5 ways to thrive (not just survive) on vacation with kids

We just finished a family vacation in Virginia & I really wanted to make sure we enjoyed it rather than just barely surviving it. Vacation with kids can feel like it begets another vacation sans kids...ya feel me??

Our kids are four & six and I have often felt like vacationing with kids is harder than just being home because we are breaking our routine. Our kids are not at the hardest age to travel with - my six year old is a good swimmer and I can pretty much let him roam free around the pool, but my sister's son is around a year... that stage is real hard: constant movement, can't sit at a table for a meal, & just want to explore. Every stage of parenting has its challenges.  Hopefully these tips are broad enough that they apply to any small kids!

I think this was one of our best family vacations. We were at a resort hotel called the Homestead in the mountains of Virginia.  Nice room.  Good eating.  AND A POOL WITH A LAZY RIVER!  

I went in to our vacation with this goal: to balance my need to relax with my kids' needs for fun ... & to create some memories for them. So here we go!  These are the 5 things we tried to do to thrive (not just survive) on vacation with kids:

5 ideas for thriving on vacation with kids / one delightful shop
vacationing with kids

choose your vacation spot wisely

If it is within your control some places are just easier to be with kids at than others. Are there things everyone could enjoy? Is their childcare if that's in your budget? Will a time change make the first three days be a nightmare? Just weigh these things out.

homestead virginia / hot springs / mini cascades

play tag team 

If you are not vacationing alone with your kids, is there someone that you trust that could watch them so you get a break? My husband and I learned when my son was around a year to take turns giving each other a morning to sleep in. On our recent trip, my Dad took our son to play mini-golf. My dad loves to be with his grandson and I get a break. #boom 

omni homestead vacation

say yes to a few things to make it special

shirley temples. unicorn straws. the waterslides. Is there something that you wouldn't normally say yes to at home that would make it special for your kids? How about special for you? Treat yourself to a new book (for me ... after 2 weeks working out of town with bad internet, I caught up on the bachelorette at night).

talk about expectations

I want my husband to read my mind. He is possibly the least intuitive person the planet. Skip the assumptions & have a conversation about things that would make it feel like a vacation for you. Give each other a little time off to do something that feels like a break.

thriving in the summer with kids

uplug if you can

I love my work & maybe you do too. It requires me to be on my phone & connected to technology.  Sometimes, though, when I say I'm 'working', I am just zoning out on my phone. I took a pretty big break from computers, etc while we were traveling and it really felt like a mental break. I can't recommend this one enough!

So, What would you add? Let me know if these tips help you! 

signature / katie

p.s. I made this FREE, fun printable as a reminder for me to try to THRIVE during the summer with kids, rather than just survive. Download it from our shop by clicking here

how to create an everyday uniform

...Let me give you a window into an average day for me as a mom of 2 little kiddos. My kids wake me up before 6 almost everyday. I wear my pajamas around the house while getting the kids ready for school and I'm so out of it I'm lucky if my shirt is not on backwards. I maybe change into a slightly more adult-ish looking outfit to take my son to school, (aka turn my shirt around the right way). My shirt kind of smells because i really want to use natural deodorant (but it isn't working quiet right ... yikes). I come home with my three year old daughter and think, oh good, she is playing quietly, maybe i'll get ready for the day while she plays.

As soon as this plan is set in my mind, she starts to follow me around making a request for her third breakfast. I start to think about what kind of outfit I want to wear today, but my brain starts to skip around like a scratched CD.  I can't focus without my thoughts being interrupted with a request from my daughter and think in my head, "LEAVE ME ALONE". I love her, but as an scatter-brained introvert, this wears me out. 

I brush my hair, put on some mascara... and I feel guilty that I told my little girl to leave me alone in my mind. I throw on some workout shorts telling myself that I might work out today. 

Also worth mentioning, my daughter has worn three different outfits at this point (before 9am) & the one she finally lands on includes Christmas leggings and a watermelon dress.

Can you see why I need some simplicity in my life (and my closet...)? I'm working on sharing an idea for a solution to this problem tomorrow, but want to hear from you:  Is this at all what your life is like?  Have you figured out anything that's helped?

As I am on a mission to simplify my life & closet, i definitely find that sometimes life becomes more complex as a result of decision fatigue. 

here's an idea: create a uniform that helps simplify your morning routine.  here's what I mean:

How to create an everyday uniform

no, this does not involve joining the navy or getting a job at taco bell.  an everyday uniform is a consistent, pre-planned outfit you always have ready for a day of the week or occasion that makes you look and feel amazing.

First, define what type of day you need a uniform for.

Maybe it's Monday for you because Monday is one of the hardest day to get going with life/work/kids. Maybe it's getting ready for church that always is a sticking point. What will you be doing on this day and what kind of outfit would best help you to look and feel great?  Mondays are my sticking point.  I'm going to create a Monday Uniform outfit. 

second, Decide What clothes ideally would make you happiest for this type of day? 

Comfortable clothes? Professional?  Sassy?  Fun?  Is there a color or pattern you love that makes you happy? To create your uniform, start with your favorite clothes that fit the bill. Make it something you feel awesome in, but that also will be appropriate for you to handle the tasks for the day.

third, set out your clothes.

Put your 'uniform' pieces in a place where you can easily pull them together and put them on.

My Monday uniform:  the Allie top + Summer Cardigan from my shop (+  leopard printed earrings !), paired with Target jean shorts and birks

My Monday uniform:  the Allie top + Summer Cardigan from my shop (+ leopard printed earrings!), paired with Target jean shorts and birks

fourth, redefine seasonally. 

This could almost be a mini-capsule for you. I don't know if I like the idea of a capsule closet, but I think I this sort of applies the same idea on a smaller scale. 

I would love to see what your uniform would be + what it would be for if you give it a try! Tag me with your uniform on ig or share your uniform in my facebook community

If you are looking for some pieces like the ones above to help simplify your closet, these pieces will be available Monday in my shop