If you’re hesitating to take a family vacation because the idea of planning an entire trip intimidates you, that’s okay. A lot of people have the same experience. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to fight it and get started. It’s may not be that easy, but it can be done one step at a time. Besides, the experience will be invaluable. If you plan it well, a family vacation can be an exciting way to bond and make your relationships stronger.
If you’re a first-timer, these tips should be helpful:
Give yourself a reasonable timeframe for planning.
First of all, pick your vacation dates, regardless of whether you already know what you’ll be doing or where you want to go. Among the biggest obstacles for most is finding time and committing to the plan. So yes, whether you already know the specifics of this planned trip, block your calendar as early as possible. The idea for now is to mentally condition yourself that you will be going on a trip on those dates, and then the actual plans can follow.
Give everyone the chance to participate in making plans.
Even prior to the actual vacation, all the planning alone is already a perfect chance for the family to bond, especially the children. Being part of the planning process, they will feel more involved during vacation time and enjoy it more. If you have a tight budget, you can skip the expensive theme parks for now. Kids enjoy simpler activities like visiting the zoo.
Choose a destination that everyone will enjoy.
You can never please everyone all the time, but if you choose a destination that is appealing to all, you can come close. For instance, if you have smaller kids or older grandparents in the group, a hiking activity will surely pose problems. Hitting the beach will be just great – everybody can be as laid back or active as they want to be. For more flexibility, choose from big city destinations, where there are many sights and museums.
Establish a tradition.
A lot of people have beautiful memories of staying in the same ski lodge or beach hour year after year, and this type of pattern holds value in itself. If you begin a family ritual early on, it will more likely continue as they grow into adults.
Again, the trick is to have well-planned vacations. Even if you’re usually busy, you can always find ways to make it happen. If necessary, seek help from a travel agent. In any case, this should be a family activity that everyone looks forward to with each passing year.