Many people consider family vacations to be a luxury. We consider family vacations to be a priority. Family vacations are one of those ties that bind families together.
Many of us may not be able to remember many details about our own childhoods. Dates and years blend into one another and get more blurry as the years pass by. If your parents took you on vacations as a kid, chances those are some of the childhood memories that you do remember.
We work with parents that stress and worry about making their family vacations "perfect". The good news is that family vacations don't have to be perfect. Hopefully this takes the pressure off some of our perfectionist parents. It's far more important that you make and take time for a family vacation. Often it's the serendipitous moments that are unplanned and unexpected that become the most treasured of family vacation memories. Often the most memorable of family vacations happen when things go wrong.
Family vacations take us away from our normal surroundings and responsibilities. This change gives us the opportunity to connect on a different level with our kids and even our spouses. If your family vacation is part of a reunion or multi generational trip, this connection is extended to even more family members. Many families live far away from their extended relatives. Reunions and family vacation visits and gatherings give children a sense of heritage and place. It helps them understand that they are part of something beyond themselves.
Vacations allow families to slow down. Instead of rushing off to sit in commuter traffic or dashing off to school, families have the time to sit and enjoy a conversation over breakfast. It gives everyone the chance to unplug and talk to one another.
New destinations and experiences offer new discoveries for your children. It also allows parents to share stories about how they made similar discoveries during their own childhood...your first plane ride, boat trip, the first time you saw the ocean etc. During busy "normal" days we often forget to share these important memories with our children.
Families change and so do your family vacations. Your daughter may be too big now for pony rides that once delighted her. Your son may swap his love of dinosaurs for dirt bikes. The good news is that family vacations can easily evolve as your family grows. The bad news is kids are only young once so you don't get vacation do-overs.
Another important fact is that family vacations are not all about the kids. With proper planning and child care, a vacation can offer parents the opportunity to focus on their relationship too. Too often, parents are so busy taking care of their children that they forget to take a little time for themselves. A walk together on a beach or a romantic dinner alone can do wonders to recharge a little romance.
Yes it's true that travel is all about exploration and discovery but when it comes to family vacations often the discoveries that you make about each other while far away are the discoveries that you take to heart.