Overseas Vacay with Kids –  Fantasy VS Reality

Our overseas family holiday..

We’d paid a fortune and waited months, the excitement had been building and expectations were high.

It’s going to be amazing, it’s going to be the best family vacay ever. It has to be. We’ve both been working hard and we deserve it. And Hawaii – what place could be better for a family holiday.

So I was given all the awesome travel tips before we left from a close friend who had traveled to Canada with just herself and her two boys. She seriously had to be organised or she was going to be eaten alive. No Joke. She told me how her son screamed bloody murder on the flight for eight hours straight and the only person who even acknowledged her said “Your son sounds very distressed. Should I see if there is a doctor on board?”.


We were going to be fine though. My husband was coming, our kids are good sleepers, it’s a night flight over and they should just sleep all night. Right? My husband said we should get Phenergan but I said no way, our kids will be fine, I don’t want to drug them! (How foolish I was, haha..)

We get two full rows to ourselves in premium economy (pretty lucky) and kids slept for about five hours of the flight. Not bad.

We arrive. Amazing accommodation in a beautiful ocean front resort, crystal clear water, white soft sand, sunsets to die for, pools with water slides, Mai Tais galore..

Absolute perfection.

Three days in my husband and I and bickering. Why? Because this actually doesn’t feel like the holiday we had imagined..

I failed to mention above that Darcy screamed on the plane for three hours straight before we finally got him to sleep and Tilly woke every hour or so crying because she was uncomfortable. It certainly was not all fun and games. We had to wait 1.5 hours at Thrifty with kids going crazy before finally getting our hire car. The kids cried all the way in the car to the resort because they were so exhausted. Darcy wouldn’t sleep in the portable cot so I had to sleep with him every night and not with my hubby. The kids were over stimulated and going crazy! We had to take turns at the restaurant – one would look after the kids playing on the grass and the other would wait at the table for our food. We were tired and we were disappointed that things weren’t going as expected.

To be honest, were starting to resent our kids a little.

Don’t get me wrong. Of course we love spending time with our kids and seeing their little faces light up when we’re at the kids pool with the pirate ship and playing in the sand at the beach. But bobbing up and down in waist deep, piss warm (and you know why it’s piss warm) pool water is only fun for so long.

We long for that alone time where we can dive in the water together, ride the waves, go for a snorkel and hang off each other like we did on our honeymoon.

We realise we NEED to book a sitter asap! It’s the only way we are going to enjoy any adult time together.

But we’re not just going to leave our kids with anyone. I spend the next two hours reading reviews of the local nanny agencies and finally ring an agency and book a sitter for the next three days. The same sitter for all three days. Not full days. Day one will be a few hours in the arvo so we can suss her out and the kids can get used to her (we can stay close by and enjoy a proper swim at the beach). Then the next two bookings will be for the evening, we’ll put the kids to bed and enjoy a night or two out together.

Yay!! Some yummy cocktails, a relaxing dinner, some adult convo and a bit of a smooch under the stars. Now this is a holiday. Shame we had to get rid of our kids to really enjoy ourselves, but hey, whatever it takes!

I must admit, a bit of guilt did creep in, but not enough to regret it and certainly not enough to cancel the babysitter for the next night. Just enough to remind me when holding my babies the next morning how lucky we are to have them. It’s amazing what a difference some adult time can make.

So here is our family holiday summed up into the one Instagram pic that I posted…

And here is the other picture that I would’t usually share…

I really appreciate all the tips my good friend gave me and they were very helpful but turns out the best tips I could have taken were: Pack the god damn Phenergan and book a babysitter ahead of time!

I would love to hear any travel tips or funny travel stories from other mummas. Please comment and share..

Mia x

  • Kayla trisley
    Posted at 13:31h, 04 April

    LOVE this, preparing me for Hawaii at the end of the year! Will need to grab the name of the sitter and yes I shall pack the drugs ??

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 14:41h, 04 April

    HI Mia, I just read it … what an amazing story and reminded me my story when I went back home in 24 hours fly. I didn’t share my holiday adventure but it was very similar to yours with better stories to share… it was CRAZY but we always take the funny part of them… as my little Tom had gastro at Chile airport and we had to leave the playground in a hurry as it was a mess all over the ground!!! and I was running like a headless chicken worring about people looking at me instead of my son. Tom was buying me a coffee and he ran to rescued his son and leaving poo marks on the floor all the way to the toilets at the airport and we had nooooooooo nappies and no spare clothes as we were on our way back home. But the good thing was we were both laughing while were experiencing our first ever trip back home… I would do all over again…

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 21:05h, 04 April

    Love it ! The photos are so good .
    Best tip is trying the phenergan before you are on the plane – there are horror stories of it going the opposite way and their cherubs have been awake for 24hrs straight ?
    Your kids are lucky to have such great parents and were probably just as glad to see fresh meat when the sitter arrived to play with them as you were to get a break xx

  • Mia Johnson
    Mia Johnson
    Posted at 21:27h, 05 April

    Great advice about trying the Phenergan first. I have heard some horror stories too!

  • Mia Johnson
    Mia Johnson
    Posted at 22:01h, 06 April

    Haha, how funny. Yes, you’v got to laugh don’t you!!

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