Where to Vacation This Summer?

It’s currently Spring Break in the Washington DC area, which means rush hour traffic is minimal and those of us who chose not to travel this week are left salivating over Facebook photos showcasing exotic destinations and warm temperatures. Clay and I talked about squeezing in a short vacation with the kids this week but it just made more sense to save his leave days for a vacation during our PCS. The two of us are taking a kid-free trip next month to California so that helps soften the blow of being one of those left behind this week. Also helping is our attempt to plan our family vacation this summer. Last summer was amazing – we took the kids to Newport, RI, Cape Cod, MA, and Ogunquit, ME and then Clay and I spent 5 days in St. Thomas and St. John so it will likely be difficult to top that this year…but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try!

Seeing as how we’re not millionaires and a solid middle-class family, our financial resources and limited leave days prevent us from taking a true dream family vacation (Australia! Scotland! South Africa!) this summer. Maybe next year…(probably not, but a girl can dream). Here are some ideas that we’re spitballing for our summer vacation – we’re not married to any one spot and who knows, we might end up doing something completely different because that’s how we roll.


We really want to take the kids to Puerto Rico – like a lot. It looks unlikely the timing will work out being able to do so with our PCS this summer but we haven’t completely ruled it out. Airfare isn’t outrageous but still not cheap, which is why the rest of our options involve driving somewhere rather than flying. If we don’t go this summer, we’re looking into going during the winter break for Clay’s upcoming school or perhaps spring break of next year. Basically we just really want to go to Puerto Rico.


And then there is Disney World. Truth be told, we’re not Disney freaks in this family. I am not anti-Disney World by any means (I thoroughly enjoyed my visit as a child) but I haven’t really had any desire to go as an adult – there were (and are) many places I would rather spend money and time. That being said, we now have kids and I think it is in our parenting contract somewhere that we take them to Disney World at least once. Should this be when we do it or should we wait until Violet is just a little older? We casually mentioned to Weston that we were considering Disney World for our vacation this summer and he was sort of nonchalant about the prospect…do we really want to spend money on Disney World when he would be just as happy spending a day at Sesame Place (which we totally plan to do this May)?


Weston is much more excited at the possibility of going on a cruise. I haven’t been on a cruise since my formative childhood years and in the past, Clay and I have preferred to fly to the Caribbean so a cruise just hasn’t really appealed to us. But now that we have kids (sensing a theme here?), we’re wondering if we should reevaluate our position on cruising. But again, are we crazy for considering a cruise with a not-yet-two-year-old? And a multi-bedroom suite isn’t in our budget so it would be the four of us in a single stateroom (hopefully with at least a window!).


We didn’t make it to Acadia National Park during our trip to Maine last year. I’d love nothing more than the experience northern coastal Maine this time around and spend our days hiking around the rocky coastline and soaking in the picturesque New England landscape. I’m not sure if the little ones would appreciate the remote nature of Bar Harbor but they’ve got to learn sometime, right?


And finally, the Outer Banks. We chose the remote Ocracoke Island as our first true family-of-three vacation spot when Clay was home on R&R. The other day, Clay suggested going somewhere new in the Outer Banks this summer before making the drive to Kansas – not a horrible idea, right?


I realize that narrowing down a summer vacation is totally a first-world problem. And in my heart, I know it really doesn’t matter where we go because as long as the four of us are together, it will be a memorable and cherished family memory. So even if our vacation ends up with us leaving the body of Aunt Edna on a porch in Phoenix and holding John Candy hostage at Walley World, it will be one for the books. Humor me – where are you going this summer?


18 thoughts on “Where to Vacation This Summer?

  1. All of your possible vacation destinations sound fabulous! If you go to Puerto Rico let me know. My sister in law is from there so I can get the inside scoop for you. I was there for their wedding and loved it! Also, I hear the disney cruise is fantastic. Happy planning! 🙂

    1. I’m not sure how I feel about being stuck on a boat with a bunch of Disney characters. That actually sounds quite terrifying. Haha. I’ll let you know about Puerto Rico!

    1. People have recommended a Disney Cruise. The only thing is that they are quite expensive…and none work with the allotted time we have. Perhaps we can just come crash with you in Monterey? Haha. j/k

      1. I looked up Disney cruises since they’re starting service to the British Isles and nearly had a HEART ATTACK when I saw the prices. And we tend to splurge on vacations! Holy cow…

  2. I would probably hold off on Disney until Violet is older. I was surprised how little Madison was interested in the rides when we took her for her 5th bday (she loved the princesses though!). We go to OBX every summer and love it. Your other options sound great and I’ll live vicariously through you!!

    1. OBX is a wonderful place to vacation every summer – lucky! Thank you for the Disney input – we’ve decided to hold off until both kids can really appreciate it.

  3. Cruises in general are pretty fun and offer lots to do for kids of any age (and you can score some adult time as well). I vote if you are planning on Disney to wait until Violet is a bit older. We did Outer Banks recently and it was pretty nice as well. If you feel like coming a touch further south, Charleston is a pretty nice trip too 😉

    1. Charleston is quite nice. We’re trying to go to a place we haven’t been before but haven’t ruled out Charleston. I just wish larger rooms/suites on cruises weren’t so darn expensive. Being trapped in a small room with no balcony with kids who go to bed at 7pm doesn’t sound too fun. Haha.

  4. Soooo many awesome options! What about doing a Disney cruise? Two birds, one stone! Last year we weren’t quite ready to brave Disney with our kids so we decided to do a Disney cruise instead and it is the PERFECT mix of relaxing vacation for mom and dad but TONS of fun for the kids. Highly recommended!
    I also vote for Acadia because, well, MAINE! It’s perfection 🙂

  5. Why not take a hop over to Germany 🙂 All of your options sound seriously awesome though! I can’t wait to bring our girls to Disney World. We’re kicking off our summer vacations with a trip to Italy in a few weeks and I’m running a marathon in Iceland in August, so those should make for some fun memories.

  6. I am a huge disney lover and there is no way you could pay me to go during spring break. I am sure you guys will find something super fun though 🙂

  7. If you can wait to plan then disney can have amazing prices for military on their cruises. My neighbor went for a $100 a person per night over xmas!! It was the most amazing vacation we have ever taken as a family. Something for everyone and with it being disney they have the most amazing childcare programs even for Violet so you and Clay can still have some alone time. Email or call me if you want to know more but we are definitely doing it again.

  8. I would DEFINATELY recommend Disney, but w/o the kids – it has been the best vacation we’ve done so far! 🙂

  9. Also — you can get GREAT deals on cruises if you book only 2 months or so in advance … Zach and I only paid 900 for a balcony suite for a 5 night cruise! – That including both of our tickets!

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