Follow Our Simple Advice To Avoid the “Family Vacation Madness”

Follow Our Simple Advice To Avoid the “Family Vacation Madness”

 

For many traditional or blended families, when the school bells go quiet for the summer, a new kind of bell often rings in parents minds, signalling the coming of a new season: family vacation! Unfortunately though, it can also be a time of insanity, one that we call the Family Vacation Madness! One or two short weeks when parents decide to take the whole clan away from its regular buzzing schedule, only to replace it with… more activities and things to do. We’ve been there and done that…

Avoid The Family Vacation Madness
About 2 years after we got together, we decided to go to Florida on a one-week family vacation with our 3 kids who were in their early teens at the time. This was many years before we found our little corner of heaven on Florida’s Treasure Coast.

The trip was action packed. If you have ever experienced one of those, you can probably relate to what we went through… If not, well, have you ever stood in line for your rental car in a Florida international airport behind a family of 5, stepping up and down amidst 24 luggage pieces, waiting for their mini-van? That was us! Only difference between our family and the ones we see today is that our kids wore cumbersome headsets plugged to mini-disk players back then, rather than the white-wired smartphones we now see teens with. Yes, each era bears its own blessings…

Like any average family visiting Florida for the first time; we managed to squeeze thousands of miles on that one-week rental. East Coast, West Coast, South Beach, Disney, Universal, a bit of golf (yes Daddy had brought along his other cherished children for the ride…Fore!!!) and everything else in between. Add to the hectic schedule the Diplomacy 101 required by any teenagers parents of a recently formed blended family on a vacation trip, and you get pretty close to the total picture.

Half way through that week we were already exhausted, imagine at the end! To make matters worst, in our infinite wisdom, we had booked a late return flight, which was landing way past midnight, while both of us were working the very next morning… In Mario’s case, he had to leave in the wee hours for a one-week national corporate meeting in which he was the opening presenter! It took us weeks to recuperate from our vacation…

Here’s our simple advice

In spite of its aggravation, we keep great memories of that trip. It served as the foundation for what have become other wonderful family vacations since then. What we have changed as a couple though, is to make sure that our “family down time” stands for what it is supposed to be. A recharging time for all.

If you are coming out of your Family Vacation completely drained out, take this as an opportunity to properly plan your next breaks over the years to come, and more importantly, bring your family on board with you. Try to find the balance required to do activities as a family but make sure everyone understands that it should also be a recharging time for all. We have, and it has made a huge difference in our relationship and in our lives.

 

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By
Mario Cloutier & Diane Sawaya Cloutier

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