My four kids brought me a plastic container full of dollar bills and loose change. The oldest happily announced, “We want to go on vacation.” Often, getting the vacation from the idea stage to a date on the calendar can be tricky. Making sure you and your spouse are on the same page is an important part of making sure everyone has great memories.
10 Questions to Consider:
1. Do we want to be entertained or educated? Is this going to be a museum/battlefield excursion or a Great Wolf Lodge stay and play?
2. How much do we want to spend? Include everything. We incorporated our weekly grocery budget into the week’s vacation fund also. Look for discounts and research meal costs.
3. Do we want to include others? Vacationing with family or friends creates great memories and lasting relationships.
4. Is this something the kids will enjoy? An amusement park may not be ideal for a family with babies and toddlers but perfect for a family with teenagers. Decide on the “divide and conquer” approach. Maybe one day Dad does breakfast and bowling with the boys while Mom and the daughter go shopping.
5. Are we over-planning? Put in a few spots of free time and be spontaneous. You don’t want to pack things you won’t use and return home exhausted.
6. Are we under-planning? Research the area ahead of time. Make sure the hotel’s waterslide won’t be “closed for repair” during your visit.
7. Are we thinking outside the box? Ask others what their “best vacation ever” was like. Letterboxing or geo-caching are nationwide scavenger hunts for adults and children. A pair of binoculars may be a welcome addition on any hike.
8. How far do we want to travel? Is an 800 mile road trip going to work with a three and five-year-old?
9. Are we packing appropriately? Never underestimate the value of a list. You do not want the panicked look of “Did we remember the bathing suits?”
10. Is our home ready for our return? It will be a welcome sight for tired travelers with beds all made, the laundry done and a freezer meal ready to go.
Vacations give each family member something to look forward to and can be a great reward for hard work. An important part of turning a dream into a reality is found in the planning. Cement your plans with a date and enjoy your vacation.
Other articles by this author:
Parenting, molding the minds of the young
Are your Children Ready to Visit a War Memorial?
Quiz: What Type of Trip is right for your family? Parents.com
Are We There Yet? By Eileen Oqintz