Tips for Your Summer Vacation

1aboat24 To celebrate our 24th anniversary Cindy and I wanted to take the kids on a cruise. So last week we set sail to the Bahamas on the Carnival Sensation.  This was one of the best vacations we’ve had in years.  As you think about your summer vacation here are three things to keep in mind to make the best of your time away.

1.  Clarify Expectations– When you leave on vacation you’re typically tired, stressed and ready for a break.  This condition can lead to a clash of selfish wills among family members if you don’t clarify expectations.  Cindy and I learned a long time ago that there are two different types of vacations.  There’s a mom and dad vacation where we get away and do what we want. (Which tends to be lay around and read a lot.)  Then there’s a family vacation where you go somewhere you can do a lot of activities the whole family will enjoy.  Even during these high activity vacations you still need downtime so make sure you communicate and clarify every one’s expectations in order to keep frustration levels down and refreshment levels up.

2.  Create Memories– We’ve always lived on a pretty tight budget so we haven’t always done extravagant vacations.  But your vacations don’t have to be extravagant to be great.  No matter where you go focus on building great memories.  On this trip we jet skied in the beautiful waters of Freeport, shopped downtown Nassau and ate foods we’d never eaten before (Octopus and more!)  My kids challenged me to do karoke and I stepped up to the challenge doing a James Taylor number “It Used to Be Her Town Too”.  We captured it on video but the rights are reserved for our family only! 

3. Let your family see you take a true break from work.  The temptation for me is always to drag along a few books, a computer and check email on occasion throughout the week.  But not this time.  We were totally unplugged for nearly 6 days.  This allowed us to focus on and connect with each other in a deeper, richer way. 

What are some of your tips for having a great summer vacation?