Vacation can be fun…I promise.
Last week, we started a series on Vacation. This week, we look at what makes vacation fun. Everyone has a different idea of what makes vacation fun. Some of us like to attack the week like an epic battle. Others like to let life happen to you. There are two crucial ingredients to a fun vacation.
First, Knowing what fun is for everyone on the trip. Each year, we spend a few nights with our family before the vacation asking our kids what they are looking forward to about vacation. What will be special for them? What are they looking forward to? We want everyone to have a good time. So, we try to be intentional about making that happen.
Second, Dad, we must be engaged in the effort to make this a memorable fun experience for the family. We are the CEO of fun for our families. Our attitudes and actions will make or break vacation…and memories for our kids for years. So, regardless of how many miles we drive, how many bags we pack, how many times we need to ask for directions, etc, our role is to help them have a blast.
CJ Mahaney writes,
What a family looks like—what a family experiences on a vacation—is largely determined by the father’s attitude and leadership prior to and during the vacation.
Here are some questions to consider…
- What does your family enjoy doing? Dad, you need to know what they love and lead them in it. Make memories. Tell stories. Laugh Loudly. Try to surprise each of them with something they will enjoy.
- Who needs to know what? In our family, we have a schedule for our vacation (I know you think that’s crazy…you might be right.). It’s not detailed to the minute, but it has some basic explanation of the day. It helps some of our family know what to expect and not ask “what’s next” every 5 minutes. This has been helpful to us. Communicate with your family before the vacation to make a plan. Communicate during to make sure the plan is working.
- How do you need to disengage so that you might fully engage? Maybe I’m the only man in the world who deals with this, but If I get drawn back into a work related issue, my mind takes a few hours to disengage again. I end up stealing time from my family. So, I turn off every notification, silence every call, turn off every email account, etc when I’m on vacation. I might post things to Twitter or something, but I disengage so that I can be fully engaged with my family.
- When are you going to rest? Vacation will not give our hearts ultimate joy, but it can give our minds and bodies rest. Seize it. Go to bed early. Get some rest.
Dad, we are in charge of making vacations memorable. Let’s make memories we want our families to have. I have found this series of articles to be particularly helpful in this area.