So, I have not posted a blog in a while because frankly, I like to be a little more low key in the summer. Time at the pool on the weekend and evenings on the back patio grilling out slows me down. And then there is our yearly family vacation to the beach. I love the anticipation of family vacation, even though I know the planning and packing is going to be a lot of work.
Not sure about you, but I sometimes have to remind myself that on family vacation it’s not all about being able to relax. As the mom, it is more about getting the family to be able to bond and rebuild relationships. One of my favorite things to do on vacay is ask everyone what is most important to them and then make sure it happens (within reason). I like to have a family breakfast together at least one day and a walk with pictures on the beach! The kids change from year to year – this year I learned all about Pokeman Go on vacation from my 14 year old who still likes to have a mini golf outing every year.
My youngest child was all about swimming in the hotel pool this year, to the point that he proudly learned to swim while I was taking some Facebook worthy videos. And my husband, well – vacation just is not vacation if he does not get time to relax and exercise every morning and end the night with time out on the balcony listening to the ocean waves.
Here are some tips for family vacation:
#1. Find ways to stay within your budget. Vacation should not be so costly that it creates more family stress. So some years, you may want to choose a less expensive vacation such as camping or a shorter vacation to keep the costs within reason.
#2. Ask every family member what is important to them about this year’s vacation. What activities would they like to do with the family. Encourage everyone to show interest in each person’s vacation interests. If you are at a destination for several days, there should be enough time to do some activities that everyone enjoys.
#3. Find ways to bond by doing some activities where there are not lots of people swarming around. Tourist destinations and theme parks can be a lot of fun, but leaving some time on family vacation for time away from crowds is essential to rebuilding family connection.
#4. Make sure everyone gets a vacation. Even Mom and Dad. This one is a little tougher with a big family, but the point is that everyone needs some time to relax. In our family, the older children care for our younger child a couple of times on vacation to allow for my husband and I to have a date night. There is Mom and kids time on vacation to allow for Dad to lounge by the pool and exercise a few times. And even Mom gets a little time away to shop or get her hair done while Dad and kids are swimming.
#5. If there is any family conflict brewing before vacation, try to resolve them before hand so family vacation can be restful and positive.
#6. Think outside the box for your vacation. If you are tired of the yearly touristy trip, perhaps you can spend a week in another city doing a service project. Some families go to a retreat cabin and just play games, cook meals together, and have family meetings to talk about family goals and plans for the next year. Whatever floats your boat!
#7. Remember that research shows that there are many good reasons to take a vacation, not only for your physical health but for your family’s emotional health – so if you haven’t had a vacation for a while be sure to plan something special and restful today!
To hear more ideas for how to rebuild family relationships on vacation, please tune into my Radio Show tomorrow, July 28 at noon. Contact Me with questions or to schedule a relationship coaching appointment.