Among top reasons for Americans not taking family vacations besides not enough time off work, is a complaint about lack of funds available for their trip. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. If you make it a priority it will happen. If it’s important to you it will happen. If you stop making excuses it will happen. I will also says you need it to happen. You cannot wait until the money magically appears or the time “feels” right because by the time that happens guess what you are out of time, it’s too late. The time is now. Memories are waiting to be made. Your family is waiting to be bonded with and life is waiting to be enjoyed.
Don’t put it off. The most damaging thing you can do is say next year we will go. The same exact reasons you are putting if off till next year will likely still be there. And then you will keep putting it off or choose new furniture, or working extra hours at your job to climb the ladder and the next thing you know you will be dropping your youngest child off at college and you will be wondering where the time went. Choose to invest in your family NOW not today and not tomorrow.
Repeat often. Don’t make a family vacation be a check mark on your to-do and wipe your hands clean. The more often it is repeated the better your family relationships and well-being will be. Siblings who barely give each other the time of day will soon be best friends. Go somewhere remote and force teens to turn off their cell phones. Better yet go abroad give them a rich cultural experience which won’t allow them to text friends back home thank you ridiculously expensive data plans. The more often a family vacation is taken the better the effects on the family.
Be creative. I get that money and time are real problems to why people don’t take vacations as a family. But it doesn’t have to be an extravagant galavant to Hawaii. Gather the family, pick a dream destination and then set up a coin jar to collect pennies and do odd jobs together to earn money. Meanwhile take weekend trips to local national parks, go camping for a weekend, take a cheaper but still interesting and exciting trip across the states. Utilize families interests and take trips that excite and draw family closer together. Family vacations don’t have to break the bank. I remember a certain Aruba trip that was paid for entirely with frequent flyer points and a suitcase full of food. We enjoyed a few days on the beach, ate cup of noodles in our hotel room and had the time of our lives. It was cheap- yet exotic and we will forever remember that time together.
Learn, grow and create memories and ensure a family bond for life. Making the time, sacrificing the money is a clear investment on your family relationships. By saying this is important to you you are saying your families well being and the bond you are creating is worth it. Years from now at gatherings you will pull from these experiences. Very rarely does my family sit around and talk about all the times we sat at home and didn’t go anywhere. But Reid’s family often brings up the adventures from his past of the van breaking down or how funny was it when so-and-so got so sun burned and then was chased down by a seagull at the beach. I’m not saying it’s not impossible to have a good bond with your family if you don’t take vacations together, I’m just saying it will be stronger because the memories will deeply tie into the bond. You are forced to spend time together on vacation while on the day to day life you are busy. Soccer games, dance class, music lessons, different schools all pull the family apart but a week at the lake or on the mountains will pull your family together. It really may be a sacrifice in some forms but the eternal rewards WILL be worth it.
If it’s been awhile since you gathered your family together, gotten away, and enjoyed some serious fun time together I beg that this year you make it your resolution and fix it immediately.
This year we are starting a campaign that is sponsored by us Dotting The Map to encourage families to overcome whatever is holding them back and take that family vacation NOW. Follow us on twitter and instagram and use the hashtag #familyvacationNOW and share your adventures and thoughts and feelings! Together we can encourage families to enjoy time together, step away and make memories!