Planning a Great Family Vacation


The kids are screaming, your parents are whining about the food, your partner isn’t happy with the accommodation and even you, the vacation organizer, aren’t happy with the activities available to you.

I hope this doesn’t sound familiar to you but anyone that’s been on a family holiday with whichever relatives that may include, or worse: with friends, will have felt a twinge of dejà-vu on hearing this story, remembering how hard it is to please everyone.

Since we know you can’t please everyone on a family vacation, here are some tips to help you make the most of your vacation.

Switch it Up

I should start by saying: it is probably impossible to please everyone at every moment of the day, but you can appeal to different tastes at the same time while all sharing the same destination. To do so, you have to make a list of people’s interests and try and find a middle ground. Here’s an example:

Jamie gets up early to swim every day
Max enjoys sailing
Emily fancies seeing some wildlife
Tam just wants to go home with a tan

Find Something for Everyone

What would be a great activity that they could all do? Renting a catamaran for the day or going out on a luxury tour could be the solution. Jamie can hop off into the sea to get an invigorating swim, Max gets to sit with the captain and talk their ear off about boats, Emily will hopefully catch sight of some whales or dolphins and could dive down to see a coral reef (if you pick a tour in the Caribbean sea) while Tam can soak in the sun atop the catamaran.

This is just the kind of activity everyone can enjoy, without necessarily being stuck to each other at every moment. Another option is to choose a place that nobody is familiar with and explore it together. Create a Google document on Drive and invite everyone to put the activities they want to do in the chosen unexplored location. This involves a bit of investigation by the whole group, which boosts involvement, and the easiest tool for deciding on dates and sharing ideas is Doodle.

Choose a Hotel That Has it All

When it comes to the hotel, budget allowing, luxury is always better for everyone. If you can choose an all-inclusive then there will be two less meals to organize (or more if you stay at the hotel some days). The new Excellence Oyster Bay in Jamaica is a fantastic resort where you can also see nightly shows, plenty of day activities and trips run from the resort itself. Excellence is an adults-only place though so if you’re planning to travel with kids the resort Finest, also based around the Caribbean sea, is accommodating and has plenty of activities for people of all ages.

Once you have the hotel sorted and a few key activities in mind, pleasing everyone may well mean giving everyone a day. That one day can be dedicated to teaching the whole group something new, or showing them something they’re a fan of, while everyone else must promise to go along in return for their day as “official tour guide” or team coach.

If anyone forgets about the mission to please everyone, remind them they had/will have their day! And of course, plan some extra activities for unforeseen circumstances. Ultimately if you aim to focus on having fun yourself rather than pleasing everyone else, your relaxed vibes and good mood will become contagious.

How have you planned a successful family vacation? 


About Author

Kelly Lewis is the founder of Go! Girl Guides, the Women's Travel Fest and Damesly. She's an optimist, an adventurer, an author and works to help women travel the world.

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