A family vacation is about quality time together as a unit. Going on vacation is the perfect way to get a break from life and can help you to relax or explore other cultures. For families, it can mean an enforced period of time together that only goes to cause frustrations and disagreements that are even more magnified. It is vital that we come away from our vacations feeling like we have spent quality time as a family getting to know each other. So what does it really take to ensure that you are gelling as a unit and are making those genuine connections?
Working Together on Planning
It sounds simple, but the best way to include every member of the family begins before you even set foot out of the front door. Usually, parents can take the reins and plan the whole vacation, but that doesn’t mean that you should not include your children in the planning process.
If you decided that, for the sake of the family, you would be better off renting a villa or accommodation, asking your kids to look for the best villa rentals in Miami Is a very simple thing that can create a massive list, where you all work together to whittle down to the best possible solution for you all.
It’s something that can help you get closer together before you leave, and it also means that everybody has a say in what they would like to do. As parents, we can very easily take charge of the situation, thinking that it is going to benefit the family if we do X, Y, and Z. When your children have a say in what you should all do, this is a far more equal sharing of responsibilities and will make them more excited before they head off.
Disconnecting, so You Are Connecting
This is one of the toughest things that everybody experiences. We can all feel distracted by technology, and if you are making a concerted effort to spend quality time with your loved ones on vacation, you’ve got to disconnect. You may feel that temptation to check in on social media so everybody knows that you’re in the queue for Space Mountain in Florida, but the best that you can do before you head off is to disable notifications on your phone.
Arguably, the best thing you can do is to leave your phone at home and just have a prepaid phone in case of emergencies. But of course, most of us use our phones as a camera. Photos are a fantastic way to commemorate parts of your vacation, but it’s critical that when you are disconnecting from technology, get the balance right and make sure that you’re not behind the camera all the time. It’s important to remember that, in terms of getting those good-quality pictures, you only need to snap a few. In addition, you may also want to change who uses the camera, ensuring that everybody has the opportunity to be in the moment.
Some people love to be in charge of the camera, but you’ve got to remember that as a family, you are there to spend quality time together as a unit. It’s critical that you commit to being part of the moment. Disconnecting from technology is one of the toughest things that we can all do, which is why you need to start getting into the habit before you leave.
We all end up checking emails because we’ve had a notification, and the best thing you can do before you head away is to start reducing all of those digital distractions. This means unsubscribing from your email list and only having the essential emails come through, and of course, if you are someone that works crazy hours and is that person who checks their emails late at night, you need to make a break with that before you head on your break.
Spending Time in the Accommodation as a Family
You may have a lot of things planned for your vacation, but the reality of the situation is that you shouldn’t completely fill your calendar with things to do. There’s a lot to be said for having a very sparse itinerary. Therefore, planning one thing per day should be more than enough, especially if you are going on vacation for two weeks.
You will be spending most of your day away from the accommodation, but when you get to the accommodation, you’ve got the opportunity to get closer to each family member by doing activities in the hotel room, or if you are in rented accommodation, preparing breakfast. You can make the most of hotel time as a family by ordering room service and spending time just watching television.
In this day and age, we seldom sit in the same room to watch TV because we’ve all got devices. That quality time together where you are physically with each other is a very little thing, but it harks back to a simpler time, especially if you seldom spend time with your children because you are so busy. Having that time together in the accommodation can be done in a number of different ways:
- Making private memories, for example by doing things one-on-one with one of your kids. This is a very simple way to spend time with the child that you seldom have an opportunity to interact with.
- Starting a family tradition. You can do this by having a family movie night in the hotel, collecting souvenirs of places you go, or trying new food at every restaurant you visit. These little family traditions can be something that you pick up on every time you go on vacations further down the line.
- Planning shared experiences. Quality time in the accommodation may seem counterintuitive, but there are simple things that you can all do together as a family, for example, playing board games, or just having a party.
It’s the perfect opportunity for you to show your kids a different side of yourself, and this is why we should all endeavor to feel closer as a family on vacation. It doesn’t always feel like that, but if you feel that you are like passing ships in the night, a vacation is the perfect opportunity to start afresh, whether it’s on a road trip or in another country.