1. Spend all summer being too busy to plan a vacation until the week before you go.
2. Come up with a list of impractical ideas.
3. Choose the option that involves staying at a friend’s country cabin, because every other option is too expensive, booked up, sold out, or unseasonable.
4. Three days before you leave, once all the arrangements have been made, take your daughter to the doctor to determine she has walking pneumonia.
6. Make sure the cabin is far enough away that it involves a long time in the car with kids.
7. Remember to put the keys with the impossible-to-miss log cabin lettering all over the gigantic key fob on the hook closest to the back door so you don’t forget them.
8. Forget them.
9. Remember that you forgot them 45 minutes after you left home.
10. After finally getting away on a wonderful vacation and sharing all kinds of new and exciting experiences with your children — seeing how cows are milked and sheep are sheared, making chocolate, riding horses, looking up at more stars than they ever could have imagined in one sky — try to cherish the fact that when your daughter is asked what she did on her vacation, she vividly recalls having to pee behind a bush. And only that.