If you are like me, when you work hard in your profession, when you take a family vacation you want to get down to the business of relaxing as quickly as possible. I don’t know how many times I have heard colleagues lament the fact that they only “unwound” and began to enjoy their vacation a day or two before it ended. If the point of a vacation is refreshment (and reconnection with your family), then you want to assure that you dive right into the experience rather than hoping that things come together. A great way to do this is with a little planning.
The Value of a Little Planning
For most of my life, vacations destinations were selected, and then executed once we arrived. Sadly, I can’t remember much about most of these family vacations, and I suspect that my children can’t either. Things changed a few years ago, and I am on year number three of well planned and executed vacations – the ROI of a little research ahead of time goes a long way toward creating the kind of memories and experiences that your family will carry with them forever.
I am an ideas and logistics person by nature – I like to set a vision for something and then figure out how to make it happen. If this isn’t you (or if the thought of doing this induces panic) , then perhaps you need to engage the services of a personal travel planner from a place like JetSetter. I truly believe, however, that we know our families best, and a custom trip with our family in mind will provide much more satisfaction.
So, What Does this Take?
In the end, you need to be thoughtful about the types of things your family will enjoy. I am certainly not going to plan another east coast beach vacation for my family – the last time I did this my youngest son asked me, “Dad, why did you take us to the beach when we live just a few miles from the beach?” His question was valid – there isn’t anything wrong with a beach vacation (and I love nothing more than to sit on the beach and read books!), but there are so many other things that we could do as a family that would be memorable.
If you aren’t up for a little work up front, I can’t help you. But if you are willing to roll up your sleeves, and invest now for some great future returns, then you have some great trips in store. Stay tuned for some of the ideas that have worked well for our family (including our success “adding-on” a vacation to a scheduled trip), and feel free to share yours with me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.