If you have twin three-year-olds and a five-year-old (or some similar combination) there’s a good chance you might choose to take them on the road for some alleged family fun this summer. If you have other obligations, you might be tempted to think you can fit those obligations in at some point; maybe on a segment of a three-hour car ride, or on a two-hour ferry trip, or even once you reach your destination to enjoy the alleged downtime and relaxation. If that’s you…you’re a certified lunatic! What were you thinking? You do this every time, and you know darn well that laptop won’t be opened even once! What are you, some kind of rookie mom? Oh…sorry…that was just my higher conscience stepping in. Ahem. Anyway, here are some helpful tips for trying to get stuff done while on vacation with a bunch of little people.
Be organized. Be organized like you never have been before. Make sure you know at all times where the snacks, blankies, water, and electronic sanity-savers…errr…devices are. But it doesn’t stop there. You also need to anticipate their every whim, and this is where it gets tricky because your sneaking suspicion that they are conspiring against you is not just sleep-deprivation-induced psychosis. They are. They definitely are. This means when one asks for water, and you ask if anyone else wants water they will say no. They will not want water until you’re sitting back comfortably again. I know what you’re thinking. Why not just give everyone their water at once? Hahahahaha. That’s playing right into their pudgy, sticky little hands, which they will instantly use to throw said water onto the floor. It’s a revolving game of ‘ask for the stuff’ that will entertain them for hours. Note: this really has nothing to do with getting work done, because we all know that no matter what, you will be at the mercy of your tiny little masters no matter how organized you are. They outnumber you.
Remember that there are places without internet. You might think that this goes without saying, but here’s why it matters and why you must take these preventative measures. If you want to get work done, you need your little love bundles to have something to do besides destroy your sanity. This is where devices come in handy. But, sometimes your little monkeys do stuff to their devices that require you to restore them to factory settings. This means no games or downloaded videos will remain. And you might forget this before your trip and only have the games you happened to put on each kid’s device before the trip. If these happen to be different for each kid, this is a catastrophic event. I don’t think this requires further explanation. Avoid this by downloading as many games as possible that DON’T REQUIRE INTERNET ACCESS (this part is probably most important). You should also make sure that each person has the exact same games even if they don’t like those games because they will love them if they don’t have them. Note: this has nothing to do with getting work done, because the cacophony of weeping and gnashing regarding the inevitable device glitches will always shatter your sanity and concentration.
Prepare yourself for the incessant, restless energy that comes from kids being stimulated beyond measure by vacation food, irregular sleeping hours, and the thrill of kitty cats to torment. This is not a bad thing. In fact, try to enjoy it. Although it can get noisy, maybe slightly less noisy than a squadron of overhead jets, it is also where you can create memories that last a lifetime. This is not the time to try to get work done. This is the time to play pirate ship on the hammock, jump on the trampoline (note to self or Dreamy husband, do not lose yourself completely on the trampoline to the extent that you almost fall on and paralyze #noben for life), and play water balloon and squirt gun fights. Note: this has nothing to do with getting work done to the extent that this is not the time of place. Even for you, you workaholic.
So this leaves the car ride home. You fool, this is impossible. There will be too much crying about not wanting to leave to get any work done. You will not get work done in the car on the way home. Period.
Your only other option would be to get up at 4:00 am and cram some work in before your workout, that you will still do because come on, you’re still you even on vacation. That’s fine. Just remember to hit save. Okay?
So that’s it! The ultimate guide to getting work done while traveling with kids. How do you fit things in when you’re traveling with kids…or do you? Comment below, I’d love to hear your experience!
PS I’ve written 10 tips on dealing with multiple (conflicting) priorities. If you’d like a free copy, just click here!