Thinking of embarking on a vacation with the whole fam soon? I think that’s a great idea! But I also think you should put some thought into some do’s and dont’s before you hit ‘book vacation’. A couple years ago, Nate and I went on a family vacation to Cape Cod and Niagara Falls with his parents and siblings and while we got to see some awesome stuff, there’s definitely some things we learned along the way. Here’s my suggestions below…
- Limit the Number of People: The word ‘family’ can be a broad term so let’s just stick to immediate family as far as who will be going on this trip with you. So that would be parents and siblings and their S/O’s. Any more than that would be mega stressful I can imagine. There were 7 of us on our family trip and that was plenty! The more people you have, the more people you have to consider and keep track of.
- To Fly or to Drive: Now that you’ve got your number of people decided on, how are you going to get there? We drove on ours and it took two days and two cars to get to our destination. Looking back, I would say it would be more expensive, but also more efficient to fly instead. This is because you have to stop so many times with that many people for breaks, as well as for gas with that many cars and hours on the road. It makes getting there even more of a lengthy drive. If your family is small-choose the car and hit the road. If it’s a big group-fly baby, fly.
- This is No Time for Spontaneity: Leave last minute decisions and activities at home, people. When you’re traveling with X amount of people, you’re going to want to plan out EVERYTHING and thus get all your tickets and seats purchased ahead of time.
- Speak Up: Don’t be afraid to tell the group if there’s something you want to see or do while on your trip. As long as you say so ahead of time (see Tip #3), then it should be fair game for anyone who wants to add in an activity. This is your vacation, too.
- Find Alone Time: If your family doesn’t go for that activity you want to do, then this would be a great opportunity to do something alone. You’ll get sick of each other if you spend every waking minute together. Spending at least a day or evening apart on a multi-day trip is no big deal and it will give you a breather from the group.
- You Don’t Have to Stay the Whole Time: Is this a week long trip as opposed to a long weekend getaway? If so, be part of the vacation for as long as you feel comfortable. Whether it be because you can’t get away from work, or you’re concerned with spending that much time together with everyone, I’m sure your family will understand if you can only stay for part of the time. I’ll bet they would rather you do that than not come at all, so don’t feel obligated to stay the whole week.
- Discuss Your Financial Contribution: This can be brought up when everyone is talking activities to do on the trip, but I would definitely ask what your expectations are so you can budget accordingly. Are you paying for one part of the whole trip, only your needs, or nothing at all? However y’all work it out, I would at least have some kind of idea of what you’ll be spending.
There you have it! Those are my best tips to offer you if you’re planning a family vacation. The most important thing to do of course is to have fun and make memories!