Tag Archive for: Steve Wiens

Moments Mean Everything on Family Trips

A great moment from a recent day at Regent's Park.

A great moment from a recent day at Regent’s Park.

Just because an article is witty and well-written doesn’t mean it’s good. Case in point: a recent piece on Huff Post Parents that paints family travel in a playfully pejorative light.

The writer, Steve Wiens, asserted in the piece that traveling with kids is more of a “trip” than a “vacation.” He alleged that family travel is never truly enjoyable because kids behave like, well…kids. Looking back on his experiences during a recent family excursion, he worte: “By far the best moment every day was when the kids were finally in bed, and the adults all gathered upstairs to laugh, moan about our sore, aging bodies, and relive every precious part of that day.”

And unless I’m missing some sort of tongue-in-cheek vibe, it seems the dude’s thesis is that most of us endure family travel because it’s what good parents do (and because, at some point in the future of our children’s lives, it will suck less).

Put simply, I could not disagree more.

To say that the “best moment of every day was when the kids were finally in bed” is to reject fundamentally the most basic premise of FAMILY TRAVEL. If Wiens actually means this—if he’s not just saying it for effect—why the hell does he bother traveling with children in the first place? Why doesn’t he just ditch the kids with their grandparents and take his spouse to Vegas?

In this family, we embrace those moments when the girls (unintentionally) remind us just how special they really are. Maybe one of them chases after a pigeon. Maybe one draws a flower. Maybe the two of them just hold hands as they walk down the sidewalk.

These are the best moments of our days together. Not the moments when they are unconscious in bed.

I won’t lie—from time to time Powerwoman and I have to work hard to find a good moment upon which to build. Heck, here in London we have had to skip a few days entirely. But when we are lucky enough to experience these wonderful snapshots of our zany and wacky and unpredictable children interacting with the world, nothing else really matters. And that’s what our family vacations are all about.

What are the “best moments” of your family’s getaways?