How to Have the Best Family Vacation
The best family vacation isn’t always about where you go, but what you do with your time. That’s the sweet simplicity of family vacation. It’s not as much about the packing list, the prime location or the activities planned. The most important element to family vacation is the people.
Joel and I love family vacation. Often when we travel, it’s just the two of us. So, spending time around the people we love is always a gift. I'm rather positive that no matter where we were, the week would have been great. Just for the sake of getting together, slowing down, enjoying each other’s company and embracing a beautiful place. Which is exactly what last week looked like for us. We drove down the coast of our very own state of North Carolina and bunked up in a beach house for a week of family meals, poolside chills and dips in the sea. It really was one of those “all you need is love” kinda weeks.
The early birds woke up every morning, had our coffee, worked out, made breakfast and sat around talking. A few hours later, the sleepy crew would roll out of bed and stomp up the stairs to the third floor kitchen. Then we would all sit around for a second round of breakfast.
We enjoyed the slow days with no agenda - where you can sleep in as late as you want or get up early with the sun. Early mornings were my personal favorite. This might surprise those who know me well. But there was something about family vacation that made waking up seem easier. Plus, the more hours you're awake the longer your vacation lasts right? But to me, it was a meaningful time full of beauty and simple moments. Everything around you seems to be brushed in the golden light of the morning sun and wrapped with the cool breeze of the young day.
A since of peace encompasses the hours to follow because the only thing required is spending time with each other. It doesn't matter what is done as long as its done together. Maybe you making a meal, perhaps you partake in group activities, or even just sit outdoors. It truly doesn't matter. Its all good. Its all perfect. Its all just sweet time spent together.
Its The Simple Things, DOne Together.
I always love to get outside in the morning. Even a city's downtown could seem remote in the early hours. The hustle and bustle has a slow start as the world begins waking up. People are still tucked away in their homes and it presents time to just focus on the present moment. Here are a few of my favorite activities from the early hours of our days spend at Ocean Isle.
Yoga On The Beach
We found a local yoga studio that offered a beach sunrise yoga class. All the early birds in the family signed up and went together. [It was Joel's first time practicing yoga with an instructor!] The instructor did a great job working with all the different levels of experience. She talked through each move and offered variations for each position. We enjoyed the fun out of the box family activity. Yoga is a part of several of our family member's daily routine. But, getting to share the experience and do some in a beautiful setting is what made it memory material. Joel has mixed feelings about it. But, i caught him later that day trying out one of the stretches he learned. Sooo...Im going to take the leap and say he loved it.
Bike Ride At Low Tide
Renting bikes was one of the best parts of our time in Ocean Isle. With a rather inexpensive rental fee, we got a few to keep at the house for the week. And, it created an effortless option for quality time. You just grab a group and set off anywhere. No destination required; the journey is good enough. We had an extra special treat as the tides aligned perfectly with our trip. Dead low was early in the morning and as the waves retreated out into the depths, they left behind packed sand ideal for biking. Taking advantage of such a gift, we explored the island following along the water's edge.
Explore The Local Shops
Some people love shopping together. And that's fine - whatever draws you together. I'm not a huge shopper but, I don't mind perusing, especially if its through local businesses. Throw in a local coffee shop stop and Joel and I are both in! We were excited to discover that Ocean Isle had a rather impressive local Coffee shop - at least for a small beach town. They had both good coffee and Acai bowls! What!? My dream coffee shop. The owner and employees were warm, friendly and knew a thing or two about what they were making. Big thumbs up from us to Drift Coffee.
Once morning hours passed, our days were filled with lots of soccer, swimming, and chill-axing. Even a few outdoor showers, wildflowers, sibling doggie piles, afternoon thunderstorms and beautiful sunsets. We loved loved loved Ocean Isle. But what really filled our hearts was a week of uninterrupted time with our family. It's so easy to let miles fall between us as we venture out into life. But coming together is a all the more rich; getting to share hobbies, exchange stories, and create memories.
Thanks To These Two Pots of Gold For Getting Us All Together
If you're headed to the beach here's My packing List - So you have one less thing to think about!
Beach Trip Packing List
- Swim Suits
- Beach Cover Ups
- Work Out/Yoga Clothes
- Comfy/Fancy/ And everyday outfits
- Easy Healthy Beach Snacks
- Spring Suit/Rashguard/ Or SPF shirt
- Water Toys (Surfboard, body board, or even just a big inflatable)
- Beach Bag or Cooler
- Coffee Gear!