Planning a family trip? A destination everyone can appreciate? Something for each member of the clan to enjoy?
Not so easy, is it?
Gone are the days when you and your partner could fly by the seat of your pants and go where the wind carried you. Perhaps you were an even bigger traveler before you met your spouse. Maybe you backpacked around Mexico or hitched rides in Argentina. It could be that you stayed in, say, Brisbane ten days longer than planned simply because you fell in with a group and thought, heck, when’s the next time I’m going to get to do this again?
Your happy traveling days aren’t behind you. Just because the scope of your travel has changed, it doesn’t mean you can’t still have an amazing vacation.
Even if you and your partner have wildly different ideas on the right way to travel, chances are you can settle upon a compromise that works for the whole family. Deciding where to go requires figuring out your brood’s travel personality.
Before you put the brakes on this year’s family trip because the logistics are too daunting, take a deep breath and put some thought into the decision. The following helpful questions, guidelines and suggestions are designed to help you figure out your family’s travel personality (subject to change over the years, of course) so that your next vacation is the best ever.
1. Close or Far?
The location of your vacation depends upon a lot of things. If you have young kids and aren’t comfortable flying long distances, that rules out plenty of far-flung destinations. A small budget or a limited vacation time might also help rule out international options.
Perhaps, there’s a city or town not far from home that you’ve been meaning to visit and just haven’t gotten around to yet. Often there’s an adventure waiting to happen around the bend.
2. Country or City Mouse?
Big international cities can make for a great vacation for some and a terrible experience for others. If your family loves museum-hopping days, getting in as many sights as possible and relying on a city’s mass transit system, then you might want to consider a major European city. Choose a domestic hub is time and budget are determining factors.
If your family is more the type to want to laze about on a vacation, perhaps a resort on a beach is for you. Not looking to break the bank but interested in some family time together? What about camping? It’s budget-friendly, fun and even a little bit challenging–albeit in the best way possible.
3. Sweet Dreams…
Do you want sun and sand and meals you never have to think about, or does the thought of that make you want to jump ship? Maybe the idea of a beach appeals to you, but the all-inclusive resort does not. No matter. There are plenty of accommodation options available to suit every family’s taste and preference. Sites like Airbnb and Kid & Coe offer whole housing options, but in many vacation spots, kid-friendly bed and breakfasts are emerging, too.
4. The Scene Matters. Or Does It?
Is Applebee’s the only restaurant where the whole family will be happily sated? Do street food and local cuisine options make you want to run for cover? You may not want to venture too far off the beaten path, then. If, on the other hand, you and your partner like getting a feel for a place by way of its food and cultural traditions (and have kids that aren’t too picky!), somewhere less traveled, a city rich in historic tradition, might be the perfect spot for you.
5. Activities Galore or DIY?
Some of the hottest, most popular vacation spots boast so many activities that your family will have a hard time fitting them all in. Places with a lot of tourists are often good in this way; however, if your crew prefers laying low, ordering a pizza and playing a board game once the sun goes down, maybe you don’t need to be anywhere exotic. There are probably plenty of places a few hours drive from home that will satisfy your itch to get away and chill out without going, going, going.