Contemplating a family vacation? No doubt, these are perplexing times. But if you are ready to roll, here are five things to consider.
Invest in proper planning
Prior to the pandemic, planning a vacation took time, knowledge, patience and perseverance. In the current era, making sense of rising prices, the effects of war on the wider region, changing health requirements and potential restrictions can be mind-boggling. This is where a travel agent can become a valuable member of your family’s travel-planning team.
The pros are up to date on the latest documentation requirements, closures and health-related recommendations. They understand different kinds of travel insurance and can make informed and experience-based recommendations. A good agent will get to know your family’s needs, discuss budgets and bucket lists, and offer suggestions for trips that fit your current comfort levels. Then, they’ll use their experience and skills to make even the most complicated itinerary your vacation reality.
Learn to expect the unexpected
Some family members thrive on routine, and travel can mess with the order of things. Missed connection or lost luggage? No problem. If you’ve stashed medical necessities, proper documents and perhaps a change of clothes into your carry-ons, it’s all good.
Buy what might be crucial (and get reimbursed by your airline or through your travel insurance). Then focus on what you do have. You and the gang will quickly learn that less is more. With fewer choices and a lightened load, there will be more time to enjoy the adventure at hand.
And when it rains on your beach vacation or the wind howls during a camping trip, it is a great time to look for the alternate opportunity. Search for seashells without fear of a sunburn. Break out the board games, or learn a new card trick. Campers can stow the tent in the back of the car and check into a hotel with a great indoor pool.
Stay flexible. Be creative. And uncover what is possible. Often, the pesky mishaps are the moments that become family lore and are cheerily recounted year after year.
It’s no fun to feel under the weather away from home. So it’s extra important to have the family’s support. Depending on the severity of the illness, consider the divide-and-conquer strategy. Take turns enjoying planned activities and staying in to cheer up the sick one.
Consult with your travel agent or a hotel concierge for local guidance and support. If you bought travel insurance, review your options for medical care and reimbursement for canceled portions of the trip.
Embrace remote living and learning
Why not incorporate travel into your family’s educational plan? With more families learning and working remotely, zero in on destinations and lodging options that can maximize your current lifestyle.
Are you interested in boosting the year’s planned curriculum by adding literary or historical sites to your travel itineraries? Do you want more art, music and theater in the mix? Consider crafting a week, month, summer or multiyear plan that marries your family’s educational goals with your evolving lifestyle and love of travel.
Know that travel builds character
Travel provides parents and grandparents the opportunity to model what matters most. Will you exhibit patience when the line snakes around the corner, your hotel room is not ready, or the restaurant server accidentally spills a drink on your table?
Delayed flights, weather changes, poor service or rocky roads help all of us learn to live in the moment, share resources, show kindness, manage unexpected consequences and see the bright side of the occasional travel mishap. How the adults respond to challenging scenarios will influence the developing character of young adventurers.