"I just got back from vacation and now I really need one!" Like many parents of young children, Callie, mother of three-year-old Ethan and seven-year-old Theresa, took a summer vacation, and well, it just didn't turn out as she expected. Were her expectations too high? Did she plan the trip keeping the ages of her children in mind? Believe it or not, your summer vacation can be relaxing, fun and memorable. Here are some important things to think about as you plan your time away with some tips for making it successful.
Before you go
The success of your vacation hinges on how much you prepare for it before you even leave. The proactive parent clarifys expectations and anticipates trouble spots. Does Mom want a break from cooking? If so, don't plan on a cottage get-away where meal planning and preparation are expected. Does Dad want a pause from his weekly responsibilities? If so, then don't plan a staycation, where the temptation to answer phone calls and emails will be hard to do. Here are some tips for thinking about your vacation before you go.
During your trip
How much you try to do will have a direct relationship to how much fun you have. You might think I mean, do more have more fun, but I mean quite the opposite. Simpler is always better, especially with young children. Here are my suggestions for increasing your vacation fun.
After the fun
The best thing about a family vacation is that memories last a lifetime. Preserve that vacation feeling by taking an active role in remembering how much fun you had. Here are some tips for creating a happy ending to your summer vacation.
Good fun on a family vacation can be a reality for you this summer. With proactive planning, lots of structure and conversation, you can make family memories everyone will treasure.
Safe and happy travels to all.
Lynne Griffin teaches family studies at the graduate level in Boston and internationally. She's the author of the parenting guide Negotiation Generation, and the family novels Sea Escape and Life Without Summer. You can find her online at www.LynneGriffin.com, at www.twitter.com/Lynne_Griffin and at www.facebook.com/LynneGriffin.