Make Your Family Vacation Memorable
Family vacations are tricky to pull off perfectly. Even if everything goes exactly according to plan (which it never does), chances are that certain family members (yes, the young ones) are going to dislike the destination, the chosen activities, and maybe even the very fact that they are on a family vacation. In order to prevent the vacation from slowly turning into a stressful disappointment, we’ve rounded up a list of GUARANTEED tips to make your family vacation memorable.
The destination is a collective decision
Sure, you and your partner might be excited about visiting Hawaii or the Bahamas, but this is not what a ‘family’ vacation is about – everyone deserves their chance to have fun and find enjoyment. Let your children be a part of the decision-making process here, and not just so that you can say “Hey, you picked the spot” as you shrug your shoulders, should the location end up boring and bad. In order to choose a perfect family vacation destination, you really need to want the whole family to have fun. This means that this part of planning is something that requires a thorough, organized discussion. Use Google Images, not to trick your kids into visiting something they were reluctant about, but so that they can suggest a cool destination. The key is working together, as a family!
This is definitely the most dreaded part of any vacation. Packing takes time and is absolutely zero fun. It takes responsibility – you need to dedicate a hefty portion of time each day just before heading to the vacation to make sure that you’ve brought everything. Of course, if you forget anything (except personal documents), you can buy it at your destination. However, this means you’ll waste money unnecessarily. This can be prevented by making a simple list and setting aside time for packing.
On the other hand, overpacking isn’t a solution either, as it’s often associated with frequent bursts of frustration, so pack no more than three or four outfits per kid to get you started.
Flexibility is everything
Sure, sticking to a certain routine is recommendable, but over-scheduling is a major issue during vacation time. It’s important that you go with the flow – hear the kids out, know where they want to go and what they want to do. As a rule of thumb, anything beyond one or two solid daily goals is a huge risk – if you cram too many items into your schedule, you are basically sucking all the fun out of the planned “excursion”. If you end up loving and enjoying a part of the plan, feel free to stick around – you’re on vacation, no one’s rushing you.
If you’re planning on visiting multiple spots, you’ll be staying in multiple places, but a family vacation usually has you tied to a single location. This, however, is no reason to avoid adding some turbulence to the whole experience. Think on your feet, feel free to move around – the kids will love it! For example, if you’re unsatisfied with your current stay, don’t request a new room, or a refund, pack your bags, give the motel/hotel owners some feedback, wave them goodbye and hit the streets; find a new place to stay! Of course, without efficient packing, this will be impossible, so you’ll have to pack with mobility in mind. In addition, you might want to find a cool solution for your children’s luggage. For instance, Butchers and Bicycles offers fast and safe e-cargo bikes that are just fantastic for kids – they even come equipped with an integrated motor for the uphill rides and long distances. Forget about how ridiculous your family bunch might appear roaming the streets, looking for a new place to stay – this is an exciting, fun and educational way to inject some fun into the family vacation experience; plus, it sure beats cashing out for a taxi.
Enjoy the local food
…and no, we don’t mean eating at restaurants every single day (of course, not eating in a recommended restaurant at least once would mean missing out on a whole lot). Buy local groceries, ask around, feel free to try out new stuff, use the internet to find thrilling new food recipes – this is actually very cheap and the entire experience will likely end up something you’ll remember for years to come.
One of the most important factors in having a perfect family vacation is having the guts (and the willpower) to break out of the norm. Fashion and trends are entirely trivial, try new things out instead. Be flexible, mobile, daring and active, there is a lot of time to be sedentary with your family back home.