We plan. We research the best places to visit and we have Travel Activities ready. Visions of happy family experiences that will become treasured family memories play in our heads like old-fashioned home movie reels. But what happens when those careful plans tank and no one is having fun? One kid is complaining, another is bored and sneaking glances at his phone, and everyone is tired. Sooner or later someone is going to explode, and it may be you if everyone doesn’t shape up soon. Diffuse some tension by trying these steps to Salvage your Family Vacation and get the fun back on track.
How to Salvage Your Family Vacation
1. Get off the carousel of crankiness. Sometimes its hard to let go of the schedule, especially if it has been researched and carefully planned. But if everybody is miserable, the plan isn’t working. Try these ideas to distract and start fresh:
- Find a spot to people-watch. Choose a bench, rock, grassy spot, or whatever is handy to pause and soak up the surroundings.
- Stop for a snack. A delicious local treat will improve anyone’s mood.
- Sneaky Cards Game. This is a great time to pick out a card or two and spread some laughter.
- Random Act of Kindness. Buy a treat for a stranger, give someone a complement, or offer help to a person nearby.
2. Punt. Or in other words, change directions. There is no vacation rule that says you must continue seeing all the things on the itinerary even when no one is having fun. One of these options can shift your trip from #fail to #fantastic:
- Skip the next stop on the attraction list. Then pick it up again after everyone has a break and a better attitude.
- Choose an experience. These can often be more interactive and engaging (and fun!) than a list of “must see” popular landmarks.
- Ask a local. Search beyond the crowded tourist spots and enjoy the hidden gems locals love.
- Get out of town. Sometimes the spot you chose turns out to be a bad fit for your family, and sometimes it…well…sucks. Make some phone calls, do a little internet research, or just call it an “adventure” and find a place nearby that suits your tastes better.
If all else fails:
3. Giggle and go on. Some of the greatest family vacation memories are made from the worst misadventures. Give yourself permission to laugh at the moments that you’ll always remember. Those bloopers, catastrophes, and fiascos are the stories that live on in family lore forever.
Thanks for meandering by!