Feb 09 2010

Top Ten Family Vacation Tips

This post is being written as part of a contest at Twitter Moms.  Bloggers have been asked to share their tips for creating a fun family vacation that is free of distractions.  Here are my top 10.

  1. Skip the DVD player.  Seriously, you can do it.  Part of the fun of the trip is seeing how you got there.
  2. Don’t spend a lot of money on souvenirs.  Take photos, buy postcards, smash a penny here and there.  Let the vacation be about remembering the time you spent together, not the stuff you bought while you were gone.
  3. Take some photos or video, but set the camera down once in a while.  It’s easy to want to record every minute, but are you really enjoying the time spent with your family if you’re constantly behind a lens?
  4. Let everyone do part of the planning.  The kids’ priorities (play at a playground, swim in the hotel pool) may not be the same as the adults’, but letting everyone have input will help get everyone on board and looking forward to their special part.
  5. Let everyone in on the plan.  Once they quit eating the paper it’s printed on, give the kids a copy of the itinerary and a map of where you’re going.  They’ll feel important, and it may eliminate some of the “are we there yet” repetitiveness.
  6. Be ready for sudden stops.  If you’re going to be within five minutes of the world’s tallest anything, take the time to stop and see it.  Some of the quirkiest and most unexpected stops make for the best memories.
  7. Eiffel Tower Paris TX.JPG

  8. Put the phone away.  You’re on vacation!  Let voicemail take your calls, and return them after the kids are asleep if you must, but let your family be your sole priority for the time you’re away.
  9. Don’t think you have to do it all.  If you’re having a great time playing hide-and-seek at Carhenge, stay and enjoy it, even if it means missing the next thing on your itinerary.  Be flexible and fully enjoy whatever you’re doing at the moment.
  10. Stonehenge II hide seek.JPG

  11. Let everyone have some time to do what they enjoy.  When you’re at the hotel, let Dad read his book, Mom take a bath, the kids have movie night.  Vacations are all about doing things together, but sometimes we each need to unwind in our own way.
  12. Talk to each other.  At the end of each day, talk about what your favorite things were.  Do the same at the end of the trip.  You may be surprised at what your family’s most memorable moments were.  Take time to share and to savor them.

What are your top vacation tips?  Please share your ideas with a comment.

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Disclosure:  By writing this post for the contest, I’ll get a $30 gas card and be entered into a drawing for a $100 gas card.  TwitterMoms and Alamo car rentals are sponsoring this contest.  Displaying the Alamo widget is part of the deal.

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Published by at 3:01 am under Family Travel
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3 comments so far

3 Comments to “Top Ten Family Vacation Tips”

  1. Susieqtpie on 09 Feb 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! Love your travel blog! Great idea on the “unexpected” stops!
    .-= Susieqtpie´s last blog ..Congrats to Author Linda Thieman for getting a Mom’s Choice Award *GIVEAWAY* =-.

  2. Sharlene on 09 Feb 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I agree with all of the but one and four. One because I have driven across a desert with two toddlers and no dvd player and it was BAD! Very, very BAD! And Four becuase I am a planning nazi and this is one area where I can’t share. I know. I’m a meanie!
    .-= Sharlene´s last blog ..Trailmix.net =-.

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