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Making Memories Together: Planning The Family Vacation You’ll Never Forget

Making Memories Together: Planning The Family Vacation You’ll Never Forget

Family vacations have been a quintessential part of the American experience since the first railroads popped up across the country after the Civil War. 

Since then, the idea of a yearly family vacation has become a tradition for many families. Every family has their own unique take on it – some choose to travel just with their own children, while others invite their extended families in on the fun every year. 

While every trip is full of laughter and fun, the memories can start to blend together after doing the same thing year after year. 

All it takes is a little creativity and you will be on the road to making memories on the family vacation you will never forget!

(Want to learn more about the history of travel in the USA? Check out our post about it!)

Switch up the destination!

With family vacations, it’s easy to fall into the routine of visiting the same place year after year. Some families even keep a yearly reservation to the same beach house or cabin!

By switching up the destination this time, it will be the vacation that stands out when you look back at your travels over the years! When you reminisce on your memories, you’ll have no trouble remembering exactly which year it was and where you were.

When looking at family vacation ideas, try choosing a location that is completely different than what you’re used to. If you normally hit the beach for a week, rent a cabin in the mountains instead. If you’re a mountaineering family, travel to a bustling city instead. 

If you travel with your extended family, this might be a difficult hurdle. If you can’t get everyone to budge on the destination, skip this and check out our next tip instead. 


Plan different activities – and give everyone a say!

Whether you’re able to convince your family to change up the destination or not, planning different activities than usual will still keep things fresh!

Maybe while at the beach, you usually go kayaking and to the aquarium. This time, rent jet skis and go deep-sea fishing! Doing something your family has never done before is the perfect way to make family vacation memories!

An important part of this is to choose activities that will make the trip memorable for everyone, especially if you have children of different ages in your family. 

Teenagers may seem moody on family vacations, but letting them choose activities that are catered to them instead of their younger siblings and cousins can make all the difference. A little bit of compromise can go a long way!

Try setting up a themed scavenger hunt for everyone. Research the area you’ll be visiting and create a fascinating scavenger hunt that involves solving puzzles and exploring the local landmarks. 

For example, if you’re going to a beach area, you could have clues that lead the way to cool rock formations, lighthouses, and other attractions. Don’t forget to sprinkle in creative rewards at the end!

But don’t let the kids plan the entire trip – make sure each adult gets a chance to choose something, too. Letting everyone contribute a family vacation idea will help you all get to know each other and your interests better than ever.

Choose a different mode of transportation.

No matter what your destination is, the way you get there sets the tone for the entire trip. To make your family’s travels extra-memorable, choose a different mode of transportation than usual!

If you already consider your family to be seasoned road trippers, flying to your destination instead will be exciting, especially if your kids haven’t flown before! Or, if you normally fly to your family vacation, try driving instead. Road trips with loved ones create some of the best travel memories!

(We know flying with your kids can seem daunting. If you’re not sure about it, check out our tips for surviving the flight!)


Leave room for spontaneity.

As much as we love planning our travels, too much planning has been the downfall of many otherwise amazing trips. When we over-book ourselves, we take away the magic that happens when you leave things to chance. 

By not scheduling every minute of every day of the trip, there is room to make the family vacation memories that we often cherish the most – the spontaneous ones!

The whole idea of the family vacation is to spend quality time together, and some of the best memories are made with coffee around the kitchen table or the entire family around a board game. Leave some downtime for everyone to relax together or embark on their own mini-adventures so that everyone can remember the trip in their own way!

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