For the past couple of years, I have been on a quest to discover the perfect family getaway. The sort that is as much fun for the adults as it is for the kids and vice versa. See, here’s the thing. For about the past 5 years we’ve been torn between weeklong trips to Vegas or Europe with our DINK [dual income, no kids] friends, or, the obligatory $10k trip to Disneyland that, let’s be honest, is really for the kids. No adult loves waiting on the sidelines in the hot sun.
Both vacations don’t quite sit right with us at this juncture of our lives. We can’t handle the guilt of traveling just for ourselves while we watch our son’s formative years slip by. Nor can we afford to spend $10k on an epic theme park trip that will probably be fun for him, and most likely suck a bunch for us.
The toss-up had us saying no thanks to really any vacation for the past 7 years. Until this one. And the best part, it was a THREE HOUR DRIVE away. That part is kind of embarrassing. Why has it taken us so dang long to acknowledge the proximity and wonder of Canada’s own little piece of island paradise? Heck, we could have a cottage there!
For now, I need you to know why your next click after reading this blog needs to be booking this getaway for your entire family
1. It’s a destination that all of you will actually enjoy.
If you travel with kids, you know exactly what I am talking about here. It goes like this: you set out on vacation, and you come to find that you can have either one thing or the other, but rarely both. You are either on vacation for the kids, standing in endless amusement park lineups, one eating one bland deep-fried meal after another, taking a moment to remind yourself to book that ‘adults only’ trip upon return or you are on vacation for adults, handing the kids an iPad more often that you thought you would so that you can have a few quiet minutes to yourself, feeling all the guilt. Both scenarios feel equally sacrificial. You know what I mean.
This destination has none of this. It is the perfect balance of things adults love and things kids love. Harmoniously. Not one or the other, but both together. It’s both of you having a blast. It’s each of you coming home with your own individual highlight reels. It’s coming home with that warm and cozy feeling that you spent your time wisely: you made memories, the kind that last.
In our family, I’m the low-energy foodie with a need for a decent restaurant and retail scene, and at least one solid period of quiet zen every day. Jeff is the sightseer, the history, politics, tech, and geography buff, with a keen attention for the details of hospitality, and Jude, well he’s our high-energy adventurer, our curious one, a fan of all things new and exciting. Lover of discovery.
In Cavendish PEI, We were all equally amused the entire time. It was truly a vacation that was for all of us, every age, every interest, every energy level, and every taste palette. It was a trip for all of us.
2. Booking is dead simple with VTKTO Packages.
Are you like me? Do you get so spun out on trying to research, organize and plan a family trip that you don’t actually execute? I don’t know how many times I’ve typed “Disney Trip” into search engines, choosing different dates, hoping that the best possible mix of parks, proximity, accommodation and length of stay would just find itself into one simple internet call to action? We have yet to go to Disney.
PACKAGES! Packages just make booking a trip SO. MUCH. EASIER. It’s that moment when you realize, “omg, some kind and thoughtful soul has already done the researching and planning and reduced the price for me! [CLICK]” It’s EXACTLY why Cavendish Beach’s VTKTO [vacation the kids took over] was such an easy choice for us. You just show up with your swimsuit. The think-work is all looked after.
Our vacation in particular was a ‘villa’ package, but you can choose from campground packages, hotel/motel packages, Inn packages, or even by accommodation star rating. There is really something for every type of vacationer.
3. It is a true ‘Rain or Shine’ type of place.
IT RAINED pretty much the entire 4 days that we were there. Looking at the forecast, we were hoping things would change. And when they didn’t, IT TOTALLY DIDN’T MATTER!!!! At all. There were as many things to do inside as there were outside (maybe more!) and we did not feel any loss due to the weather.
We found our way from museum to museum, laser tag to mini golf, farm to farm where we fed baby animals, AND we loved the hot tub in the rain.
And, the drops stayed away long enough for us to catch an incredible sunset, and hit up the roller coasters and the up and down thing about 20 times in a row (at Jude’s request). BTW, sometimes lines can be a good thing to slow down the spinning 😛
4. The. Food. OMG.
Can I just say: portobello mushroom wellington, perfect pan seared scallops in a white wine cream sauce, local EVERYTHING, brewpubs, and REAL WINE MENUS?! This place is a mecca of agriculture: produce, dairy, seafood, preserves. We. ate. well. And by well, I don’t mean the deep-fried everything guilty sort. By well I mean, local, ethical organic, culinary artistry, well.
And still, we were able to find a $6 classic breakfast diner, a pizza buffet, and kids KD on a menu all within a 15-minute drive.
5. It is quite possibly the most picturesque place in the world
Audible gasps were coming from both of my guys as we drove from Cavendish to North Rustico and back through the national park. We saw rolling red sand dunes, plenty of wildlife, vibrant green grass, rows upon rows upon rows of perfectly harvested fields, like something out of an Edward Burtynsky photograph, happy grazing cows, and oh, the lupins: their bright purple and pink bursts of explosive vibrant colour was everpresent.
6. Endless beaches, endless lodging, and endless beach lodging.
We stayed in a gorgeous villa, The Gables of PEI, just a 5 minute five from the main Cavendish strip. We thought we totally had it made with our sweet little villas with fully stocked kitchens and private outdoor hottubs tucked away in a wooded field of wildflowers (and we did), but unique accommodations and unique and colourful red sand beachside private cabins are peppered literally EVERYWHERE over the island. (and for those of you who understand what a bonus this is when traveling with a family… we had a washer and dryer in our room!)