Every year my family will plan many of our vacations ahead of time; however, some getaways would happen spontaneously. When our children were in school, it seemed like we made sure our vacations were planned at least six months out or maybe even longer, mainly because much of our travel was during peak times, like spring break or the summertime. And usually, during the Christmas season, we would visit my brother and his family in Nashville, TN.
Now that our children are older and other obligations have arisen, we plan our vacations differently. When our schedules allow, we have at least one family vacation, then my husband and I will have some getaways, and the other trips I plan will be with my girlfriends.
Living on the East Coast
We love living on the east coast in North Carolina because we get to see many cities and towns just by driving to them. Where we live, we are two hours from the beach, three hours from the mountains, nine hours from NYC, and seven hours from Jacksonville, Florida. It doesn’t get much better than this for our traveling family!
Traveling with Friends
We have already planned out three of our vacations for 2020. This year we are traveling with friends and extended family for the most part. There are several families we have known for over 20 years, and we travel with them often. We always have a great time, so great, in fact, that we seem to plan a vacation together every 4 to 5 years. I am also planning some girlfriend trips this year; these trips are always lots of fun!
When you are planning to travel with friends or extended family, a little more planning is necessary to make it happen. For instance, our vacation that we will be taking this summer with three families will require lots of coordination of schedules! We will need to have a lot of communication so that all will be happy… for the most part. And rest assured, if we need to make any reservations ahead of time, we will be on it!
Once you make the decision to travel with friends or extended family, be sure the destination you choose will be fun for all! I suggest getting input from each person. The best way to do that is to have the head of each family talk to each family member. This will help you when you are deciding on the destination so that what they would like to do is put on the agenda.
Plan for Time for Relaxation
Be sure to have time for relaxation and not a full schedule. It is so essential that you enjoy your relationships. Build in time to chill, have great conversations, and eat some or most meals together. We like to book a condo or house with Airbnb; this allows us to have plenty of room and time to play games, cook and break bread together! We keep a few decks of cards and UNO in our luggage so that we always have some engagement with each other and NOT just our phones. We like to have some discussion regarding ‘no electronics’ at certain times of the day, like when eating a meal together, swimming at the pool, or playing a game. Building relationships in person is priceless! And because we are traveling with children and adults, we make sure the adults have some time for themselves too!
Make a Vacation Dream Board
Our family makes a vacation dream board each year so that we can plan out our destinations, and each person gets to choose a place they would like to visit. If you want to learn more about how my family plans our vacations with family and friends, learn how to here as well as how to get free printable downloads when you subscribe to my blog!
Ideas of Places to Visit
Here are some cities we have traveled to with friends or extended family: Minneapolis, Minnesota – Des Moines, Iowa – Vail and Denver, Colorado – New York City, New York – Chicago, Illinois – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – Willmington, North Carolina – Orlando, Vero Beach, Destin, Boca Raton, Jacksonville, Florida – Washington DC – San Diego and LA, California – Salt Lake City, Utah – Las Vegas, Nevada – Nashville, Knoxville Tennessee – New Orleans, Louisiana – Virginia Beach, Virginia – Atlanta, Georgia…many other cities.
Do You Travel with Friends?
Let me know if you plan your vacation ahead of time or if they happen without much planning. And if you travel with friends or extended family and want to know how to remain friends on…and after… these trips, ask me!