You have two glorious weeks for vacation. This is your chance to really spend some quality time with your family. As you reminisse about the last vacation, you realize you want to avoid the same mistakes: too little time and too much to do, leaving you in dire need of an immediate second vacation to recoup from the first – preferably traveling no further than your own home!
You realize that you did not get to spend quality one-on-one time with your children like you were expecting for your last vacation. Vacations are supposedly to be about re-bonding with your family, re-connecting, and re-learning why you like each other so much. Let's face it, the stress of work, school, and extra-curricular activities can make you easily forget why you decided to raise a family in the first place!
That trip to the theme park was wonderful, but you missed out on talking with your children as they ran around catching all the rides they could. You remember trying to get them to slow down, only to tell them what you had planned next, forgetting to ask them all those questions you envisioned asking about how well they are really doing.
This is your year. What kind of vacation can you enjoy, relax with, and have time for conversation? Yelling, "Get back here!" does not count, either.
To achieve your goal of family togethness, you might consider something more outdoorsy. In an effort to steer you away from memories of kids campouts and insect bites, envision something a little more refined, but active. If you ask me, all vacations are pretty active and adventurous. The setting of your adventure can vary greatly from place to place. If you are looking to spend time with your family, but stay in one location to eliminate the headache of packing and repacking, you have two great options: go on a cruise or go to a resort catering to families.
There are many resorts that have access to many activities. Outdoor adventure family vacation resorts are growing more popular, especially if the facility offers short-term babysitting, allowing mom and dad to get some R, R, & R (rest, relaxation, and a reprieve).
Your kids will go nuts if the resort is close to a lake, river, or ocean has plenty of biking trails, and includes kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, or any activity that helps promote independence. Remember, they've been saying it for years, "I can do it myself!" Why not cater to this sense of independence while building confidence and a sense of achievement? Save the rafting, hiking, and canoeing as a family activity, helping you all have time to enjoy each other's company.
Your safest and easiest choice is to stay at locations near national parks. This not only allows you to see nature's wonders, but gives access to some of the best outdoor activities available. I recommend that you choose to lodge in hotels vs. camping, especially if you are on a road trip – packing extra gear for the outdoors is not a picnic. There are some locations that provide tents, teepees, or domes for you to rent and stay in if you crave the closeness to the outdoor air.
It may take a little research, but I suggest that you first decide where you want to stay and then coordinate with the hotel some activities to do and make it a package deal. A little preparation on your part will ensure lasting memories with you in the spotlight instead of the destination itself.
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