Happy Monday, Everyone!
Before I forget, I want to share that The Prayer Box is on Kindle/Nook sale all this week for only $2.99, thanks to my publisher!
So, all that aside, does today find you back-to-the-grindstone after cleaning up the Christmas decorations, tossing out the last of the leftover goodies, and resolving to expunge from your diet all things cream-cheese-based from now until forever? Or is that just me? In church on Sunday, the pastor pointed out that there’s a storage room full of exercise equipment that’s been “donated” by church members. He’s giving the stuff away to anyone who will take it. Free. He’ll even help load it.
I was tempted. But the truth is, I already have exercise equipment and anything new would just be a distraction, and THAT, my friends, is what my mind is really looking for right now. A nice distraction from the fact that the holidays are over. I don’t know why it’s so hard to get back in the swing after a good break, but it is.
In the interest of serving up one, last distraction, I thought I’d share a few Christmas vacation thoughts. And Just to make it feel a little less frivolous, I’m adding a little advice about grown-up family vacations. This is where we now find ourselves — loading up two ginormous man-children and striking off in the wee hours of the morning.
The advantages of vacationing with grown-up kids: No diaper bags, they can pack for themselves, they help drive, no one throws up in the car.
The disadvantages of vacationing with grown-up kids: They don’t necessarily have two-week vacations at Christmas now. They’re not excited about little things like trains and wind turbines along the roadsides anymore. They eat a lot. I mean A LOT!
It’s all worth it for family bonding moments like these:
There are a few practicalities to grown-up family vacationing, we’ve learned. Here are a few thoughts and ideas for making grown-up family vacations successful, fun, and stress-free.
1. Set a budget. Family fun for grown-up families doesn’t have to be expensive. Something as simple as a trip to a nearby park or natural attraction can be fun. Decide what you can afford and who will pay for what. Search the Internet and tourist literature for options that fit within your budget.
2. Have everyone in on the planning. Remember that these are adults. Their opinions and preferences do matter. Discuss the options you’ve found and come to decisions by consensus. In the case of our grown-up family vacation ski trip, the boys had lost interest in skiing, but wanted to learn to snowboard, so we chose a location where they could take lessons.
3. Decide whether guests will be invited along. Girlfriends, boyfriends, and roommates who aren’t officially part of the family can be an issue. Decide whether guests will be invited. If you don’t want guests along, explain your feelings and discuss it, but be reasonable and considerate.. This isn’t the time for relationship power-play.
4. Plan for adventure. Young adults might enjoy some amount of time just hanging out or sitting around, but generally they want to “do things” on vacation. Find locations with available activities they’ll enjoy and things you’ll enjoy, as well.
5. Coordinate schedules. It’s not always easy, so start early. With work schedules, school schedules, and perhaps significant-other schedules in the mix, finding a time when everyone is available can take a emails or texts (or heavens me, actual talks on the phone) back and forth, but it’s worth it.
6. Find appropriate lodging. Remember, that they’re past the stage of rollaway beds in the corner of your hotel room. Consider locations that offer multiple rooms, such as condos, cabins, or adjoining hotel suites. VRBO.com is a great source of vacation-rental-by-owner houses, condos, and cabins in many locations.
7. Don’t demand every minute. While it’s natural to want family time on a family vacation, don’t be surprised if your young adults want to text, Facebook, or otherwise keep in touch with friends… or seek out places where other young adults congregate. Don’t demand that the family spend every moment of the vacation together. Don’t insist on making decisions for your big-little people. Remember that they manage on their own in everyday life, all the time. Aside from that, a little time devoted to separate activities can be good for the vacation morale.
8. Don’t forget the old-favorite movies, board games, snacks, and other family activities. While it can be hard to drag everyone away from laptops, cell phones, and other electronics in the evenings, work at it. Vacation downtime spent together might just provide some of the best memories of all.
9. Set financial parameters. Decide how much you’re willing to pay for, in terms of food, activities, and so forth. If kids want to pay for add-ons (like new ski goggles that they totally do NOT need) let them do so. Their vacation mad-money choices are their business.
10. Have fun! Enjoy these big people your little people have become, and the family you have grown into. Don’t forget to take photos and make memories along the way!
The mountains are our favorite family vacation spot. What about you? What are your favorite family vacation spots?