*This is a contributed post.
Planning a family vacation as your kids grow up might seem like a piece of cake. With no constant interruptions, hours of shouting, and the proverbial “Are we there yet?”, how hard could it be?
However, as your kids grow up and start their own lives, you’ll notice that getting everyone all in the same location has some difficulties. Dealing with your kids’ schedules could make family vacation planning nearly impossible, and it gets even harder if they have kids of their own.
Fortunately, here are some tips that can help your planning become a lot easier:
Be Upfront with Your Objective
Start by gathering your family together and come up with an honest discussion. Tell them why a vacation is important to you.
Could it be an anniversary, a special birthday party, or just spending time together? After coming to terms, specify what you can and can’t afford financially.
As much as possible, avoid arguing about financial issues while on vacation. Make sure you clarify anything in advance and provide them with options regarding destinations and possible expenses to reach an agreement.
Consider the Location and Activities Available
Studies say, that 35% of Americans plan to take a family vacation to a destination that is at least 50 miles away in the next 12 months. Before you even consider an out-of-town trip, you have to make sure your plans are appropriate for everyone who’s going with you.
As you work on your outline for your trip, make sure you respect everyone’s preferences. In the event when there are plenty of varying opinions, try to reach compromises. Come up with a few options, then gather inputs from everyone–including young kids.
You also have to consider the options that are close to you. For example, if you live on the East Coast, it’s far less expensive and time-consuming if you head to the Caribbeans.
These kinds of trips tend to come with a wide range of activities and dining options that are available at a fixed price. If you’re planning a less structured family vacation, you could also come up with an idea on how to incorporate activities which all your family members will enjoy.
A good start is to seek advice from your friends or travel agents who are experts in family vacations, and have personal experiences from the place you wish to go.
Rent a House
Renting a house that is big enough for everyone to stay together will allow you to bond with your family members, especially with your grown-up kids, like the old days.
A good choice would be a condo near the beach, a cabin on a lake, or perhaps a house in the mountains. Consider a place where there are plenty of opportunities available for every member of the family to have fun.
Make sure the visiting times are flexible to allow everyone to come and go whenever they find it convenient.
Each family deals with vacation finances in different ways. There are parents who will pay for everything including airfare, and there are others who will have their children pay for it.
Although in most cases, the parents are the ones to handle expenses with the accommodation and dining, while grown-ups who are capable of financing themselves handle travel expenses. Regardless of your decision, make sure you budget carefully and let everyone know their financial obligations in advance.
Give Your Kids Enough Time
While it might sound fun to surprise your kids with a sudden family vacation, you have to consider everyone’s schedule and instead hold discussions ahead of time. Keep in mind that since your kids are now grown-ups, they have lives and busy schedules.
For example, if your child has a newborn baby, you want to give them enough time to prepare for the baby’s first trip. Surprising them with a sudden trip could badly backfire.
Plan a Trip to their New Hometown
Most young adults start too early in their careers and don’t have a lot of vacation time, so it would certainly help if you head to their new hometown for a family gathering. It will allow you to cut down on costs, and your kids won’t have to look for ways to take off work.
48% of working families work while on family vacations because they don’t want to go back to work with a pile of tasks to do. Therefore, spending your vacation in your kid’s hometown will definitely benefit both you and them.
Don’t Regret Not Taking a Vacation
Family vacations with your grown-up kids shouldn’t be a daunting experience – rather it should be a fun experience. It will take a bit of careful planning and a few adjustments, but you’ll be glad you made the effort when you realize how happy everyone is.
Most people put off vacationing because they think their lives are too busy, and want to wait for them to “slow down.” It’s likely you will be faced with obstacles throughout your life, but vacations need to happen every once in awhile to reconnect with busy families.