I love my daughter. She is the light of my life, the apple of my eye, the person in my home most likely to pee in the bathtub. She makes me believe, in my core, even the sappiest of parenting clichés, even if I'm reading them on Father's Day cards in a CVS while waiting to buy adult wet wipes.
And yet, as much as I love her and would do anything for her, she has destroyed the idea of vacations. Before having a child, a vacation was something where annoying words like "unplug" and "refresh" actually meant something. Now, with my beloved angel in tow, things are different. My friend Charlotte, who has three kids, put it this way: "Before vacations were vacations. Now they're just trips."
As true as this is, it sort of bummed me out. Because, like most humans, I don't want to give up my hard-won vacation time -- or, worse, start missing work while slogging through a "trip" and spending all of the money I made at work. So I've developed some sound strategies for making sure your vacation with kids isn't a diaper-strewn hellscape.