Repeat Vacations: The Benefits For The Whole Family

repeat vacations a photo of two kids in a swimming pool with their feet on the decking

You are hoping to take a vacation, but your last one was so fun, you want to relive the memories. That’s great! Let’s chat about the benefits of repeat vacations.

I love discovering new places, but honestly the benefits of repeat family vacations are immeasurable.

What Are The Benefits Of Repeating A Family Vacation?

When my kids were just tiny babies, I distinctly remember having a conversation with a girlfriend of mine who had two children herself. They were getting ready to go on their annual Cabo San Lucas getaway.

At the time, I thought it was strange that a family would have vacation time and choose to take it in a place they had already been so many times before.

But when I listened to her story, she noted that it was amazing because it was a place the family knew very well and looked forward to with immense pleasure. Turns out, there are a lot of benefits to repeat vacations. 

Her boys were completely familiar with the area and what they could do on that vacation. They knew the hotels, the surrounding area, the restaurants, and much about the culture of the foreign country. She noted that to these young children, a vacation like this was more about relaxing than exploring museums and culture. I thought she made a valid point.

Our first family getaway started by accident! 

We fell into one of our vacation spots quite by accident when I had a business event in Phoenix, Arizona. As my kids were young and I didn’t want to leave them, we took the whole family and stayed at a beautiful resort. This was to be our first stay at the luxurious Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs. The Pointe Hilton is an exclusive resort wedged into the side of North Mountain Park in the heart of the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix, Arizona. 

Because it is located high up in the hills, it has a spectacular view of the city lights. The Southwest architecture also gives this facility an old world ambiance very different from the many cookie-cutter resorts in the area. 

While simply driving by, this facility may just look like a beautiful place for proms, weddings, and big executive events. However, lying beyond the façade is an amazing water park resort.

There are waterfalls, swim-up bars, zero-entry pools, cabanas, dive-in movies, a few restaurants, room service, a full service spa, golf course, and loads of activities to keep the whole family entertained for days!

There is even an on-site Starbucks, so you never need to leave the facility. You know I love my Starbucks!

We started the tradition of coming here when our kids were just three and four years old.

Now, growing up in Colorado, this was an absolute paradise for my children. In addition to the water park, we quickly found that this hotel included a number of pools. I think we counted eight total and from our first stay there, we affectionately referred to this resort as our “Pool Hotel”.

a picture of waterfalls at a mountain resort

Photo from Ellen Phillips travel archives

The fabulous thing about coming here every year is that my kids grew up knowing the facility and Phoenix so well that they feel as if it is another hometown city. Just the idea of pulling in under the porte cochere at the entry and walking through the magnificent lobby is such a relaxing relief from our hectic life.

A Mountain Getaway Is Equally As Nice!

Our second annual getaway started a little bit later.  Our kids were around ten or twelve when we began the tradition of heading to Vail Mountain every Labor Day. We started this one quite by accident as well.

In looking around for something quick and easy to do over the Labor Day weekend, we discovered that Vail Village hosts the Gourmet on Gore festival – something I highly recommend. 

All of the fabulous restaurants in Vail, Avon, and the surrounding communities come together for an open air wine tasting and food fest. The attendance is tremendous. We never struggle to meet interesting people and enjoy entertaining conversations while noshing on mouthwatering delicacies. 

Now, that may not sound like much for kids, but escaping to the mountains also means exploring, hiking, bike riding, mountain biking, gondola rides, swimming, and much more. There is also a jazz festival in Lionshead which is just a stone’s throw away and the music is fantastic. There is no skiing obviously as it is too warm, but even in September, the village feels like something plucked out of the Swiss Alps. 

Vail Village Colorado

Image by Michelle Raponi from Pixabay

The Scenery Of Vail Makes It A Perfect Repeat Vacation

Keeping in mind that a family getaway should include stepping outside of your familiar climate, community, or culture, a mountain getaway is a great choice. Because we lived in Colorado, the journey up into Vail was a quick few hours by car.

After a long, sweltering summer, the mountain air was always a welcome relief. The leaves would sometimes just be starting to turn and some years we were treated to the incredible sight of aspen glow. 

Image by Joshua Woroniecki via Pixabay

Now, both of these getaways are wonderful because my kids, having known the areas so well from repetition, would eagerly leap out of the car once we landed at our destination. As they got older, I often wouldn’t see them for the full weekend. (Well no, they always turned up for food). For the most part, they were just off exploring and feeling comfortable in their surroundings. Both locations we chose were pretty safe and it gave them a sense of independence, yet they were still with their family close by.

It is important to note that as parents, we sometimes think a family trip will be fun for the kids, but they are actually dreading it. I believe Chevy Chase made a movie or two about this. So, having easy getaway trips that the family truly enjoys is important.  

A photo of a family walking on a mountain trail

Photo by Nare Gevorgyan on Unsplash

I highly encourage young families with children to find a spot that you can easily and inexpensively commit to for years upon years. 

Some families choose to get a timeshare as someplace to call their vacation spot. That is great, if you are a fan of timeshares. I like the idea that both of our spots were not incredibly expensive. You will find that many hotels in Phoenix are practically giving away rooms and deals because it’s so hot in the summer. When you live in Colorado where it’s cold all the time, hot is excellent for a week or so.

The moral to this story is that not all vacations have to be exotic. They don’t always have to be remote. They definitely don’t have to be expensive. But family vacations should be something fun for everyone and something that your children love and look forward to with each year. Now that our kids have grown, they often remark on the wonderful times we spent at the “Pool Hotel”.

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Ellen Phillips

Living a Beautiful Life

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