What It’s Like to Parent in a Vacation Town

July 13, 2017

Since the moment we stepped off the ferry in Hvar we have felt an overwhelming sense of calm. This could be for a number of reasons. For starters Owen immediately was back to himself once we arrived at our destination after a very difficult day of travel, but more than that I believe it has something to do with being near the water in a vacation town.

The vacations I’ve taken that have always been the most relaxing have been those that are what Zack and I call beach vacations. During these vacations it’s acceptable to have a beer at pretty much any time of day and we don’t have a ton on the agenda except relaxing by the ocean, sea or pool, eating delicious food, and devouring as many books as humanly possible.

If it isn’t clear to you already, I have never lived in a beach town or really anywhere that was primarily a tourist spot. Of course in LA, New York City or even in Paris and Berlin there were tons of visitors, but the majority of the people in each of those cities are just living their lives and doing their thing. Tourism isn’t the main focus.

So what happens when you aren’t technically on vacation in one of these spots? What happens when you’re just living your life and working and taking care of your toddler and balancing marriage and yourself?

I’ll tell you right now there are plenty more perks than there are downfalls (I keep saying that I might just be meant for island life). After a week of living here this is what I’ve gathered.

The Downfalls of a Vacation Town

It’s fairly expensive. Since Hvar is primarily a tourist town it thrives off it’s visitors and the prices are fairly high. We’ve made the comparison to visiting NYC. It’s about the same cost for meals, beauty services and so on. This isn’t necessarily a full blown negative. We lived in NYC for two years and it’s still our favorite place so clearly prices aren’t everything. Just something to consider if you’re planning to stay for an extended period of time!

It’s where the party is at. Two years ago this would have never been considered a downfall, and technically it still isn’t in my book unless you’re traveling with kids. Even so our schedule is so different than the people who are here to party that we rarely cross paths, but if for some reason you have your heart set on getting your little ones to sleep in their stroller while you have a couple cocktails after bedtime it might not be the place to make it happen (although, nothing is impossible). Our routine here has really helped us offset any issues, but it’s worth noting.

It’s crowded. We are here in peak season so it’s been really busy. That means that following your toddler’s typical schedule will work to your benefit. It’s been essential for us to head straight to the beach in the morning to get a spot, and we always find ourselves eating dinner at senior citizen hours (hah), but in this case that helps us get a table at a time where it’s not as busy.

As you can see none of these are really bad, but in the essence of full disclosure I’ve gotta tell you guys the truth!

The Perks of a Vacation Town

It’s beautiful. Hands down this is one of the most gorgeous places I’ve traveled to. The clear blue water, the gorgeous stone buildings built into the hillside, the narrow alleyways and all the stunning nooks and crannies. Basically every little detail has left me speechless and we haven’t even left the island.

The beach. I don’t know about you guys, but as a mom, I’ll take the beach over the playground every day. It feels like a win, win for both Owen and I. He gets the outdoor play and we both get to enjoy the fresh water and time together in the sun. This has been my favorite way to start our day together.

Laid back nature. Maybe it’s because I’ve never lived somewhere like this, but everything in my gut just tells me to relax. Since most people here are on vacation it doesn’t feel stuffy whatsoever. It’s calming and laid back and I love that. After living in NYC for two years, then visiting Paris and Berlin the last two months it feels so nice to be in a place that has an entirely different pace. I’m so grateful for it.

Our location. With Airbnb it can often times be a toss up with the location when you aren’t super familiar with a place, but in our case our Airbnb is absolutely perfect. We are right in the heart of all the restaurants, we’re a five minute walk to the beach and are just steps from the water.

Ability to see other islands. One of the incredible parts about staying on Hvar is that there are boats lined up and ready each morning to take you to neighboring islands. We are so excited to explore today or tomorrow and have a full length day of exploration planned next week!

Grocery shopping is top notch.
I mentioned one of the drawbacks is that it’s expensive, but people of course live here. Not everyone is a tourist and people have to get their groceries somewhere! There is a large supermarket within walking distance (I’d say 5-7 minutes or so) that has everything we need. We’ve been making an effort to do a lot of cooking here.

Delicious food. That being said, when we go out, the food is delicious. There’s plenty of incredible seafood and since we’re not too far from Italy, there’s that Italian influence too (read incredible pasta). We’ve been very happy with our meals out!

Lots of other families traveling. Since this is a tourist spot that of course brings all walks of life. There are plenty of kids here, although I wouldn’t say that’s the largest demographic. We’ve had the chance to chat with some other families who are also doing extended travel, Owen has been surrounded by other kids in the sea and it just makes you feel a whole lot more sane to see other families doing what you’re doing when you’re in our shoes.

All in all our parenting style hasn’t changed much in this vacation town. Like any new place we are thrown curve balls and are doing the best we can, but Owen has adapted so well and Zack and I have too. Timing is pretty hilarious and I think it’s pretty ironic that we lost Owen’s last pacifier and that one of our computers is no longer working since we arrived on this island. Being here I think has really given us the ability to slow down and see things clearly. These are just small hiccups and we’re working our way around them.

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  • These photos are to die for!! I’m currently working essentially 3 jobs – that and dropping my cell phone in my morning tea has really put a kink in my Instagram game – and so I have entirely missed your time in Croatia!! On my lunch break today I was drooling over the Amalfi Coast and dreaming up a trip but your photos from Croatia have also done me in. I can’t wait to catch up on your adventures when time allows!

    Keep enjoying your new location. I love the layout of your copy. Very clean and concise with bolded highlights. Awesome work!


    • Awh, thanks so much Danielle! And oh no, what a bummer about your phone. Sometimes a forced break from Instagram is just what is needed though 🙂

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