Take Time to Do Things Everybody Likes
It goes without saying that your kids idea of fun might be much different than yours. So let everybody have a hand in selecting your trip’s activities, and try to compromise when it’s not something you absolutely love. Respect each other’s differences, and try new things. You might just find you’re a fan of something you once thought you hated.
Zip lining remains on my “won’t try” list, but nothing makes me happier than to watch my kids soar across the sky. Whatever your family members’ interests may be, just make sure to create time for everybody to do something they enjoy.
Learn Something New Together
A big part of the fun of travel is seeing new places and trying new things. Keep an open mind and find something that’s new to all of you so you can share that fun, first-time experience together. Learn to surf, try yoga, go dancing, take a cooking class, or do something silly like rollerblading. Your kids will be impressed at your curiosity and sense of adventure. (Wait, you mean Mom is actually cool?)
Things like this keep your kids curious while getting them out of their comfort zone. By encouraging your children to practice bravery, try new things and not be afraid of taking risks or looking silly, you’re teaching them important life skills.
Personal Tips Based on My Family’s Trips
In late August each summer, we go away for seven to 10 days on our “big trip.” We’ve driven along the coast of California, hiked and biked in Whistler, Banff and Lake Louise in British Columbia, and zip lined in Costa Rica. After my kids reached high school, we followed our wanderlust farther abroad to places like Spain, Ireland, Portugal, and this year, Switzerland.
When planning our activities, we like to mix it up. We plan for some good old-fashioned fun (like a mud obstacle course in Ireland), time to experience the local culture, and of course, lots and lots of eating!
You’ll know that you’re having a successful family vacation when everyone’s able to forget about their overloaded schedules, put down their digital devices, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Traveling with the whole family can seem like a big undertaking, but it’s one that will reward you with lasting memories for years to come. Not only will your travels strengthen your bonds as a family, but your kids (and you) will grow as individuals, and they’ll learn important life skills. That just comes with the territory when you travel together.
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