the tips of our tongues and gas costs us 80 cents more, than this time last year, the USA Today reports, "Advanced bookings for March and April [travel] are up sharply at many destinations."

GAS PRICE CALCULATOR: How Much Are You Spending?

Judging by our perseverance we are keeping the dream alive for a vacation panacea. It can be achieved. Yes, really it can, if one leading member of he family will take hold of the vacation reigns and consider the following:

SLIDESHOW:

This travel season there will undoubtedly be travelers from Alaska to Florida who have taken time off work, spent hours comparative shopping for the best travel destinations and deals, endured a variety of travel modes, spent thousands of dollars, yet, they find themselves harried and hurried, disgusted and frustrated wearing a forced smile and thinking are we having fun yet. True vacationing is in the mind. It's a departure from the norm and actually achievable right here, right now. So make the choice and away you go!

That brings me to another thing.......we?ll talk about that next time.