Believe it or not, summer is going to be here before you know it. Aside from those that long for skiing, snowboarding and other winter activities, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t in some way looking forward to the warm weather and all that comes along with it. After being cooped up inside for what feels like an eternity, it feels great to spend some extended periods outside, soaking up nature and having a great time with others.
For families, this means it’s time to start planning a vacation. It’s tempting to pass up on planning one this year or say ‘I’ll wait until later’, but right now, during the down time is the perfect time to start thinking about family activity holidays so it doesn’t sneak up on you all of a sudden. Even though it may seem like you have a lot of years ahead of you to do these kinds of things with your family, you will be amazed at how fast time goes by and laying a good foundation early will pay off in the long run for maintaining positive relationships.
Here are some pointers for planning perfect family summer holidays.
1. Time Frame
There are some things you can do as a family that don’t really require any long term planning, like a day trip to a shopping mall or even to a beach (which really only requires nice weather – which can be impossible to plan for!), but it never hurts to think about approximately when you want to do something special. Are you going to hold off until the end of the summer or right at the very beginning? Is it going to be a day activity or a week? By starting the planning process early, you can be aware of things like peak season and book tickets well in advance to avoid possible disappointment.
Money really is a huge part of taking a family trip and right next to time as the one thing people wish they had more of. Plan for your means so you don’t worry about paying it off later. Save $20.00 here and there, cut down on frivolous expenses, or perhaps use a tax calculator to determine your refund so you can put a larger chunk of change away. It doesn’t matter what age your kids are, the time spent with you is more important than the amount of money spent – kids can delight in a walk on a nature path just as much as jetting off to Italy.
This is especially important if you’re planning a trip with young kids, as travelling too far (by any means of transportation) can be more of a pain than it’s worth. Consider doing small trips from home with very young children and maybe extending to include a hotel, caravan or campground stay once they get a little older. Try to allot enough time to get to and back from wherever you’re going so you don’t feel rushed and can enjoy as much of your time as possible.
Most importantly of all, figure out what you want to get out of the experience. Are you planning a family vacation for yourself or for your children? It’s best to centre most of the experiences around your children’s enjoyment and exposing them to new ideas and adventures, but every now and then it’s important to throw in something that you enjoy, because kids need to see that you have interests too and because you are a part of the family as well. Have a clear goal in mind when you start planning your trip and you’ll see that your summer vacations have focus and are much more enjoyable for all involved!