Putting the Fun Back in Family Vacations

Have some of your family vacations been reminiscent of a Chevy Chase movie, but not so funny?

Are you dreading your upcoming vacation but hoping this time will be better?

The key to a successful vacation is in the planning and the approach that you take with your kids in the planning process.   Here are some suggestions to prevent summer vacation disaster:

  • Give your children 2-3 choices of where to vacation.  All the choices should be acceptable to you as the parent, i.e. acceptable cost and a destination you desire
  • Give the kids 2-3 choices for daily activity
  • Plan one activity that each family member chooses
  • Plan at least one activity alone for parents (arrange for a babysitter or a supervised activity for your children)

The best way to plan a vacation is with a family meeting.

Plan on 1 hour for the meeting; post an agenda on your refrigerator for everyone to see and invite their additional agenda items.  Serve treats or a family favorite food. Even young children can and should have input.

Ask someone to serve as a secretary to take notes.  Follow-up meetings may be required and it is preferable to rotate which family member runs the meeting.

It is a good idea to set the meeting on a consistent day and time.  Any family member who chooses not to participate in the meeting will be subjected to whatever the rest of the family plans.

A family that plans together will have a better time together …

Enjoy your vacation!