It’s hard to put aside time and budget for a family vacation — Everyone always seems to have something going on, and it can be hard to pick a week to devote to uninterrupted family time. One of my favorite parts about summertime is that our kid’s schedules free up (a little!) and my husband and I get a chance to take them out of town. It doesn’t really seem to matter if we go away somewhere close by, or far away, just being out of our element and spending time with each other always reconnects us as a family.
Recently, my family and I took a trip to Montana, and it was one of our best family vacations yet! It really solidified for me how important it is to continue to plan trips where my kids can be outside, and disconnect from their normal routine. Since I’m fresh off of my outdoor family vacay, I’m sharing some pics (and tips!) on what made our summer family vacation so memorable!
NATURE DOES THE BODY GOOD: When planning a trip, my first priority is getting our three kids out in nature as much as possible. In the house, things tend to get heated, stuffy and over dramatized so I find that when our kids are out of their element and spending time in nature, they aren’t so wired or reactive. Fresh air and beautiful scenery elevates everyone’s mood!
R.I.P. ELECTRONICS: Our first destination in Montana had no wifi or cell service! After our initial freak outs subsided, it ended up making both my husband and I less anxious overall, and we both felt more in the moment with our kids (we were able to disconnect from work!). The kids also weren’t obsessed with being on their devices, and it opened the floor to more conversation. Family communication is awesome when screens are out of the picture!
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES FEED THE SOUL: In Montana, two of the activities we did were fishing and mountain biking, and I loved watching my kids try new activities, and get out of their comfort zone a little bit — It was awesome to see how their self-confidence built. We also got the kid’s input when planning which was pretty cool for them because they felt like they had a part in choosing what the whole family did together.
TIME TO TALK IT OUT: I am always trying to think of ways that I can strengthen my relationship with each of my kids, and get them to talk openly with my husband and I. Being away as a family and cut off from the internet, proved to be an amazing opportunity for my husband and I to ask a LOT of questions. As a family, we got the opportunity to just sit around and take the time to talk to each other about what was exciting them, what they wanted to create, what they were liking and disliking, etc. The conversation flowed all throughout the entire trip whether we were hiking or making s’mores by the fire.
PARKS AND LANDMARKS: State parks are an awesome place to take the family and explore on vacation! Thanks to being in Montana, we had no shortage of nature and went to Glacier National Park where we were surrounded by mountainous, green landscape, waterfalls and white water rafting. Everyone was mesmerized all day!
TRIBE TIME: On vacations my kids are forced to help out with one another and our ability to get to the next destination is based on a team effort. If they want to get outside or get to the activity sooner, my boys need to help with their little sister while my husband and I are doing other preparation. Being away facilitates a “stick together” attitude with all of us, and we lean on each other. With just our family around, we all chip in to make the day work and I love to see it in action!
TIME WITH MY HUSBAND: Who knew playing dominos nightly with the kids would bring my husband and I closer together? As much as being outside and without our devices helped us reconnect with our children, the trip was also an awesome chance to strengthen my partnership with my husband — Which was an added bonus I hadn’t expected!
Before summer is over, take the tribe outdoors! Even if it is just a night camping, you won’t regret it!!
The Sweet Life By Brittany + Cynthia Daniel