Six Steps to the Perfect Family Vacation
Family vacations are a great and interesting way to bond with your family and make memories that will last a lifetime. But without proper planning, even the best of intentions can go awry. Do you remember National Lampoon’s Vacation? In the 1983 film, all Clark Griswold wanted for his family was to bond and have the time of their lives, but due to poor planning things went awry.
Don’t be like Clark Griswold! Plan your family vacation to the fullest.
To make sure you have the best family vacation ever, follow these six simple tips:
Tip No. 1: Choose the Right Destination
Any good vacation starts with the right location. When making this decision, don’t just think about what you like. What do your kids enjoy? What makes them happy? Fortunately, with the plethora of options out there, there are ways to please everyone in the family.
When considering your destination, be sure that the accommodations cater to kids and families, with amenities such as family friendly condos and hotels and activities for every age to enjoy.
Tip No. 2: Mind Your Wallet!
Make a clear financial plan for your vacation, as they tend to get expensive very quickly. If you want to vacation on a budget, consider looking for a beachfront location that offers home rentals with kitchens. These are often cheaper than hotel rooms and provide an opportunity for you to cook your own meals, which is a surefire way to save money!
Tip No. 3: Give Everyone Their Alone Time
There’s that tender and dangerous time between afternoon activities and dinner where everyone wants to bite each other’s heads off. Designate this time as decompression time. For parents, maybe it’s time to soak in some sun and have a cocktail, or maybe read a book. For the kids, maybe it’s nap time or a chance to decompress and write in their journal. Either way, it will help the family feel refreshed and ready for more bonding time when dinner rolls around.
Tip No. 4: Plan Activities Ahead of Time
While it’s great to have some relaxation days, there should be a relative amount of structure to family gatherings on vacation. For example, if you’re near a city, designate one day to go see museums, and another day to do shopping and browsing. That way, everyone gets to do what they want and there’s no cramming involved.
Tip No. 5: Unplug
Now is an ample time to institute a ‘no technology’ rule. Banning the use of smart phones may seem like a drag to teens at first, but they’ll be having so much fun by day two that they won’t even miss their phone. If absolutely necessary, allow for phone time during alone time and at night in the hotel room.
Tip No. 6: Take Pictures!
While everyone takes smart phone pictures these days, try something different: buy each member of your family one or two disposable cameras and have them use up the film throughout the course of the vacation. The result will be a surprising and unique recollection of family vacation memories from all members. Reference links.