Let’s be honest. Vacationing with kids is hard work. It makes you realize how much fun your real job really is. It makes you downright ashamed of that time in your 20’s when you complained about [anything you thought was hard at the time]. Kids are needy. They are whiny. They don’t give a fuck about what you want to do.

Of course, kids are also hilarious. They can remind you how to play. They make it all worth it because we love them so much it makes you cry. We know a weekend without them is nice, but a week we’ll miss them and feel like shitty parents. Because how many of these weeks do we really have with them before they can’t or won’t go with us? So we take them with us and we have a “vacation.”

This year we did it a little differently and teamed up with five families for our vacation. The first week we spent tent camping outside Moab, Utah and the second we rented a condo in Frisco, Colorado. There’s been blood, sweat and tears but not nearly as much as if it had only been us and no friends. Here’s what was good about going with friends:

  1. Saved money. Booking big condos and sharing kitchen space and amenities saves a lot of money. What you lose in privacy imo is more than made up for in extra cash to spend on things like great food and experiences outside.
  2. Cooked Less. Each family took a night to make dinner, which means I only really had to cook one time. The other nights I got to chill and enjoy other people’s awesome sauce.
  3. Felt less pressure. My kids tire of me and their siblings quickly and things devolve into madness if I don’t have something tailor made to distract them every few minutes. With a bunch of other kids around to play with, they entertain themselves for the most part and any planning and outings we do are bonus level.
  4. Got time. I think I even got to shirk off all three of my kids completely a few times and got to be alone with my wife. I definitely got to do yoga every day and hike with my friends. With shared responsibility comes great freedom.
  5. Had more fun. Hate to say it because this implies being on vacation with only immediate family isn’t fun. That’s not really the case. Christopher McCandless wrote before he died  “happiness only real when shared.” To me that means the more the merrier. Being with other families and friends amplifies the fun to 11. Try it.

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