As we dive deeper into the season of summer, more families are looking for ways to take advantage of the summer and go on vacation. Whether they choose Disney or the Grand Canyon, each trip combines a little bit of entertainment with travel. For some families, it can be difficult to promote being together while heading out on vacation. It’s natural that most kiddos don’t understand the need to be together or spend quality time with family with so many other things going on. However, parents have a more complex understanding of family time. They don’t stay kids forever, and they seem to grow faster each year. So for the family looking for a vacation to promote togetherness, there are vacation options to bring your family together while having a summer adventure.
Grab a tent, a sleeping bag, some marshmallow roasters, and hit the road for a weekend sleeping on the ground and spending time outside. Camping is a great activity for a summer vacation because it opens up a slew of outdoor activities you might not find yourself doing otherwise: hiking, cooking on a campfire, making a leaf collection, or just sitting in the water all day. Camping is great for togetherness because there’s a lot of downtime to spend conversing – there may even be no cell phone service to distract older kids. Take this time to teach your kids about the outdoors, do a new activity, and learn about each other. Spend all night talking around the campfire and just being together.
For those that love the idea of camping but aren’t crazy about losing all the comforts of home, an RV trip is perfect. Whether you own one or rent one, you have the freedom to travel and stay nearly anywhere with many of the comforts you’re used to. Not only will you get the togetherness of camping, you’ll also be treated to time together while driving. If you’re unfamiliar with RV vacations, be sure to follow safety tips regarding car seats, winterization (or de-winterization), and driving precautions for larger vehicles. Play old board games, involve the driver with some road trip games, and make some outdoorsy crafts while driving to a few fun locations.
Some destinations tend to be a distraction for families. Water parks, amusement parks, or concerts tend to focus the entertainment around outside influences and not each other. Which is okay for some vacations, but for a vacation that promotes togetherness, try to have your destination be about family and not about entertainment. Going on a trip to your children’s grandparents’ house is bound to bring everyone closer together. This trip is about family, getting to know each other better, and spending time with people you don’t always get to see. Spend nights watching a movie together, stargazing, playing games, or doing activities together.
Special Interest Road Trip
Instead of planning a road trip around one destination, plan one around a few destinations. Let each family member chose one place they’d like to go, and make a vacation out of it. On the first day you might go to your favorite waterfall, on the second your son wants to have a picnic, your daughter wants to see a historical monument on the third, and end the trip at your partner’s chosen national park, for instance. Use a travel app to help out with packing, planning, or finding stops along the way. Allow each person’s destination be about them and why they chose their location. Maybe they can teach the rest of the family about their pick. It involves the whole family in the planning and gets everyone excited about their day.
In the same vein as a family destination trip, you might try creating an entire vacation from a family reunion. This way, your family can focus on togetherness with a larger group of family members as well as their core family members. Seeing aunts, uncles, and cousins will be an exciting change in their social sphere. Plus, if family lives far away, or you don’t see each other often enough, it’s great to instill family relationships into your kiddos. Go fishing, teach the kids how to play old outdoor games they’ve probably never heard of – like kick the can. Have a family horseshoe tournament. By creating events surrounded by family interaction, you’re promoting togetherness in a fun vacation atmosphere.
Sometimes, a trip to a giant water park or an exciting concert is the perfect summer vacation for you or your family. Other times, a vacation that focuses less on outside excitement and more on family interaction is preferred. In a world full of distractions, jobs, technology, friends, and obligations, there are some days you want to sit down and just enjoy your family. Play games, ask questions, start a journal, teach, learn, and laugh with your family by having a vacation with a theme of togetherness.