Getting ready for the summer season means figuring out where to bring your family for some much needed vacation time. Why not let the grandparents come with you? It takes a little bit more planning, but having the whole family together will make all the effort worth it.
Plan and block the dates ahead of time.
This might sound like stating the obvious, but spur of the moment vacation with kids and grandparents in tow might sound adventurous, but it adds unnecessary stress (especially for grandparents who are set in their ways.) Planning ahead also shows consideration for everyone’s schedule, giving time to file leaves, move appointments, and give notice to your children’s schools.
Pick a place that mostly everyone will enjoy.
Unless all of you are made of the same mold, your idea of an awesome vacation may be different from each other. One could be a beach bunny (check out family friendly Boracay destinations here!), while one would rather snuggle in and stay in an air-conditioned hotel room (staycations, anyone?). Take note of the word mostly. It’s going to be difficult to choose just one location that will please everybody, so choose a location that you can do all sorts of activities, from the adventurous (bungee-jumping, anyone?)
to the safety first crowd (think museum crawling.)
Take out the element of the unknown, as much as possible.
There’s peace of mind that comes with knowing what happens next. Have a clear itinerary for your whole vacation. Even if some points might fall away or it won’t be followed to a T, having a schedule lessens your need to worry if you’re missing out on something, or thinking of a way to entertain everyone when they complain that they’re bored.
Pack something from home.
Everyone thrives in routines, no matter their age bracket. Besides keeping your family’s health top of mind (like bringing your daughter’s medicines and nebulizer kit), their comfort is also very important. Don’t think twice if the grandparents want to bring their own pillows or food.
Don’t scrimp on the accommodations.
Nothing ruins a vacation faster than a sub-standard room, especially for grandparents who need more restful times in between activities. Make sure to inspect beds and bathrooms for cleanliness and comfort, and don’t hesitate to ask for a room change if it’s not up to your liking.
Let the comments slide.
Even the most detailed and magical vacation will get less than stellar comments, from your kids complaining that the sand is not “white enough”, to the grandparents complaining about the less than fluffy pillows. If the complaints are things that you can’t do anything about (like really, the sand will stay the same forever), just smile, say you’ll choose a better spot next time, and let it go. There’s no use obsessing over something you can’t change as of the moment.
Ditch togetherness…for a few hours.
Not all kids will be patient enough to walk around a museum aimlessly, and perhaps you and your partner would like to take some drinks during happy hour. Not all experiences are PG, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about that.
Set the pace for your “slowest” member.
Have you ever heard of that saying, “You’re only as fast as your slowest runner”? Whether it’s you because of you and your baby’s stroller, or it’s the grandparents’ leisure walking with a stick, keep the pace safe and comfortable. Stay away from challenging ways, like walking uphill or a 100 steps to a grotto—you don’t need that kind of stress!
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