A joint family vacation can be a joyful experience, creating great memories and cementing friendships or family bonds. However, to avoid tensions or fallouts, and to enjoy a stress-free experience, planning is vital.
1. Choose an appropriate destination
It is important to consider the destination carefully, and ensure it is appropriate. Consider group ages, likes and dislikes.
2. Check accessibility
Whether planning on physical activities, or traveling with older or less-able family members, it’s important to check any physical restrictions and ensure everyone is comfortable with the activities planned.
3. Call a pre-planning meeting
When it comes to a joint family vacation, planning is everything. A pre-planning meeting can be made into an informal dinner or get-together, discussing everyone’s thoughts and requirements, and laying down any boundaries or preferences.
4. Set a budget and discuss finances
Decide whether each family is going to manage their own money, or whether it may be easier to have a group budget for things like food, activities, and entrance fees. Planning finances early can prevent awkward conversations later on.
5. Respect each other’s space and privacy
While many activities may be planned for the group, it is also important to allow some time for each family to spend alone, and do things that they want to do. Scheduling a few hours each day for this free time can work well.
6. Schedule a trial run
This isn’t always easy to do, but it’s really advisable to do a trial run before you commit to a full-on joint family vacation! A long weekend can work well, helping you to work out the group logistics and decide whether you’d actually enjoy vacationing together.
7. Book accommodations that are spacious enough
When vacationing with another family, spring for a suite or apartment with at least two bedrooms, or a villa. Separate rooms are vital for privacy and downtime. Having a separate room away from the other members of the group can provide a really peaceful way to relax and regroup after the day’s activities.
8. Lay the ground rules
Ground rules don’t sound like much fun, but they are important to avoid conflict. Each family has different rules or policies for things like bedtime or snacks. Discuss these beforehand and be willing to compromise.
9. Go easy on the liquor
When traveling on a joint family vacation, consider alcohol very carefully. It can cause a host of tensions, so a few ground rules about its consumption should be discussed.
10. Manage children and don’t take sides
If young children are in the group, accept the fact that they will most likely bicker! Remember, don’t take sides, and be quick to work with the other parents to discipline and calm the situation down.
While there are lots of potential tensions and problems that can occur on a joint family vacation, with a little planning they really are a great opportunity to enjoy some downtime, socialize and create memories that last a lifetime.