We all lead busy lives. Between appointments, after-school activities, work, school, and an assortment of other priorities in life, we all have somewhere to be. Oftentimes, we aren’t always together as a family during these moments. So, in order to keep the family bond going strong, we rely on creating family time, and if we’re lucky, going on family vacations.
Although, sometimes when the family gets together, chaos can ensue, and we find ourselves navigating through mishaps and obstacles, and when everything calms down, we are left with a hilarious tale to tell and a lesson learned from it all.
Here are four true stories and the lessons that came from them to help keep your family safe, or simply prepared, during your next vacation.
THE FINE PRINT DOESN’T LIE, ESPECIALLY IN A WAIVER.
“When I visited Blue Ridge, Georgia, with my family, we took a day trip to Helen, which is a cute, Bavarian-style town not too far from Blue Ridge. Helen is full of touristy shops, but one store my family will never forget is called The Pepper Palace–a store that sells the hottest hot sauce in the world: The End. My dad and brother quickly learned why it’s called “The End” because, while Mom and I were exploring the other shops around town, they were signing waivers (yes, waivers) before tasting free samples of The End. It wasn’t long before Mom and I saw them from the parking lot, running down the hill and holding ice cream to their mouths, which had gone numb from tasting a drop of The End.” -Emily D.
SAFETY IS ALWAYS KEY.
“My family doesn’t typically go on vacations together, so when we all decided to go on a family cruise, things were bound to go wrong. On our first night there, my cousin and I were just running around wild like little kids do when she opened up a door right into my foot. I fell down in pain and when I finally took a look at my foot, I saw my pinky toe pointing right back at me. Obviously, it isn’t meant to bend that way, so my cousin and I, not wanting to get in trouble, pointed it in the right direction, put a bandaid on it, and I hobbled my way through the rest of that trip.” -Anthony B.
YOU WON’T REGRET PURCHASING A CARGO NET.
“In 2015, my family took a road trip to Washington, D.C. While pulling into an inclined driveway to park before we toured the White House, a security guard complete with a gun in his holster asked us to open the trunk. Now, it was our last day in D.C. and the Jeep was packed to the ceiling with luggage. But who were we to say no? Once my dad let the trunk automatically swing open, all our things spilled out. A Mexican Train game we hadn’t played, our bags, and a single roll of paper towels went rolling down the incline and into the street. The security guard awkwardly stood there as my parents piled out of the car to collect our things. We never went on vacation without a cargo net again.” -Sarah B.
USE SUNSCREEN, AND MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHERE THE SUNSCREEN IS GOING.
“On our most recent family vacation, we went to Disney World. As we all probably know about the Florida sun, it’s beaming constantly. I remembered to pack my sunscreen, and I brought it into the parks with me so I could reapply throughout the day. I didn’t want to deal with a sunburn the entire trip, so I was prepared. However, after a particularly long day at one of the parks, I returned to my hotel room and saw my hands in a whole new light. It looked as if I had been wearing red gloves. Not on the palms of my hands, oh no, just the tops. It was the silliest looking sunburn I have seen, so now I know (and should have realized) to always be sure to include the tops of your hands when applying sunscreen.” -Amanda M.
PACK FOR YOURSELF FIRST.
“Similar to the ‘put your oxygen mask on first’ rule, this one can be said for packing as well. One trip, I focused on making sure my husband and my children had everything they needed for the trip. They were packed for all types of weather in full outfits. Naturally, I managed to forget about packing thoroughly for myself, so many items were missing from the suitcase. It wasn’t until we reached our destination that I realized that all of the ‘essentials’ were needed, and so we then had to take a trip to a nearby store to buy them.” -Kayla V. ■