It’s that time of year again! Time for vacation bound families to pack up the family vehicle and head out on the road towards their destination of choice. If you are like me, you will spend months planning and anticipating your vacation only for it to be over in a blink of an eye. Not to mention that it always seems like you return home from vacation more tired than when you left! If this sounds like you, don’t worry there are several ways to make your vacation more memorable (and enjoyable) for everyone. Read on for my top 7 tips on how to make your vacation more memorable this year.
While I am not suggesting that you take 100 photos of every tourist location at your destination, documenting your vacation through photos or video will help to memorialize the vacation for years to come. See a building whose architecture you love? Photograph it. Visit an amazing mountain peak or gorgeous beach? Photograph it. Great family photo opportunity? Photograph it. Don’t spend all your time snapping photos but be sure to keep a camera handy so that you can try to capture all those awesome moments that you will want to remember for a lifetime.
When most people think of vacation, they think of relaxing on a beach or boating on the lake. However, the most memorable vacations are those in which you challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone. Participating in an activity that you would not normally participate in can be a great way to create memorable moments. Your challenge doesn’t have to be anxiety inducing such as activities like skydiving or bungee jumping. You could challenge your family to a guided hike along the mountainside or even a mental challenge such as learning 10 new facts about the city you are visiting. The idea is to do something that you have never done before.
Vacation is supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable so why do you feel like you need a vacation from your vacation? We often try to squeeze so many activities into our itineraries because after all, its vacation and there’s so many fun things to do. Unfortunately, doing too much just leaves us feeling extra tired and stressed. When planning your vacation, it is wise to get the entire family’s input regarding vacation activities. As you plan your itinerary, be sure to leave a few hours each day for quiet time. In fact, some families even opt to plan entire days in their schedule for “down-time”. Quiet time may be a little more difficult to achieve for families with younger children but hopefully even a few minutes of time to yourself will help to recharge you batteries for the next adventure.
Get A Great Souvenir
Admit it! Somewhere in your closet you still have your pair of Mickey Mouse ears from your first trip to Disneyland as a kid or maybe it’s the teddy bear that you won playing the games at the arcade on your family’s beach vacation. Souvenirs are wonderful keepsakes that often spark fond memories of our past travels. Souvenirs can remind us of a person, a place, or maybe even just a particular moment in time. A great souvenir doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be meaningful and provide us with a warm memory of a fun time.
The Element of Surprise
How amazing would it be if you woke up one morning only to find out that you are going on a trip? Great, right?! Now imagine how excited your family would be if you surprised them with the same news? Planning a surprise around a family vacation creates a sense of excitement and joy for both those planning the surprise and those receiving it. If you do decide to surprise the family with a vacation, don’t forget to take video when you announce the surprise. Chances are you will catch a few priceless reactions and will have a great family moment on video to be enjoyed for some time to come.
Keeping a diary isn’t just for teen girls anymore. Purchase an inexpensive journal or notebook and write down all of your amazing vacation experiences. Writing down your experiences will help you to remember the best parts of each trip long after the memories begin to fade. This is also a fantastic way to reinforce writing skills with beginners while they are off for summer break.
Group Get Together
Traveling with friends can be a great way to vacation for many reasons. In addition to sharing trip expenses (which can be costly depending on where you go), the adults in the group can also share child care responsibilities so that everyone has the opportunity to spend some quality time with their spouses or even by themselves. Not to mention that parents tend to hear the phrase “I’m bored” much less often when children have other children their age with whom they can play. Group travel will require more planning on your part, but all the extra smiles will be well worth it.
Regardless of what your family chooses to do this summer, whether it be a 2 week vacation abroad or a 2 day “staycation” at home, be sure to schedule in plenty of hugs, laughter, and happiness. After all, what’s better than quality time with the family?