My parents asked if we'd like to go on a vacation with some of my extended family. The vacation will be spent almost entirely at a nice hostel; we mostly want to relax and spend quality family time together. In general I've enjoyed these vacations in past years, but the last two times we've tried to vacation with my daughter (now 1 year 10 months) have been extremely difficult. My two biggest problems are:
- It doesn't look like we can get something with more than one room. This means that whenever my daughter is asleep, somebody needs to be in the room with her, with the lights off, keeping pretty quiet. (She usually sleeps 2.5 hours in the early afternoon, and goes to sleep at 9pm.)
- Meals are a central part of the vacation, with all the family sitting round together. But with a toddler they become very difficult. At home I can let my daughter run around and play if she's not eating precisely when we are. But in any kind of lodging, the dining room is large and crowded with strangers. This means she needs constant supervision throughout meals - which means either me or my wife can't really participate in the "main event."
In addition to all this, there's all the usual hassle of taking care of a kid without our full homecourt arsenal of toys, food, etc. And, on the other hand, there's not much present for her to do and to enjoy, except general running around (and getting kvelled over by the entire family).
So the bottom line is, watching my daughter becomes such a hassle under these conditions, that I (and/or my wife) have little time to actually enjoy the vacation itself.
Are there ways to avoid these problems and actually enjoy what the vacation was originally meant for? Or should we pass on this particular gathering, in favor of spending family time without vacationing, and vacation time in more toddler-friendly (or toddler-free) circumstances?
Note: This vacation is planned around a Jewish holiday, during which lots of normal everyday activities are forbidden - including using computers, phones and TVs; driving (e.g. away from the hostel); listening to music. I'd appreciate answers that took this into consideration, though for the purposes of the FAQ-for-the-ages I also welcome suggestions that ignore this limitation.