Its summertime and that means one thing – family vacations. Whether you plan to go to the mountains or the beach, whether you are a family of two or a family of twelve, the following tips should help make this vacation a good one:
The operative word in “vacation” is “vacate”
When you leave for vacation, really leave. Leave your laptop, your Blackberry and your briefcase at home. I’m sure what you do is important but I doubt you’re in the business of ending world hunger or curing cancer. The work will be there when you return to the office.
Also you don’t need to “check in” to the office every other day. They’ll do fine with out you. It’s a good idea to let a couple of people know how to reach you in case of an emergency. Most people however should not know how to contact you.
A vacation is not the time to get to know your family again
Hopefully if you have a family you are going away to relax and spend time with them. However if you pay little or no attention to your children or spouse throughout the year, don’t expect some instant closeness when you’re all crammed in one or two hotel rooms for two weeks and in each others faces twenty-four hours a day. The time to get to know family members is through out the year. That way when you do go away you can have uninterrupted time with people you genuinely know and like.
Plan a vacation that will appeal to each family member
The word “vacation ” means different things to different people. Some family members will want a getaway that is packed with activities. They will want to be on the go from sunup to sundown. Other members may like the idea of a quiet cabin by the lake and a good book. The idea of bringing friends along and visiting lots of people is appealing to some members. Others may want the “family” vacation to be just that and may not want to spend time with folks who are not part of the immediate unit. Talk about people’s ideas for “getting away from it all” and design your trip to accommodate as many different wishes as possible.
Expand your time frame
If possible and practical consider adding a day or two to your trip. Leaving on a Thursday and returning on a Monday makes for a much more relaxed journey, This is especially true if you are driving, as you will have much less traffic with which to deal. If you have small children consider driving at night.
Stay away as long as you’ve planned
Resist the idea of returning a day or two early to “reacclimate yourself.” You’ve been away at the beach for two weeks. You’re not returning from a trip to Mars. Let the grass wait one more day before you mow it. Gradually put the suitcases and clothes away over two or three days. One way or another, within a week the house will look like you never left.
Bottom Line:Vacations are a great time to relax, recharge your batteries and make wonderful family memories. To insure this will happen requires a little planning and the right frame of mind.