What is your idea of a perfect vacation?

A couple of times a year I stop and think about taking a vacation.  I ponder where I would like to go this year and what trips I’d like to take in the future.  I’m not one of those people that thinks of it often and wishes they could fly off to get away from their life, but I do like to plan at least one long trip every year: ideally somewhere warm.  It wasn’t until I was an adult though that I realized this isn’t an ideal vacation for everyone.  Some people hate the heat and sand and would rather go to a cold location.  Other people want to see as many sites as possible in their lifetime.  So what makes a perfect vacation for you?

I myself like warm and sunny places where you can walk a lot.  I like seeing the sights and laying on the beach or lounging poolside.  I need a break from doing the dishes and making meals.  Great food, shopping, and entertainment is a plus and I prefer to rent a house rather than staying in a hotel room for a week.  The most important factor though is not rushing around.  I don’t want to get up early and rush out the door.  Sleep is nice on vacation, but I’m ok without it if I’m having fun and there’s a Starbucks nearby.  Sunsets are beautiful but I have yet to see a sunrise over the ocean.  And finally I like eating in bed when I can. Never leaving a comfortable bed is such a luxury on vacation!

I’ve been to various cities in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Maine, Michigan, Nevada and California.  I’ve also traveled through Canada and enjoyed Aruba and Puerto Rico.  My favorite vacation spot so far is California.  I spent my honeymoon there and I loved every minute of it.  The weather is warm, the beaches are great, you can walk, shop and swim in their fabulous pools.  Someday I’d like to buy a second home near the beach in California so we can vacation there every year!

So basically I want a break from reality when I’m on vacation.  I don’t want to cook or clean or do laundry.  I don’t want to run errands or chauffer kids around.  And I definitely don’t want to freeze my ass off!  I want to relax and listen to the ocean and be outside as much as possible. But this isn’t always what my family sees in their perfect vacation.

My husband likes to get a lot of sleep and rest on the beach.  He enjoys swimming and trying new foods. Shopping and walking isn’t high on his list but thankfully he likes going somewhere warm.  My kids want to swim and eat in bed but they don’t like to walk or shop.  Growing up my dad never liked warm places or the beach.  He thinks Disney World is awful.  Too many people and too hot, he says. He’d rather travel through Europe or take an Alaskan cruise. New England is one of his favorite places. My mom loves renting a house, hanging out at the beach and eating out every night.  She wants to shop until you drop and explore new places.  This is obviously where I get my vacation tendencies from.

So what makes a perfect vacation for you?