There is nothing like summer vacation to lift the spirits- except perhaps spending time with grandchildren. Put the two together and you can have a taste of heaven. I had the recent good fortune of spending time on vacation with each of my two sets of Grandkids. Those times together were the perfect opportunity to make lasting memories.
This time of year many families are vacationing or attending family reunions with multiple generations. Families are the good news and bad news here. It is great to be together until it’s not, if you know what I mean. Some good planning can help ensure that everyone goes home with only happy memories.
Here are a few simple tips that I have learned along the way that can make your family vacation wonderful:
- Have a point person for arrangements. Coming from a large family of eight siblings, I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Give this job to the person who is most capable of managing the moving parts and the relationships. A family project manager, if you will.
- Discuss money ahead of time. Create a budget for the vacation that everyone can live with and have a clear understanding about who is paying for what.
- Make sure everyone has their own space. If you rent a big house be sure there are separate bedrooms, especially for the older family members. If you are staying at hotels, have separate rooms. This way if someone needs a break from the chaos, they have a quiet place to go.
- Find activities that can accommodate everyone’s physical abilities-keep in mind mobility of older folks and younger kids.
- Clearly communicate expectations for togetherness ahead of time. Does the family want to do all activities together? Or will you have a more “do your own thing” mentality?
- Deliberately create opportunities for intergenerational interaction. Perhaps parents go out for an evening, leaving the kids with grandparents. Or, have activities that encourage the older generation to teach youngsters a skill or craft, and the younger ones can teach their elders, perhaps about some aspect of technology.
- Relax and have fun-you are on vacation! Let go of petty annoyances before they have a chance to become a thought. Keep the end game in mind-happy memories for everyone.
Research shows that it is experiences, not material goods that make us happy. Take time out this summer to have wonderful family time that will provide you with memories that last a lifetime.
Be Well on Purpose!