8 Ways To Have a Successful Family Vacation
Family vacations are often the highlight of your year. However, they are not always full of sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes, tensions are running high within the family and not everyone gets along as well as you would like them to. As strange as the concept may be to think about, family vacations are all about compromise. You have to make sure that the activities you decide to partake in are varied enough so that everyone in the family remains satisfied and has his or her interests satiated. Here are eight tips to make your next family vacation great.
1. Know Everyone's Interests
As mentioned above, everyone in your family will likely have differences in the things they find interesting. As a family, you likely share some interests, but they are likely not universal. If one of you prefers to stay indoors and you are on a beach vacation, try to find an indoor activity, such as a museum, to appease that person. Likewise, if you are on a tour of historical sites and someone is more interested in something you pass by along the way, consider taking a short detour. Compromise is the key to a happy family.
2. Pick the Right Restaurants
Your family members' taste is food is likely even more varied than their taste in activities. While you are on vacation, you will likely be eating out more often than normal. Many restaurants are good at providing variety in the food they serve, but sometimes the pickiest eaters cannot find something to eat at even the most accommodating restaurants. Different cities and countries around the world often have foods that they specialize in, so encourage your family to try those foods whenever they are available. However, remember to keep people satisfied with the food they are eating.
3. Mind Walking Distances
People often do a fair bit of walking while on vacation, but whiny kids and aging relatives can sometimes inhibit your ability to walk everywhere you would like. Be aware of how people react to long walking distances, and accommodate them based on that. If you ever find yourself googling "where to get breakfast near me", pay close attention to the distance from your current location. There are almost always several restaurants within a comfortable walking distance of the hotel or rental house where you are staying. There are several online tools that can help you map short routes around where you are staying.
4. Bring Tools for Entertainment
This point is especially important if you have young children with you. Small children are easily distracted and bored, and an unsatisfied child can singlehanded ruin your vacation experience. Always have a purse or other bag that is full of toys, snacks, or other items to keep kids entertained. These things can be helpful for long car rides, walks on nature trails, or extended stays on the beach that can feel boring to children. Even older kids can sometimes need some help passing the time when things get boring.
5. Plan Ahead
Family vacations are filled with poorly conceived plans that constantly go wrong. That is inevitable. However, you can do your best to circumvent any potential disasters by coming up with solid plans and backup plans. Always try to book your activities in advance so that you do not show up somewhere that is full or closed. If you cannot book in advance, you should always have a backup plan for a place to eat or an activity to do if something goes wrong. The most successful vacations happen when there are multiple options for things to do.
6. Stay Healthy
Vacations are a time for you and your family to relax and unwind. This process of relaxation often involves letting go and not concerning yourselves with health and wellness. This is fine. You deserve a break from keeping up your diet and exercise routine. However, if you do want to remain healthy while away from home, consider foregoing eating out and instead buy some basic supplies at a local grocery store to make simple meals. You can also use the gym that is available in most hotels or create a new way to get your exercise outside of your normal routine.
7. Do Not Schedule Too Much
Vacations are the time to have new experiences with the people you love the most. However, it is not only possible but likely that you will end up scheduling too many activities and spending too much time together. For that reason, it is necessary to schedule downtime for everyone to wind down and not have to worry about anything else. You can spend this time on the beach, in your hotel room, or wherever else makes you and your family the most comfortable. You can even spend time apart if that helps you stay sane.
The most important thing you can do on a family vacation is to relax. Not everything will go according to plan, and there is nothing you can do about it. When something goes wrong, sometimes the only thing you can do is laugh it off and move on. Do not displace your anger onto your family because that will make everyone miserable. Instead, just shrug your shoulders and find a way to move on. You will be happy that you did and so will your family. Your attitude matters more than any experience you might have on a trip.
Not only are family vacations the most enjoyable times of the year, but they are some of the most important as well. They are the best time for your family to bond with one another. You are forced to be in close quarters for several days at a time, and no matter how much everyone drives you insane, you are still spending quality time together. If you can follow these tips to keep everyone satisfied during your family vacations, then whatever trips you decide to take in the future will be fun and prosperous for everyone.