The benefits offered by family vacations can make a very significant difference in your standard of living. This is, primarily, due to the traditions related to family vacations. These traditions provide a fantastic vehicle for communication between the members of a family, allowing for a higher level of understanding of the motives and goals of each member of the family. Another benefit is the comfort that remains from the time spent together during these rituals, which is something that will make it easier to overcome times of crisis.
It is always a good idea to include everybody in these traditions. Remember to always offer a positive outlook and feedback to everybody; for instance, if the youngest child is starting to feel upset about the fact that he is not as quick at finding sand dollars as his older brothers and sisters, encourage him to keep looking. You can ask the other siblings to help him to grow his collection, too. Everybody will sooner or later pick up on your enthusiasm. There are a lot of different vacation tradition and it doesn’t really matter which ones you choose, what’s important is that they will promote cooperation and support among family members. These feelings are very important, and can be recreated anywhere you go.
Mapping the Route
It’s a good idea to start the vacation tradition before you start travelling. A few weeks before. Since children usually enjoy looking at maps and trying to figure out where they are and where they can go and how to get there, buying a few city or state maps so that they help you plot the route can be lots of fun. By plotting the route they will have a sense of involvement, and as result, they will be more excited about the family vacation. They will learn how to read a map, too.
The map is also a nice souvenir, which will remind you of the good time you had in this trip. You can make envelopes out of them to hold trip mementos, for example, or you can use them as background for scrapbook pages. This tradition is not only very enjoyable, it is also useful, because it can keep your kids busy when you may really need it, right before the trip, when you are making the last travel preparations, right before you hit the road.
Dining for More than Nourishment
Starting culinary traditions is something that everybody likes, and a family vacation is the perfect time to do it. Picnic lunches substituting fast-food is something the doctor would recommend, and so do I. If you make your own food you will not worry about the food that you will find at the airport, for example. Fresh vegetables, granola, cheese sticks and trail mix are things that the kids can put together, or pack at least, themselves. When children prepare their own food they are also more likely to eat it, which is a plus too.
Make it a habit to go to mom-and-pop kind of eateries, as it will give you and your family a deeper sense of the culture of the place that you’re at. You can always go to McDonald’s when you are at home, so why not try new things when you are at a new place? Another tradition will be eating at your favorite local establishment the next time you come back to this place.
Travel games are a great addition to your family vacation. The best games are those that your children want to keep playing over and over again; bonus points if they don’t require any equipment or take up room. Your children may introduce these games to their own kids in the future. One of the games that most kids like playing is “I Spy.” Taking turns, each kid will spy a color or object in the car or outside the car, and the rest of the family will try to find out what it is. Another fun game: finding a license plat from a particular state, or from each state. For the older kids, you can also make acronyms with the license plate letters. For example, the letters ILJ could mean “I love juice”.
The most common, and perhaps the best, souvenir is the photograph. Photographs allow you immortalize memories that you could forget about, and you can invent family traditions around them, too. You can, for example, make it a habit to take a photo of your kids next to each state line. Then, when you are back at home, you can use your favorite photo from the trip to make a family T-shirt, or perhaps make a T-shirt with a list of all the places that you and your family visited on your trip. You can find online shirt printers that will do the job, or you can do it yourself using iron-on transfers. You should show off all the little treasures that you may have collected along the way, don’t put them where they can’t be seen. Tree leaves, sea shells, or other objects, they are little treasures for you and your family that will remind you of all the good times that you spent travelling together. Collecting these little things could become a new family tradition, too.
Embracing the Destination
The destination of the vacation may very well be a family tradition, perhaps the most important one. If you find a place that everybody happens to like, such as a lakeside resort with plenty of nature around it, can become the place that your family longs to visit the whole year. The destination can change from year to year if your family’s activity is a family tradition. For example, if you like hiking, you might want to go a different place each year to practice your sport in a different location. Another tradition could be trying new activities each year.
No matter where you go, the most important thing about family vacations is the fact that you are with your family and you are going somewhere with the purpose of enjoying your time with each other.