If the term "summer break" strikes fear, instead of joy, into your heart, you must be the parent of young children who have two months off from school. Gone are the carefree, booze- and sex-fueled summer vacations of your youth, replaced instead by the sounds of a child repeatedly whining "I'm bored" for eight weeks straight.
If you're one of those adventurous, slightly daring parents, you've planned a vacation with your offspring that looks awfully different than those college trips you took to Cabo or Lake Havasu.
The following are six big differences you'll experience now that you're packing a lot more than a string bikini and cute sandals.
1. The definition of the word "cruise"
During the days of your misspent youth, the word "cruise" was a verb and it meant prowling the white sand beaches of Miami (or, you know, the local lake) looking for a hottie.
Once you become a parent, the word "cruise" brings to mind one thing only -- a large, luxurious boat full of other families whose kids are the same age, thereby ensuring that your kids have instant playmates and you can do what you do best: nothing.
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Your college travels were all about doing E (or shots) and dancing 'til dawn while being sprayed with foam. These days the only club you care about getting into is the one that entertains your kids for the whole day, the KIDS CLUB.
3. About that booze...
Ah, the college days -- when you could drink enough tequila to take down a hippo and not have a hangover. Those were also the days before you considered waking up at 7 a.m. to be "sleeping in."
The new version of "boozing" involves a happy hour cocktail, possibly followed by one glass of wine with dinner, after which you will be so drowsy you will fall asleep fully clothed before 9 p.m. The roaring hangover you'll inevitably wake up with at 6:30 a.m. will have you bemoaning your hard-partying ways and swearing off alcohol forever.
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4. And sex.
Let's be honest: Vacation used to be all about the sex, amiright? If you were in a relationship, it meant a time to bang your beloved on a Bahamanian beach. If you were single, summertime meant the opportunity to have some mind-blowing vacation sex with a guy (or guys) you most likely would never see again.
The only mind-blowing thing you're interested in doing once you have kids is sleeping more than 10 hours. Oh sure, you'll probably have some mediocre married-people sex at least once, but after spending all day swimming with your children or forcing them to appreciate American history on your trip to the Smithsonian, the only thing you want to do is put on a pair of pjs and hit the sack. Plus, sex sometimes makes babies and that is not the kind of souvenir you're interested in taking home.
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5. The countdown
During those summer sojourns of your youth, you got melancholy as your week of debauchery neared its conclusion.
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When you're traveling with kids, you find yourself getting giddy as the vacation days dwindle. The sooner vacation ends, the sooner your offspring return to school. If you do happen to find yourself getting melancholy toward the end of your family vacation, your kids are sure to put an end to that either by fighting over some stupid trivial issue, or throwing epic tantrums at the same time.
One way it's the same ...
The only thing that hasn't changed is the need to share photos of your trip. We're not talking boring shots of an island waterfall, but rather picturesque photos of you and your family having the best time ever! It doesn't matter what really happened before or after you captured that perfect shot, all that matters is that you all look happy and attractive and that the photo is in square format to better fit on Instagram. The point is still, and always will be, to make all of your friends jealous that you had the #perfect #summervacation
Image via iStock.com/PeopleImages