As I poured a handful of red sand out of my shoe this morning, I realized our vacation was over.

After five days of beaches and swimming and s’mores and yes, bickering in the car, I’d hoped that maybe I could hold onto that feeling a bit longer (#beachlife). But as we returned to our regularly scheduled summer routine, we did the next best thing: picked what we liked most about our PEI vacation. Here are our 5 best reasons to go away on vacation:


1. See (and do and eat) new things

How about seeing red sand beaches and yellow hay bales and striped lighthouses? Swimming in an Atlantic as warm as the bath? Tasting raspberry cordial and spider cookies? Check, check, and check.

This was my daughter Bronwyn’s favorite part about going away. I liked it because even though we’d seen the red beaches, yellow hay bales, and striped lighthouses more than 20 years ago, they were new again when we got to share them with our kids.

West Point Lighthouse PEI

West Point Lighthouse, Prince Edward Island

2. Spend time with your family

Though we’re all in the same house all the time, we’re often doing different things. A staycation would have been more of the same plus a beach trip now and then. Result: not much together time.

My son Tristan noted that on this trip we spent a lot of time doing things together. Like, all of the things, all of the time. And when those things included pizza-eating and nightly sessions of Exploding Kittens, he was (quite literally) a happy camper.

I’ll admit: it’s hard for me to get away. I drag my feet about closing up my business for a week, I fuss about packing (and unpacking) all the gear. I whine and whimper and nag. But my work is all about celebrating what matters, and I can’t think of anything that matters more than spending time with these guys. Really, this is important stuff.


Sunrise at the National Park, Cavendish, PEI

3. Catch up with your reading

This may be specific to beach vacations or camping trips or maybe it’s just my idea of a vacation, but on this trip we made sure to build in plenty of reading time. My daughter noted that it was a great way to catch up on her summer homework, but I set aside the business books and read just for fun.

Of course this was largely made possible by a lack of wifi. We checked our messages and social media accounts twice in 5 days. I’m still amazed that this happened, but what a difference! I’ll be unplugging and cracking open a book much more often now that we’re home.


“I’m so bored!”

4. Get to know each other better

All of that together time naturally leads to better understanding. Does one of you get hangry if you go too long between meals? (Raises hand sheepishly.) Another of you enjoy singing in falsetto to songs on the radio (even when it annoys someone else)? You’ll know all about these idiosyncrasies and pet peeves by the end of your trip. You’ll probably even find some of them endearing. Eventually. When you aren’t in a tent.


Sunset at the National Park, Cavendish, PEI

5. Make shared memories

I could go on forever about this part because it’s my personal favorite. Dani’s “complaining” from the back seat (also in falsetto, Charlie McCarthy style). The way Tristan wanted bacon on everything. Laughing together over radio edited Alanis Morissette lyrics (“I’m brave but I’m chickenfish.”) These became our trip “memes,” and were hilariously unforgettable.

I’m sure you can think of lots more than 5 reasons to go away on vacation. I’d love to hear them! Do you go away on vacation with your family or just enjoy downtime at home? Have you ever visited PEI? Please share!