What can I say? I’m pretty fast-paced when it comes to travel. I want to see and do EVERYTHING. After all, you can sleep when you get back from vacation? I’ve heard of folks who go on vacation to relax. I’ve never been one of those people. Laying on a beach all day for a week is not my idea of fun.
Our family recently got back from spring break and I think I “broke” them (and me) in the process. I plan to write about much of the trip but figured it was worth catching up with you guys about how I planned too much. We’re incredibly lucky to be able to travel, defraying many of the costs with miles and points. On this specific trip, my own zealous nature to try to maximize our time got the best of me. I know enough to plug in rest days. Somehow, that didn’t happen.
We started off with a 3-night Disney Cruise. We’d never been on one and our daughter is getting ready to age out of the kids club. We found a relatively good deal (at least as far as Disney cruises go). It meant pulling the kids out of school a day early. That’s not something we love to do, but made the decision to go with it here.
We arrived the night before our cruise and stayed near Orlando airport. Since we had a short cruise we got up early the next morning to be sure we could be on the ship early enough to explore. Our kids explored the vaunted kids club for a while. Our daughter was extremely skeptical while our son was very excited. Neither have been big fans of kids clubs in the past.
After exploring, we watched as the ship left port, rushed to dinner, then to a show, then to some more activities. Then, we collapsed.
My wife had a spa appointment the next day. I told her I’d take care of the kids. We chose not to get off the ship that day. My intention was to drop the kids off at the kids club and get some work done. The short version of that story is that the kids club occupied our kids for 30 mins. After that, I spent most of the day running up and down flights of stairs while two kids went in opposite directions.
The next day, at Disney’s private island, I decided to run a 5K with my wife and daughter. That meant getting up early again (see a pattern?). Fast forward through all the other craziness of the day and we feel into bed late that night after packing our suitcases.
Up early again to disembark the ship, we headed off to Legoland. A brief afternoon at their new water park, and then we poured ourselves into bed again. We slept in a little, then hit Legoland hard the next day, finally driving back to Orlando.
There, we needed to get settled into another new hotel, fix a problem with our Disney World annual passes and get ourselves to sleep because…the next day we were getting up at 5am to start a charity drive in the Magic Kingdom.
The charity drive was great, and exhausting. We slept in the next morning, then back to the parks. Up early again the following day to catch a few rides the kids wanted at both Disney and Universal. We hit some thunderstorms, got good and wet, and finally called it a day. We stayed up late cramming our suitcases full, then headed to the airport in the morning.
It was all way too much. There were few tantrums but everyone was really tired. Dad planned way too much, even for my insane pace.
The Final Two Pennies
The moral of the story? There can be too much of a good thing. I wanted to get as much value as possible out of our theme park annual passes. We saved money on the purchase price due to deals available at the time. But, each extra day in the park was effectively “free”, at least in terms of actual cash. The payment our bodies had to make was more real.
In the end, we’re incredibly fortunate to be able to travel the way we do. This really isn’t me complaining. It’s more a reminder to pace yourself. Maybe you don’t have time to stop and smell every rose. But, it’s worth stopping to take a picture of a few along the way.
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