I am now 20 years old and have experienced 20+ annual family vacations. Though the locations and people may vary (my mom got remarried and I got step-siblings, cousins or friends sometimes tag along, etc.), these are the constants that I look forward to.
  1. Sitting on a leather couch, cold and damp from a long day of swimming, and inhaling hot pizza while Harry Potter plays on the hotel/cabin/condo TV
    This is weirdly specific but also DEEPLY indexical of family vacations to me. The combination of these elements is one of my favorite parts of summer.
  2. Sibling board game marathons at 1 am
  3. Morning walks with my mom
    Early enough that the air is still cool and misty, but not so that I have to set an alarm. Nobody else is allowed to join us. There is no exception.
  4. The unbreakable bond felt between my siblings and I as our parents socialize with everyone at the restaurant/pool/beach/hotel lobby
  5. Unlimited amounts of scooby doo fruit snacks at my disposal
    Family vacations are the only time that my mom buys these. I could eat them every day but I like that they are associated with such a special time.
  6. The deep exhaustion that hides itself until we have decided to watch a movie
    We spend hours trying to pick a movie that we can all enjoy and I immediately fall asleep. I'm the worst ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  7. Cold sandwiches eaten straight out of the ice chest
  8. Going to bed at 9 pm, sunburned and slathered in so much aloe that the sheets stick to me
    Also, loudly moaning in my sleep because of said sunburn.
  9. Squeezing into the very back seat and watching movies with my sister on the long car ride home
    This is simultaneously the best and worst part of vacation. I'm never ready to leave, but I love my sister.