A vacation is a great way to take a break from your work, church and community responsibilities. The beach is an iconic location for family trips, particularly in the summertime. No matter where you go, there are probably quite a few family-friendly activities designed to entertain and give you a break from daily life. These tips can help you plan a family beach vacation that everyone will enjoy.
When you think of the perfect beach getaway, what images come to your mind? Perhaps you dream of leisurely morning brunches followed by days at the beach, playing in the waves or reading a book and ending with a relaxed family meal in the evening. Others in your family may have different ideas of what a fun vacation entails. They may want to get up early and pack their days full of snorkeling adventures and sightseeing, exploring the whole surrounding area to see what fun they can get out of it. A trip that exclusively embodies one person's idea of a good time is likely to leave everyone else a bit disgruntled, stressed or bored.
Before you even book your travel, have a family meeting to discuss expectations of the trip. You may agree on more things than you think you will. Even if you don't, you can usually find a few activities that everyone is interested in that you can do as a family:
- Scuba diving
- Riding jet skis
- Visiting local museums or other attractions
Everybody may not get to do all the things they want to do, but talking about it beforehand means that everyone gets to voice their opinions and help set the tone for the vacation.
The place you stay depends on the type of vacation you’re planning. A cottage or hotel that is adjacent to or within walking distance of the beach is perfect if you are going to spend most of your days on the sand and in the surf. All-inclusive resorts often provide easy access to the beach as well as a myriad of activity and dining options, and they usually do so at a relatively reasonable price. If, however, you are only spending a day or two at the shore and seeing other sights the rest of the time, you may save more money and shorten daily travel by choosing a more central location.
This step may not seem like it fosters rest and relaxation, but it is important, especially in families where there is a primary caregiver. The person who is usually in charge of the bulk of meals, housework or childcare may seem like the perfect candidate to do all the planning and preparation. However, this is his or her vacation, too. Everyone in the family deserves a little reprieve from regular responsibilities, so discussing how the administrative tasks involved in vacation planning can be more evenly distributed is essential.
A great first step toward sharing responsibility is having everyone who is old enough for the task plan at least one activity for the whole family. Each person should be given a budget and a range of distance from the place where you're staying. You can decide to designate a specific afternoon or evening for everyone or give them the option of proposing a few different times when each of their own activities could happen. Then simply compile the information into the family calendar for the week.
Any vacation you take as a family should be as fun and relaxing as possible for everyone. By talking about expectations and responsibilities beforehand and choosing the best place to come back to every night of the trip, you increase the likelihood that all of you will have a great time.