It’s that time again. Families are gathering up in their station wagons, going though airport security, and trying hard not to argue as they have to hear the same song Over. And over. Again.

Are we there yet?

Tips for Family Trips

Vacations are happy times meant to rekindle the familial bonds. But all that sunshine does not guarantee a bright day. Use these tips as a guide for your family vacation, and you’re certain to have an enjoyable trip.

  1. Divide and Conquer- Depending on the destination spot your family may have different ideas about what and where to explore. If time is limited you might find you never got to see the Statue of Liberty. Even though you were in New York. Plan ahead and go over the agenda and find out what is important to whom. Once everyone has their wishlist drawn out you can divide off to conquer, or go solo.
  2. Plan Enough Time- This is especially true if you are traveling with kids. There will be more bathroom breaks than you imagined. More reasons to stop and pick up a rock. And walking through heavy sand after a hot day in the sun is bound to take a little while for your little one. Avoid time restraints that will stress you out when the clan isn’t on the same page.
  3. Ditch Your Technology– Use your family vacation as an opportunity to get to know your family and reconnect. This means ditching your internet connection. Family time should be treated as such and you’ll be living in the present if you sign off from social media. Make family your priority and leave Facebook for awhile.
  4. Avoid Heated Conversations– If it’s been awhile since you’ve visited with some family members there may be some unresolved conflicts between you. Whatever the matters are, make them bygones on your family vacation. Avoid sensitive subjects and don’t make the mistake of getting drunk and telling off your Uncle Jack. Even though you want to. It’s a bad idea.
  5. Split the Expense- If you’re taking an extended family vacation make sure you do your part and chip in on expenses. This is especially true if a relative is providing the lodging. Stop by the store and stock up on sundries and don’t take advantage of the generosity your family is extending you. If you want to return on a family trip next year, the costs have to make sense for everyone involved.
  6. Be Grateful- It’s not every day we can sit and relax or experience new adventures with those that we love. Family vacations can be hectic, stressful, and they cost some money. Make sure that money is well spent and remember why you’ve planned the trip, to begin with. Be grateful you have a family you love and enjoy this time spent.
  7. Recognize Limits- Don’t drag your kid allover during a family vacation and then expect a happy camper later. Know the signs of discontent and pay attention to nonverbal cues that it’s naptime. This is even truer if it’s hot out, you’ve been standing at a theme park all afternoon, and walking has become the largest activity as of late. Get your family into some air conditioning or go back to your hotel and catch a nap. Everyone will be happier when they’re well-rested and well-fed.

Surviving a family vacation takes lots of patience, planning, and a go with the flow attitude. Lower your expectations and you’ll have more fun than you could have ever planned. Put that on your itinerary.

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