Disneyland Or San Diego?




My latest project has been to plan a family vacation for my husband, daughter, and myself. One of the biggest struggles about being a working oilfield wife (OFW) is that when he is on days off, if we are going to do any type of trip or out of town traveling I have to use my own vacation time. This usually falls more in the category of “if I have any vaca time left” seeing as most of it is spent on days the hubby is gone and the little comes down with something icky, yes these are more “my child is sick days” rather than vacation days for this working OFW.  I will be the first to admit, not being able to just up and go on my hubby’s days off is one the biggest things I envy about mothers and wives in the oilfield that stay home. With that said, trying to plan a summer family vacation that my vacation time will permit, that falls on his days off, and does not interfere with gymnastics, school, or toddler illness, can be a tiny bit challenging.

Like many of you I’m sure, I have a calendar where I highlight days at the rig and days off for my oilfield man (OFM). This calendar is not only my reference for scheduling doctor appointments, and taking dogs to the vet, but also for things like planning family trips. (If your guy is on a steady two week on two off, or something like that, I highly recommend doing this, seriously keeps our family on track through the entire year.) After checking in with my calendar, it appears the family availability for a vacation first opens up in May. Now the looming question is where do we go?

I’m a planner. I like itineraries, I prefer planning in advance, and I always like to have a budget. Seeing as it is January, this gives me just the right amount of time to plan a vacation in May. We settled on the destination of California for the first family vacation. Ok, now I am just going to throw this out there. No, we are not lame parents because this is our first family vacation and our daughter will be 4 this summer. In fact, last summer countless hours and thousands of dollars were spent renovating our house and pretty much living with a revolving door of contractors- uh yuck! The summer before that we bought our boat and felt “the lake” was vacation enough for a one year old, and the summer before that well we had a new born so enough said there. Not that I feel the need to explain myself or defend the opinion that quite possibly we are not great parents because our daughter has yet to be taken on a real vacation, but I cannot help but notice this looming judgment of measurement and one criteria is what kind and how many vacations you take a year. I’m sure the good by far outweighs the evil here, but no joke ladies, I have experienced other OFW and other oilfield families in my own sweet little Grand Junction that feel the need to judge one other by stupid crap such as the house you live in, the car you drive, and YUP you guessed out how many vacations your OFM “treats you to” uh barf! Grow up! No one cares! Ok vent over.

Back to our vacation, ok I am super excited. So yes, we settled on California for a few reasons. One, my guy hates to fly, long story but yes he hates to fly. Bottom line, vacation #1 has to be within driving distance. With that said I do foresee a tropical vacation one day in my future but most likely only after my daughter is a teenager and can help carry a sedated OFM on and off a plane. Secondly, we decided on California because we can drive and still get to a beach. We have tons of beautiful mountains and lakes in Colorado, but no beaches, so both hubby and I are both excited to take our daughter to the beach for the first time ever! Third, I only have enough vacation time for a weeklong trip, him two weeks, me five days; let’s just say you make it work with what you have right!

In California we could not decide on if this should be our “Disneyland” trip or if we wanted to do San Diego. (PLEASE COMMENT below if you have any experience or input on taking a three year old to Disneyland please ladies, because this mama is lost!)

So here is the deal, the weeklong vacation and budget could allow for either Disneyland or San Diego. At this point in time I am still torn. Because we want this to be her first beach experience and a relaxing “beachy” vacation I feel like I am leaning towards San Diego. Here is my reasoning. One, there is so much to do in San Diego for tourist. San Diego goes above and beyond Sea World and The SD Zoo, there is a Safari habitat, LEGOLAND, Whale Watching, Balboa Park, Sea Lion Tours (this one I am so excited for), The Trolley and Farmers Market, I mean the list goes on and on of low key relaxing fun family stuff! Two, the resorts! The resorts in San Diego are quite a bit cheaper than those in Anaheim and you walk out your back balcony and you are right on the ocean, not a concrete jungle! Three- the food and dining! When looking at restaurants and fun different foods and places to experience the list is never ending plus I LOVE SEAFOOD!

Then there is Disneyland. The number one thing I like about Disneyland is it is a vacation all in itself. The obvious reason this is an option for our family is we have a toddler that loves her Mickey Mouse and is in AWE of any princess no matter the amount of lipstick and glitter. In fact it could be a drag queen, and our daughter would still want a thousand pictures! More reasons why Disneyland would be incredible are that for one, you pay one price that price is steep but it is all inclusive. You pay for your hotel that is in or close to Disney land, you get your tickets with it and in some cases dining included. You are not driving here and there every day but rather just in one of the parks. This does bring up a negative though too. All the walking, I heard it can be a bit much for a toddler so take a stroller but what about me! I know she would love the rides and just the atmosphere but I am not sure how she would do in the lines; I have heard they are tedious! With either destination our three year old would still need her daily nap, however, at Disneyland every hour that clock ticks your still “paying” for that time there so do I let her nap or do I risk it, bypass nap, and possible have a cranky butt on my hands? I never got to do Disneyland as a child and I have heard it is magical so it seems like the obvious choice but still I am on the fence if she is old enough for it.

When planning a family vacation for any family there are so many factors involved. Being an oilfield family the biggest key factor is time and planning, seeing as we have our spouse or significant other for limited periods of time. I really am torn about our family vacation and what to do for many reasons but the most being I want it to be relaxing, fun, and memorable for everyone. I cannot stress the relaxing part enough, especially for my OFM, I forgot to mention our trip would end on a Sunday and he goes back on his hitch on that following Tuesday. I really am so excited about our first family vacation and I have made it a goal to start making this a yearly occurrence, but being the perfectionist I am I want to make sure everyone has a great time. If you have visited either of our options in California or have recommendations on family vacations all together I’d love to hear everyone’s input! It’s important to me to make our time as an oilfield family count because as we all know, living our lives in hitches, those moments are precious!

Feel free to also share your vacation ideas with me, find me on

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/becky.arnold.18


Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/beckyarnld/



About rebecca

Becky and her family live in the beautiful town of Grand Junction, Colorado. She has been an OFW for almost three years, has a degree in Business Management, and works fulltime as a Digital Sales Manager for a local news station. She and her husband have one three year old daughter, Riley who is sweet, sassy, and even in heels and boas likes to pretend she is a dragon, that’s right ladies a dragon. In addition to work, Becky also volunteers on a fundraising committee for a local hospital, is a marketing chair member for a local not for profit, and helps pitch in at her daughters pre-school to raise funds. In her spare time (because she has SO MUCH of it) this OFW enjoys gardening, building projects on Shutterfly, cooking, golfing with her hubby, playing volleyball, and enjoying time on the lake with her family. Follow Becky on Pinterest and Instagram.


  1. Anyone taken a toddler to Disneyland? Did they remember it?

  2. I’d say wait a few more years for Disney and stick with San Diego this time. San Diego will be much more relaxing and will allow for more of a ‘go with the flow’ kind of week together. Building sandcastles, looking for whales and sea lions and wandering around the Farmers Market will not only be fun and relaxing for you and your OFM but will allow the flexibility for naps and downtime when the little one needs it. I know people take toddlers to Disneyland all the time but for me, 3 seems a tad young still to really enjoy the experience and have lasting memories which is half the fun of taking a kiddo to Disneyland in my mind!

  3. Go with San Diego do Disney land when your little one is older and can remember it better is my opinion. Either way you will have a good time

Speak Your Mind