Study: My Understanding of Vacations

Planning Tips for a Memorable Family Vacay

If you're thinking twice - maybe a million times - about going on a family vacation because you're intimidated by the whole idea of planning one, don't worry. It's the same for many others. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't go out of your comfort zone and give it a chance. It may not be as simple as you think, but it's absolutely doable. 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:

Set a reasonable timeframe for planning the trip.

First of all, pick your vacation dates, regardless of whether you already know what you'll be doing or where you want to go. One of the biggest hurdles for most people is finding the time and committing to it. 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.

Let everyone have a part in making the plans.

Even before the actual vacation, just the planning itself can be a fantastic way to bond with the family, especially the kids. Knowing that they contributed to the plans will make them look forward to the trip and enjoy it more. If you have a tight budget, you can skip the expensive theme parks for now. Children are easy to please, and something as simple as visiting the zoo will make them happy.

Pick a destination that all 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. Going to the beach might be a better option - everyone can choose their own activity level. Big cities usually have more attractions and flexibility to offer.

Establish a tradition.

Many people cherish precious memories of staying in the same ski lodge or lake cabin on a yearly basis, and this routine offers some value. 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 you must, ask a travel agent for a little help. In any case, this should be a family activity that everyone looks forward to with each passing year.
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