Every summer, parents who don’t have a year-round town, second home or rented house find themselves in the trap of organizing a more or less balanced family vacation. Now that we have to plan it ourselves, I really appreciate my parents’ effort in finding and paying for plans that filled whole weeks. Because whether you find something practical and affordable (which is good, beautiful and cheap we leave to those who book in early January), you will search many days, days when it is three o’clock in the morning and in the end you will become a click- Gamblers and trust the new window that opens to bring you a luxury villa with pool at a bargain price.
In the end, unless there is a specific destination that is very exciting, the search is usually limited to something that is not too far away, that is distracting and convenient for children to play and enjoy, and that gives adults a certain tranquillity there ( and four landscapes to brag about on social media). In times like these, it becomes clear whether adults or children are in the foreground. My ideal vacation is urban and cultural, but my little kids aren’t up for that right now.
Perhaps you will say: whoever pays decides. But the trick to happy families is that we are all happy most of the time. And I’m a lot happier to see her and my wife happy than trying to be happy by browsing titles in the bookstore Shakespeare and Co while running between shelves and throwing books. It’s your turn now. In a few years, when we won’t have to lug around diapers, strollers, toys, or medicine chests full of creams, they will adapt to our adult tastes.
But every hour I spend looking for the perfect travel destination, I ask myself: Is it worth spending days looking and realizing that everything is super expensive or already fully booked, queuing at small supermarkets full of tourists in flip-flops , paying exorbitant prices for everything, letting the kids screw around all the way there and back…? It’s fine for a change of scenery, but if the trip gets rough you’ll be saddled with a mortgage for a week that ends up being stressful and you’ll spend countless hours doing paperwork, it just doesn’t pay that much out.
So this year we try an August in the city that with the pasta and the days of paperwork that we will save ourselves, we will live very comfortably in summer everyday life, like the classic Rodríguez from films like The temptation lives above. Now the temptation isn’t Marilyn, it’s everyone else’s Instagram. But if we also take social media vacations, we’ll appreciate even more the peace of mind of enjoying a few weeks of no rush and grabbing an ice cream cone without having to take a double-chin selfie.
*Martín Piñol is the author of 33 books, his children’s series The Monster’s Kitchen has been published in several countries. His latest novel is “The Shadow Club”.
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