3 Don’ts for a Guilt Free Vacation

It’s Summer time again and that means road trips and vacations.  Check out this repost to make them the best ever!!!

It’s vacation season and there is nothing better than packing up the mini-van and kids and heading out on a family trip.  A few days with the family can be a highlight of a child’s life or it can become a speed bump in the road to family bliss.  Here are a few things to consider when planning a guilt-free vacation or holiday family trip.

1.    Do Not Go in Debt

This should go without saying, but I am going to say it anyway.  DO NOT GO INTO DEBT TO GO ON VACATION!!!  Ok, maybe I yelled it.  But you get the point.  This can take some creativity, effort, and a good sense of what you can afford.  If all you can afford is to pitch a tent in the back yard, then pitch a tent in the back yard and call it vacation.

2.    Do Not Go with Regret

There is another area of a guilt-free vacation.  What I mean is prepare for the vacation.  Here are three things you need to do before you go:

  • Get your work done or delegated

Don’t take work with you.  Make sure all items are completed or you have communicated with everyone what needs to be done while you are away

  • Deal with unresolved issues

The risk of a vacation going bad is high if there are unresolved issues within the family.  Many times families can live with issues because we are busy and doing our own thing.

The schedule is clear and you are together usually for at least a week.  Any unresolved issues will come out.  This may be good but does not bode well for a guilt free vacation for all.  Regret will follow.

  • Share expectations

Communicate to your co-workers that you are on vacation and at what level you expect any communication.   Also, share your expectations with your family.  One family member may have the expectation of sleeping in until noon everyday while, another family member may have the expectation of waking up at dawn to go hiking.  This can lead to a disappointing vacation at best and an all-out-war vacation at worst.

 3.    Do Not Go Alone

My point here is about not being alone even though everyone is with you.  Find activities that everyone can enjoy or at least make compromises.

When my kids were in their pre-teen years we took a three-week vacation to Florida to visit the Mouse (aka Disney World), I was ok with going, but not completely excited.  I was more interested in visiting the Civil War battlefields that dot the route from northwest Indiana to Orlando.

As we began to plan the trip, we told our kids we were going to visit all these battlefields.  They were not too impressed about seeing fields, cannons, earthworks, prisons, and museums.  So I said I would make a deal with them.  If you will enjoy and learn during the time we visit the battlefields, I will enjoy (not just act like it. but really enjoy) the Mouse House .

The whole three weeks we were gone everyone got to do what they loved doing.  We all enjoyed each other and no one was alone.  We learned, celebrated, and became closer as a family simply because we determined not to go alone.

Question:  What kind of vacation do you like taking—leisure or active?