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10 Simple Rules for Family Vacations

10 Simple Rules for Family Vacations (1)

Anyone planning a family vacation?

(raises own hand)

Everybody needs a little time away.... according to Chicago, and those guys sold a lot of records. They must know what they're talking about.

Sometimes it helps to be spontaneous with these trips. Other times it helps to plan.

The real challenge is once you're on vacation how do you make sure it's all that you hoped for?

>> Related: a roadtrip game the whole family will like (and keep the travel time moving fast!)

Maybe you're not a rules person. I'm generally not either, and yet here are ten rules for family vacations that I tend to follow, in no particular order:

  1. Be ready, at any given moment, to ditch anything you planned on doing in order to do what matters more.
  2. Shorts, whenever possible, instead of pants.
  3. Read only things that will entertain or challenge me personally - not give me ideas for work stuff.
  4. Laugh... a lot.
  5. Eat ice cream at a place that will let my wife order something she’ll really, really like.
  6. Say "yes" as much as possible to my kids, especially when they make reasonable asks.
  7. Spend some quality time with God each day... even if it's just a genuine pause to say thank you.
  8. Try at least one new restaurant and at least one new type of food.
  9. Take over the daily “get the kids going” stuff my wife does most days of the year.
  10. No technology... and if I have a cellphone, it's set on "airplane" mode so I can be unavailable. The world doesn't run on my energy, and "off" features on electronics exist for a reason.

Maybe some of this seems common sense. Still, I need the reminder so that I can be fully present with my God, wife and kids.

>> Related: a free mobile game app for kids with a surprising outcome parents will love

"Fully present," by the way, means I'm giving them the kind of attention I would the President of the United States if he popped over for a visit. Why is it so difficult to do this sometimes?

Perhaps it seems silly to have rules when the whole point is to unwind. Still, if you want to "fly" you need to create a "runway."

How does this flesh out for you? What are (or could be) some of your vacation rules?

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  • […] Rules are essential to establish for any family vacation. It can be helpful to talk about all the vital details before you leave home, so everyone is aware of what you expect while you are away from your routine at home. Whether it’s a strict curfew or ensuring everyone contributes to chores around the house, having rules in place will help create structure and minimize conflict throughout the trip. […]

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