Traveling with multiple family members and friends can be fun and festive. Or, fraught with complications.
Proper planning can go along way toward keeping relationships and expectations intact.
Here are five tips to consider:
1. Choose wisely.
Give careful consideration to the families and friends with whom you choose to share your precious vacation time. Your favorite cousin is a great storyteller at the Thanksgiving table but are you game for an extended visit? Parents you know from the sidelines of the soccer field might show different colors in a holiday setting away from your hometown. Consider hosting a casual planning party to discuss specific destinations and details before making final plans.
Family groups often choose to share a ski cabin, beach house, or urban condo. That can mean divvying up expenses, transportation, room assignments, cleaning and cooking. Be sure to have a clearly defined plan before your holiday gets underway to avoid misunderstandings about how time and resources will be allocated.
If you sense close quarters could be uncomfortable, suggest staying in a resort or hotel where individual rooms will provide each family more time on their own.
3. Bring reinforcements or research local options.
With a covey of kids under roof, bringing along helping hands can save sanity. Your favorite neighborhood teen might jump at the chance to help out in exchange for a few dollars and the opportunity to experience your chosen destination. Trade time off during the day for evening duty, so that grown ups can enjoy a quiet dinner or a night on the town. Check with your resort or the local Convention and Visitor’s Bureau for reliable childcare recommendations.
4. Style matters.
Not everyone’s vacation attitudes and parenting styles are in sync. Before departure, consider discussing issues ranging from bedtime and use of technology to strategies for handling mealtime and clean up with the other adults. Then share expectations with your family before the fun begins. If your children typically make their beds, minimize TV time and eat what they are served, it can be awkward if their travel pals are watching cartoons while waiting for a parent to create a custom waffle and squeeze special orange juice.
5. Plan private time.
Travel and vacation planning can be overwhelming.
Certainly, there are plenty of trip ideas and experiences to consider within FamilyTravel.com. But if you are ready to take the next step, we offer the following options:
Consult with me, Lynn O’Rourke Hayes, the editor and owner of FamilyTravel.com. After traveling to more than 100 countries, and 48 of our 50 states, often with my own kids and other family members in tow, I have a few ideas to offer.
More about that here.
Consult Sally Black and her team of travel agent pros at VacationKids. Since 2000, Vacationkids has created extraordinary, customized family vacation experiences worldwide. From Disney adventures and island cruises to off the beaten path exploration, handcrafted family and multi-generational vacations (with unexpected delights) is what they do best. As Sally likes to say, “happiness is always included!"
You can take the first step in the planning process here or give her a call at 610-681-7360.
We have more ideas in the works.
But for now, we hope this moves you a little closer to a great vacation with the kids, grandkids and those you love!
Thanks for stopping by!