7 Ways to Make Your Family Vacation Fun

4 08 2008
having fun on a sailing adventure

having fun on a sailing adventure

Taking crazy family vacations is a tradition in our house. After driving 2500 miles with three kids, here’s a list of my top 7 things to make a Family Vacation Fun.

1. Set a Vacation Goal. The goal of a family vacation is not to see great sights, have fun, or even to relax (“relax with the kids” is an oxymoron). The goal of a family vacation is “to grow your family closer together.”

2. The Journey is the Destination. I used to say cross your legs ’cause we ain’t stopping ’til we get there. I’ve chilled out and learned to enjoy the funny memories in the car. There are tons of short sites that make a long trip fun. On our way home from Maine…we make three cool short stops. 1. Salem, MA: Nathaniel Hawthorne home in Maine (one of our daughters was reading “The Scarlet Letter”). 2. Springfield, MA : Dr. Seuss Garden (who doesn’t love Horton) . 3. Niagara Falls, NY: Arby’s picnic next to the falls.

the summit of dorr mountain

dorr mountain summit, acadia national park

3. Repeat Funny Moments. Ever been to a funny movie with a friend and you find yourself repeating the stupid lines as an inside joke between friends? Same principle on vacation. Intentionally find funny statements and comments that make your family laugh and repeat them over and over again on the trip. One year it was Adam Sandlers, “Excited Southerner.” This year we invented a fictitional “giant chipmunk” who would seem to leave his mark everywhere we went.

4. Live a Life Worth Telling Stories About. Do things that are a crazy and unusual. Those are the things that are always memorable. There is nothing memorable about playing it safe. Do something outside your comfort zone. Climb a mountain. Eat at a unusual restaurant. Burn stuff in a fire (we camp).

5. Lose the TV in the car. I know many of you love this feature because it keeps the kids quiet, but nothing stops conversation faster than the tube. Even when the kids were little, we took long cross country trips. I know the TV temptation…so go to #6.

6. Find Fun Activities in the Car. We’ve done Mad Libs together, veggie tales tapes, CDs of TV hits and crazy songs and searched for license plates from around the country. The kids make up songs in the car. We all share CDs we each like. This year on the way I checked out “The Greatest Speeches on of the 20th Century” and on the top of the each hour each person picked a speech to listen to. At first the kids hated it and picked the shortest speeches…but after a while it was kind of fun. We heard Babe Ruth, Winston Churchill, Neil Armstrong and even Adolf Hitler.

7. Take Turns. Democracy at its best. Have each family member pick your restaurants and activities. Rotate so everyone gets a turn. It stops the fighting and helps us learn to enjoy what someone else enjoys. One year it was our 5-year-olds chance to pick dinner…we had dinner at Dunkin Donuts.

Bonus: Try Camping. Nothing builds memories more than talking around the fire, having a bear in your campsite in NH or getting freaked out by cockroaches in UT (true stuff). We camp most years. I know some of you are thinking, we can’t because our kids are too young. We’ve camped in a tent for 10 days in the Smoky Mountains with 6 month old, 2 year old and a 5 year old. It’s was a blast!

Be original. Get creative. Have Fun. Laugh…and laugh some more. You are making memories that you and your kids will talk about for the rest of your life.




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4 08 2008

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