If your family is anything like mine, vacation planning is left up to mom. I have been named the family Chief Vacation Officer. I have the overwhelmingly stressful job of planning a vacation that will be memorable, fun and exciting for everyone from grandparents to babies. Each year after our family trip, I need a vacation! As much as we joke about it, statistics show that most moms do the planning and most moms need a post-vacation vacation! In fact, Alamo Rent A Car’s Family Vacation Survey found that 93% of moms have felt the need for additional time off to recover from family vacation. You can read about more interesting survey stats in the Fact Sheet on Alamo’s Scenic Route.
I can’t think of a time when any other member of my family has made vacation plans. Of course, they all have suggestions of where we should go. But their involvement ends there.
The planning often takes on a life of its own. I would imagine the more family members involved in a vacation; the harder it is to plan. I plan a four generation trip for my family each year. I need time away alone each year when we get back. The trip usually includes my mother, my kids (with spouses), my grandchildren and me and my husband. I am in charge of everyone’s vacation happiness. I stress over everyone’s vacation happiness. I need a vacation from our vacation!
Planning first starts with so many questions:
- Where will we go? Everyone has an opinion and an idea. At least one family member will be disappointed about something.
- When will we go? Work schedules and school schedules have to be coordinated.
- How many days will we go?
- How will we get there? Drive? Fly?
- One villa for everyone to stay together (No!) or separate rooms?
- What’s the budget?
- What is each family member’s “must do” at our selected destination?
This is just a sampling of the questions I start with. Once we select a destination, the REAL fun begins! I make lists. I make spreadsheets. I color code the information.
- Are there any special attractions we want to see at our chosen destination?
- Where will we eat? Making sure that food allergies are handled at the selected dining spots!
- Will we all stay together or split up? Stay together most days?
Next comes all the research. There are so many destinations and so many websites. Which one can you trust to give you the best information? Sites like Alamo’s Scenic Route can give inspiration on where to visit next, as well as tips for everything from packing for your trip to making fun crafts that capture your vacation memories.
When our vacation time finally arrives, I admit that I spend most of my vacation time making sure everyone is happy and doing what they want to do. If we visit a destination like Walt Disney World, I usually try to arrange a special event or attraction for each of my grandchildren or a special dinner “date night” for my children and their spouses. Making sure everyone gets to do what they want to do is exhausting!
If we’re staying in a villa, I’m off to the grocery store the minute we arrive to make sure everyone has their favorite snack.
I honestly spend so much time before and during a family vacation planning for each family member and making sure those plans go off without a hitch, I am not only physically exhausted afterwards, but I’m also mentally drained.
I love my family to pieces. I want them to enjoy family vacations together. Making sure they are happy when we take our yearly family vacation leaves me DONE!
I definitely need a vacation after planning the family vacation. Don’t you? Where shall we go? We can check one of my favorite sites!