Planning family trips requires time and budgeting for expenses. By pre-planning you avoid the stressful pitfalls of overspending, boredom and loose ends. And it is something that you don’t have to take on by yourself.
Here are some Mindful tips to help you get organized and encourage family members to join your planning:
Do advanced planning. Go on the Internet and discover all you can about where you are going on vacation and what is available: hotel, food, restaurants and various activities (snorkeling, skiing, hiking, gambling, beaches, pools, transportation).
What about the dogs? If you have pets or if you are going for an extended period of time, look in a pet or house sitter. Is it a friend, family, neighbor or a services professional? Figure the cost of this expense in your overall trip budget.
Involve the children. Tell each child they have the opportunity to research and present the vacation they want to take. One may choose a horse farm vacation, and another child may choose a beach vacation. Their presentation must include the location, costs, time involved and why the family should go to this particular place this summer. This can be a fun creative adventure for your entire family.
Finances cause great stress. After researching the vacation activities available where you are vacationing–food, hotels, etc.–have a family meeting and discuss what each person wants to do on this vacation. Then match up the cost of each activity and meal with each desire and you will begin a budget. This will tell you ahead of time what you can afford to do. It is so much easier than getting there and arguing or spending money you don’t have that will show up on your credits cards when you get home.
Spending money. Make sure each child spending money so they have the freedom to purchase a snack, get a magazine or enjoy a small splurge. This empowers your children to make “grown up choices.” This is a great responsibility.
Raise your own money. Encourage your children to raise their own money for your family vacation. They may mow lawns, bake goods or clean houses to make some income for their exciting vacation. This teaches them that hard work pays off with a fantastic reward in the end