Going on vacation is generally a pleasant experience for everyone involved. Kids love it because they get to get away from home and do something new for a change. And adults like it less because they get to get away from home, and more because they get to get away from work. The only part about a vacation that conceivably can be a downer is the last few days, if only because it reminds everyone that they have to return to “normal life” very soon (and for those wondering, studies have surprisingly shown that the happiest part of the trip is typically the planning stage before you even embark on your vacation, oddly enough).
Although vacations can be great ways to get away from it all and do something fun, it is important to fully maximize your vacation by actually vacationing with a purpose. Now what does that mean exactly? Well, for one thing you need to make sure that you are actually doing something that is worth your time. So many people I know just go on vacations to places that they have already been to before, for no other reason than because they are familiar with it. But vacations should be about experiencing new places and new things (unless you really love visiting a place over and over, which does happen from time to time). If you always insist on going to the same place over and over, it is almost the equivalent of just taking off from work and “vacationing” at home for the entire weekend. If you are going to truly make a vacation out of your days off, then you need to make it special.
It is highly advisable to vacation at a new destination every single time. Even if you have kids or other members of your family who enjoy certain kinds of vacations, there is no shortage of similar yet different destinations that you can go to satisfy them. For example, even if your kids love going to the theme parks, there is no need to constantly go to Disneyland year after year when there are plenty of other theme parks that you guys can visit across the country. And if your sister-in-law loves going to New York to go on an extravagant shopping spree, consider going to some other large metropolitan city to enjoy the shopping experience there. No matter what sort of vacations your family enjoys going on, there is always somewhere new and exciting that you can go to rather than going to the same old places again and again.
Other than the destination of your vacation, it is also important that you make the vacation all about family, or at least whoever is going on the vacation with you. Spending quality time with your family is just as important as the vacation itself, and if you lose sight of that fact, your vacation will not be as good as it could be. The biggest thing you can do in this regard is to keep everyone actively engaged in whatever is going on while on vacation. For example, make sure that your kids are not constantly staring at their phones rather than enjoying the presence of you and the rest of your family. Or if one member of the family is bored for whatever reason, find out what you can do specifically to get them engaged again – even something as simple as letting them choose the place you guys eat dinner at next can greatly improve their overall satisfaction with the vacation, which naturally helps to improve the vacation for everyone else as well.
Despite the fact that almost all vacations can be a decent getaway for you and your family, not all vacations are created equally. If you really want to reap the benefits of an awesome vacation, you must take it upon yourself to vacation with purpose. By being very selective in your vacation destination, as well as by making sure that the entire family is actively engaged throughout the trip, you will definitely have a vacation to truly remember!