It was the best of times; it was the worst of times….
This famous quote may as well be a teenager’s take on the “required” family vacation, or that of parents who really feel the pressure. You want to ensure happy memories, experience togetherness and bonding. You want to keep the kids entertained, yourself relaxed and the whole thing under budget. Planning, packing, driving, flying… Oh wow.
My intention is not to ramp up the stress, but instead share some of my best tips to surviving a family vacation. After all, with luck you’re taking one at least every year. So, whether your family is large or small, loud or quiet, city or country, wild, dignified, or an impossible combination of everything under the sun…you really can survive!
Here’s my first of seven helpful tips to surviving a family vacation.
Family Vacation Tip: How to Satisfy Everyone
In most of life, we know there is no sense in even attempting to satisfy everyone! It just ain’t gonna happen. A family vacation, however, is not such a situation. Everyone can enjoy the trip, and it is actually critical that they do. If even one person feels the trip is a waste, or if one person is having a miserable time…everyone else will too.
Your mission is to plan an enjoyable time for all. Now I’m not saying that satisfying everyone in the family is easy to do. But some vacation environments are definitely more conducive to individual personalities than others.
For example, how would each member of your family fare over a weeks time, on the following family vacations: 1. Disneyland 2. Tropical Island 3. Idaho Adventure.
I would submit that 2 of these vacations are “one note”, conducive to some personalities while downright aggravating to others. The 3rd vacation has something for everyone.
Think this is a stretch? As a well traveled thirty-something, I really don’t think so.
The Disneyland vacation I have done, as well as Disney World. As much as these are world class destinations, they personally drove me crazy with all the people, lines, noise, heat, expense, etc. Is this a fantastic vacation? Yes. Is it for everyone? No.
Still, there are those in every family dying to ride rides, see attractions, eat cotton candy and hang upside while they twirl, right? Instead of sacrificing the rest of your family, though, I recommend substituting the northwest’s largest theme park. Imagine tons of family rides, thrilling roller coasters and exciting attractions for the theme park types, but with low prices, short lines and reasonable temperatures for those who are normally, shall we say, theme park adverse.
Sounds too good to be true? Silverwood Theme Park, just north of Coeur d’Alene, is substantial enough to spend several days, plus a full day at their incredible water park, Boulder Beach. Even so, you have not put all eggs in a single basket by selecting Silverwood (like you would be with Disney). On additional days you can still have relaxing, exciting or cultural adventures, depending on your group’s diverse tastes.
So what about a tropical vacation?
Sure, the tropics are heaven for some personalities, with sun, water, sand, pina coladas and sunscreen. Sounds good to me! But, oh wait. What about family members who need more activity? The ones who can’t sit still for an hour, much less a week…and you know they’re bound to drive you crazy asking “what are we doing next?” and proclaiming boredom.
Worry not! If relaxation, sun, sand, beautiful water views and a good strong drink are what you crave, I have the solution. Everyone can be satisfied, even happy, and you will survive your family vacation with ease!
Select an amazing lakefront vacation rental on Lake Coeur d’Alene or Lake Hayden, double check there’s a blender waiting, and you are set! Your high energy cohorts can jump off the boat dock day and night, water ski, jet ski, dig in the sand, climb trees, bicycle, stand-up paddle, kayak, fish and a million other things…which you can observe with sleepy eyes as you nap on your beach chair.
Ah, heaven. Finally, the real vacation you deserve.
Stay tuned for my 2nd tip to surviving a family vacation, coming soon!