Family vacations can be an exciting, yet, dreaded thing. All families try to plan the perfect family vacation, but things just go wrong. Some family members don’t have as much fun as others. Here are the top ten things that I have found to spoil family vacations.
1) Only child?
I was an only child. My family vacations consisted of my grandmother and my two aunts. Yes, I love them of course. But sometimes family vacations aren’t as fun for the kids as they are for the grown-us. Granted, we went to places the Disney World and Universal. But one of my aunts is a daredevil and would go on all of the rides that I wasn’t quite big enough to go on. It wasn’t always my choice of where we were going or what we would be doing. It can be really hard for a young child to sit at dinner with adults if they have no other kids their age to talk to. Granted, they can make friends in their hotel but it doesn’t always happen. I’m not saying that you can’t take a family vacation if you have an only child, but make sure that they’re as involved as possible.
2) Crappy Hotels.
Going on vacation with my dad was always a hoot. We’d drive to Universal, Sea World, or Disney without having much of a plan. A huge factor in the plan is that we didn’t book a hotel ahead of time. So, as you can imagine we weren’t staying at the Ritz… Try the Red Roof Inn, surrounded by the mold, muck, and bugs. Of course, he is the kind of person who brushed it off and I was too young to really care. We can’t all afford to stay in five star hotels, but make sure you know where you’re staying before you get there. It can put a real damper on your vacation.
3) False Advertisement
One year, my aunt, grandmother and I went to San Francisco. (Mind you my aunt lives a life of luxury). So of course, she booked us a luxurious tour. We were to take the tour through California, to Yosemite and even white water rafting. We were waiting for our first-class, luxury tour van to pick us up, but instead what pulled up was a beaten up white van. The van had cracks in the window, dents all over and no carpet on the floor. It probably sat about seven people, but there were about ten of us booked for the tour. My aunt, grandma and I couldn’t even sit near each other. Make sure you know what you’re getting into!
4) Lack of Transportation
This wasn’t really my family vacation, it was my friends but I tagged along. Her, her mother and I went to New York. Being teenagers, my friend and I slept in until about noon one day. We woke up in the hotel to find that her mom wasn’t there! We called and called until she answered. She told us that she had met up with some friends and she wouldn’t be back for a while. My friend and I were devastated, we were in New York, just a train ride away from the city and totally stranded.
5) Getting Sick
Don’t book a cruise if you know that you’re sea sick. Be smart about it. I went on a school trip one year where we all went whale watching. My entire class was vomiting everywhere. I can imagine how awful a family cruise would be if you spent the whole trip in the cabin bathroom. Even if you’re not on a cruise, but smart about what you eat, and do you best to stay healthy leading up to the trip. Invest in some Airborne!
6) Lack of Direction
I believe that this story is from the same trip I took to California with the “luxury tour”. If you’ve never been to San Francisco I want you to do something for me. Take a piece of paper and a pen, and draw lines like “mountains”, tall thin hills and mountains, hundreds of them. That, my friend, is what a map of San Francisco would look like. My aunt, my grandma and myself were trying to walk back to our hotel. We probably walked about and down ninety hills because we were lost. My aunt, being stubborn, wouldn’t allow us to catch a cab; when we finally did catch a cab with within feet of the hotel. Don’t be afraid to look like a tourist with a map!
7) Family Feuds
Nothing ruins a family vacation more than arguments. Keep in mind that you’re on vacation; this is your escape from real life! Don’t let little things aggravate you. If you feel really strongly about some sort of dispute, save it until you get back home!
I’m sure we’ve all planned the perfect vacation months in advance not realizing that we don’t know how the weather is going to be. I, for one, am taking a cruise this December and I have my fingers crossed that the weather will be as perfect as I imagine. Although, there’s really nothing you can do to control the weather, you can control your reaction to it. Don’t freak! Ask your hotel what things there are to in the area that are inside. You don’t have to be outside to be on vacation.
9) Over planning
Like I just mentioned, many of us plan our vacations months in advance. And, well it never hurts to plan; I strongly believe that some people go a little too far. Don’t try to hide your excitement; vacations are a time for fun and relaxation. But don’t try to plan every single moment of your vacation. There’s no way that everything is going to work out perfectly, so don’t stress yourself out.
10) Under planning
Planning is an important part of taking a vacation. You wouldn’t want to end up in a crappy hotel, like I mentioned previously. As important as it is not to over plan and over perfect every aspect of your vacation, it’s also important not to not have a plan at all. Maybe plan out a few different things that you may want to do well on the vacation. Bring all of the information with you and when you’re on your trip make your final decisions and plans.