Featured Blogger: Dad Does

Dan is just a dad doing his dad thing… and he blogs about it!  Needless to say, we’re big fans Dan and his blog, Dad Does. Not only does Dad Does totally crack us up with its witty perspective on the trials and tribulations of being a parent, it’s truly a community where dads, moms, uncles, aunts, grandparents—really ANYONE who loves kids– can have a platform to have their voice heard. With summer vacation creepin’ up on us (yippee!), we asked Dan to throw some parenting advice our way.  He’s got big plans in store for his family vacation this year, and we’ll just say this— we’ll take a postcard over an invite on this particular trip  :)

Why You Absolutely Need to Take a Lame Vacation With The Kids

As we move toward summer, I face the daunting task that all parents must address – what to do with the kids all summer?  Yes, we will figure out a number of camps, but summer really isn’t summer without a Summer Vacation.  Over the past few years we have had incredible vacations – Hawaii, Europe, Orlando…and this is why I’m stressed.   The bar for the family vacation has been raised too high, too soon, how can I avoid disappointment this year?

“I swear, when the tide comes in this will be a great water park.”


Forget Staycations, Introducing LameCations!

Then it hit me, I don’t need to avoid disappointment, I need to embrace it.  My boys are just 10 and 8 and they have already had too many incredible vacations.  With each positive vacation, the bar gets raised higher for the next summer trip.  When does this arm race of awesome vacations end?  Do we just keep up the proliferation of fun until we need to take trips to the moon when they are teens?

Truth be told, the kids are vacation spoiled!  We need to lower the bar, reduce expectations , reset the fun-o-meter on vacations.  Some will say just do a Staycation this year, but my kids have fun at home, so that is not going to work.  No, we need to go nuclear to unspoil these guys, it may be time for the LameCation!

Yes, a LameCation is the wonderful new concept I have developed for a…wait for it… Lame Vacation.  How do you get the kids to appreciate a simple vacation again?  You throw in a crappy vacation for a point of reference.   The most basic vacation will seem wonderful once they survive a few days in a hotel with rats and swimming pools filled with hungry jellyfish.

“Sorry, I asked the front desk, but they have never heard of the internet.”


The LameCation Needs to Be Lame…But Safe

You probably don’t want to really stay at a hotel overrun by rats, so there is a clear business opportunity for someone to create personalized LameCations.  It would be like a haunted house, but filled with props that are guaranteed to make your kids have a miserable, but not dangerous time.

In order to make this LameCation service really fly, parents would need to be able to pick from a menu of horrible features, to make their stay as unenjoyable as possible.  Here are some of the “services” the hotel could offer….

-Images of bugs and rats crawling everywhere

-Itching powder for the beds

-Unidentifiable and smelly stains on the sheets

-A broken TV that only gets C-SPAN

-Internet service so slow, a text message takes 8 hours to send

-A dinner menu that only contains fish heads

-A minibar filled with Chobani Champions…that are all empty

-An incredible list of fun activities, all of which are currently closed

-A state of the art video arcade, where every game just eats your quarters.

-An wonderful indoor water park, with signs everywhere saying No Kids Allowed!

Basically we are looking at one giant vacation of disappointment and frustration.

“Don’t worry I Googled it, wearing a hat upside down keeps bed bugs away.”


No Vacation Will Ever Be As Bad As That LameCation

After a quick LameCation, your children’s expectations will be fully reset.  Go ahead and take any vacation you like and if the kids say “How come this place doesn’t have…”  You just jump in with, “It could be a lot worse, remember that totally lame vacation we took?”

If I have learned one thing as a Dad, it is to constantly lower expectations and set the bar below sea level.   One day I hope to impress my kids by just remembering their names.

“No swimming with dolphins this trip, kids. Even better – we get to swim with rats in the pool!”