Going on vacation can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you are hopefully going to enjoy some much-needed time away relaxing with your friends, family, or by yourself. On the other hand, it can be time consuming to plan and prepare for a trip, depending on how long it is and what you might be doing during your time away. The stress can double, sometimes triple, when you are planning a family vacation because there are more people involved and more things to think about. If you have young children, you know that you will be the one responsible for making sure everything gets packed and figuring out what they need to bring in the first place. The best way to keep the stress level to a minimum is to develop a system or process to keep things organized and in motion. I like to make lists, so I thought putting together a list of important things to think about might be helpful.
Make Sure You Schedule Me Time
Like I mentioned before, one of the most important parts of a vacation is having the ability to unwind and decompress. This can be hard when you are traveling with your family. As much as you love your spouse and children, you probably need a break from them. Scheduling yourself something along the lines of a massage, or even a quiet hour on the beach reading a book, will pay off big time when it comes to how well you will be able to enjoy everything else that you have planned. Your family will thank you in the end and you will feel fresh and rejuvenated.
Choose the Right Location
When deciding where you want to spend your precious vacation time, you want to think about what you picture yourself doing during the day. I have found that if you can find somewhere that is both fun and interesting like the Biltmore, it keeps things a little more exciting compared to going somewhere solely because of the proximity to the beach. Having a historical residence, or some sort of nature tour built into your vacation is a great way for your kids to have a great time while learning a little something along the way.
Let Everyone Have a Say
I find that with a husband who wants to golf all day, and a teenage daughter who would rather scope out boys on the beach, my five-year-old son ends up losing out on valuable quality time with his family because no one else wants to go see the Lego exhibit, or spend the week at Harry Potter World. A great way to make sure everyone has a good time and we all spend time together is a two-part process. The first compromise is choosing the location. We usually go on vacation twice a year, once in early summer and again around the holidays. I like to alternate who gets to choose the location. Of course, my husband and I have final say, but it lets the kids, and each of us, have a chance to do something we enjoy, while bonding with the family.