Posted on Wednesday, 15th September 2010 by

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What type of vacation does everyone (or almost everyone) agree on?

I can still remember the fun my brother and I had in the summer getting together at a lake cottage with our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  We would swim during the day and play games in the evening while swatting bugs.  Catching lightning bugs at dusk was always fun.  This really isn’t a promotion for the movie Grown-ups but my family vacation memories date back to the 60s.  Lake vacations are still a great choice although the “cottages” of the 60s are now more likely to be huge homes with multiple levels and 5 or more bedrooms.  It’s a great time for catching up, having fun on the water and creating life long memories for younger children.

Another good option for a family vacation traveling with siblings, parents, aunts/uncles, etc. is a Cruise vacation.  It’s perfect for spending time together and avoiding those little disagreements on where to eat and what to do.  It’s relaxing, fun and entertainment is abundant with plenty of variety.  You can even climb walls, play some putt-putt golf or try surfing on some cruise lines.  This is probably a better choice for family’s where all the children are in their teens or older.  It will be more expensive than sharing a beach or lake home, but it requires less planning and can be more relaxing.

A Beach or Lake House Vacation

A family vacation can be a lot of fun.  Grandma and Grandpa can spend time with all the grandkids.  There are plenty of folks to watch the children when you want to go out for a few hours.  The kids can get to know their cousins if the family is spread out geographically.  Siblings can reconnect and laugh about childhood silliness.  It can be fun and leave everyone with memories that last a lifetime.  A great way to avoid anyone taking on too much of the work of a shared vacation is splitting the menu duties.  Everyone takes a day to plan the meals and furnish the food, and yes cooking it all goes with the commitment.  Of course, ordering pizzas and deli sandwiches is always an option if cooking doesn’t appeal to you.  It’s best that everyone going on the family vacation agree on how the costs will be divided up.  Someone will have to be responsible for determining costs for all and collecting the funds.  I recommend finding out first what each family’s limit is financially for lodging.  You’ll find several options for renting homes on lakes or seaside homes and a variety of price ranges.  Make sure you have enough rooms so that you can have some privacy.  Some family members will need some quiet time while others may be fine with constant activity and conversation.  Agree before hand that it’s okay to disappear if you need to recharge with some quiet time, a walk on the beach, a hike in the woods and nap or to read a book.

Checklist for Planning a Family Vacation at the Lake or Beach:

  1. Picking the type of vacation and desired locations.
  2. Who is responsible for making reservations and collecting funds from each family
  3. Eating plans – who will do menu planning and put together the grocery list
  4. Who will plan the games for the kids and adults
  5. Who will be the “Trouble Shooter” taking care of problems that might occur


Lake & Beach homes

Lake Homes

Beach Houses
(this site covers the world)

Family Cruise Vacations

A Cruise vacation is a great option if it’s affordable for everyone in the family that wants to participate in a “Family Reunion” style vacation.  Cruise ships offer lots of choices for their passengers in the way of activities and entertainment.  They also have variety in eating choices too with many ships having specialty restaurants at an additional charge.  In other words, there is something for everyone.  The family can spend as much time together at dinner or at an evening show as you like.  You can also find a quiet place to reenergize if needed.  The great thing about cruising is it doesn’t require as much planning and the cruise line takes care of the menu, assigns rooms and takes you to ports with plenty of activities to choose from.

Checklist for a Family Cruise Vacation:

  1. Pick the location of interest to folks, (Caribbean, Alaska, Canada, someplace Exotic) and Port preference for Embarkation/Debarkation
  2. Explore some of the websites and find a deal that meets everyone’s financial limits.  Call a travel agent, whether online or in your community, and have them assist in coordinating the family cruise vacation.  They will make sure you’re sharing a table in the dining room and attempt to get cabins in the same general area, especially if you need connecting cabins.
  3. The Cruise Line will do everything else.


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Please contact me if you have any questions about an article or featured destination.  I also welcome comments on topics posted and will share your travel recommendations, including web sites, Inns or excursions from your travel experiences.  If you have a suggestion for a future article that you think would be of interest I welcome those.  You can reach me at:

Nancy Holston

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The information provided may not cover all aspect of unique or special circumstances. Travel policies and packages are subject to change without notice. To ensure the accuracy of this information, contact travel providers and hotels at the time of your bookings to confirm pricing, itinerary, and all costs. The comments and observations are limited to the author’s personal experience and your results may vary significantly. This article and replies to comments are not intended to substitute for professional travel services. Our reply is time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic economic factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change.

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