My love for travel was instilled in me early by my family. Growing up, I was lucky enough to be able to visit a new place almost every year. Sometimes destinations were nearby and only a short drive away; for others, we would venture a little farther. Some of my favorite memorable vacations were a trip to Colorado and my first out-of-country experience as a teen in Nova Scotia.
Oftentimes, these trips included the whole family: My siblings, their spouses and their children, too. So while I haven’t had the distinct experience of traveling with my own children, I’ve looked in on the process for a handful of trips with my nieces and nephews. I’m sure I don’t have it all figured out, but here are a few things that I think make for the perfect family getaway.
A Wide Range of Activities
Let’s face it: If you’re traveling with the whole family, it’s likely there’s a lot of different expectations for the trip. Kid No. 1 might love adventurous activities; kid number two might prefer to lay on the beach with a book. Not to mention, the adults might want to drink margaritas on the deck. Making an agenda that accommodates a little bit of what everyone wants to do will make for a more memorable trip.
Acknowledgment of Limits
People have different travel styles — and this is true within immediate families, as well. Some love to pack their days full of activities to be able to see as much as possible. Others like to take it slow and see where the day takes them. And some just want to relax as much as possible. Be conscious of family members’ preferences, kids’ nap times, and remember that travel can be a little more exhausting than realized for some in your party.
Pro tip: You can split up and still have a memorable vacation. Maybe one parent takes a kid rock climbing while another guardian reads a book during nap time. This applies to adult families when traveling, too.
A Willingness to Try New Things
Full disclosure: This one can backfire on you. Just ask my family about a deep-sea fishing trip where my dad insisted to me that seasickness was just “mind over matter.” But while I spent three hours on the deck floor with my head in a bucket, I watched some other people catch some huge fish … and someone even brought their tiny shark that they caught in for me to see. New experiences can become great memories … and sometimes great stories.
Ice Cream, Lots of Ice Cream
If I can think of one constant among family vacations in the last 30 years, it’s ice cream. It almost seems like a crime to go on vacation and not get a cone … or one every night.
Don’t forget to share your family travels with us this summer! We want to see what unique, new things you try or destinations you visit. Share your photos with us on social media using #LivePlayDo.