While my number one goal is to help my readers to make the most of their vacation dollars, there is going to be a time during one of your trips when things don't go well and you can't stretch your dollars, and you know what? That's okay.
Before our recent trip to Disney if something could go wrong, it did. In addition to the tiny things that kept happening, one week before we left, my oldest got the stomach flu. Two days later, he gave it to his little brother. I was so exhausted after taking care of both kids, when the youngest insisted on sleeping in the bathroom next to the toilet because he was so sick, I was right there with him all night long. Still, I figured, it's okay, we are still 4 days out, it's going to be fine. Then the next night, Mr. Disney Magic came home from work with a very badly pulled hamstring. Two days later it was still very, very swollen and he couldn't put any weight on it. It was his right leg, and he does 99% of the driving on trips, so I was driving him to doctor's appointments to try and get help and in between, taking the youngest to the bathroom constantly. It got so bad with him, I actually bought him disposable trainer pants, just in case, even though he's been potty trained for 2 years.
Cue the day before we leave. I've been taking people back and forth to doctors, to pharmacy's, and I had to stop by work for a few hours. I had loaded up the minivan and my emotions were swinging between cautiously optimistic and absolutely terrified. My stomach was killing me. Nerves, I figured. I sure had a lot of them. Evening came, and we ordered pizza, like we always do the night before a trip. I managed to eat one piece, and wondered at why I had hardly eaten all week. An hour later, as I was gifted the first round of the stomach flu, I figured it out. That awful pain in my stomach hadn't been nerves!
It was a miracle we made it down to Disney, between my stomach, my youngests stomach, and my husband's leg. I know he was in excruciating pain, and I felt horrible about that. It's a terrible feeling to be helpless when everyone around you is sick or hurt and you can't really do much to help.
So the first few days were rough. I wasn't eating, the youngest wasn't eating. He had a relapse with diarrhea, and then there was a very lovely moment of him throwing up at Disney Springs after he wouldn't stop eating and putting a stop to our planned evening at Animal Kingdom to see Pandora, but you know what? It was okay.
It was okay that we couldn't do everything we had planned to do. It was okay that we had meal credits piling up because some of us were unable to eat. It was okay that even though we had waited almost 2 years to do things, we had to slow down and skip some of it.
It was okay.
During those moments, instead of feeling upset that we were wasting food when we ordered it and couldn't eat it, we enjoyed those few bites. We enjoyed the atmosphere and were grateful that even a few bites could be held down. When we couldn't walk as fast, or do as much, we instead tried to be grateful that we were there, doing what we could and capturing as much of it as possible on camera to enjoy later. That attitude sure was hard to find at some points, and there was a few times when one or another was an absolute cranky pants, but we sure tried.
After all...the worst day at Disney is still better than not being there!
The week wore on and we all started to feel better. We still ended the trip with leftover meal credits, but instead of fretting about how it was a waste to turn them into snack credits, I thought about how great it was to have the option to turn them into snack credits! Disney doesn't have to offer that, but they do, and now, we not only have a stash of eat now treats, but also some special ones tucked back for when we need a bit of Disney Magic in our tummies.
No trip is going to go perfectly. You might get rained out, or you might get bad sunburn. Someone might get hurt or sick. I promise you though, if you try and find the good parts around you, and try to have the attitude of being happy, content and grateful for where you are, and what you can do, you will find moments of happiness and perfection, even in an imperfect vacation. Your mindset is what is going to determine if it was the worst trip ever, or if it was a trip with some memorable moments, both good and bad.
Cut yourself some slack, give yourself permission to miss a few things or go a little slower and enjoy what you can. Take a deep breath and find the Pixie Dust where it may fall. It's okay. If you happen to be at Disney when things start going wrong, just remember what Dory says.... just keep swimming.
Have you ever been able to find the good in a rough vacation? I sure hope so. but even more than that, I hope you don't ever experience one, because really, that's just not fair!