May 26, 2014 by

adults vacationing


While on vacation from work, one goes to spend time with extended family(parents, siblings, in-laws, etc.) Usually for at least two or more overnights and staying in the same living quarters. (Urban Dictionary)


All of the kids were home, and our family was all together. This was a great thing for us, but for some families it isn’t always the case.

For instance, when you return to one of the homes of a husband or wife as now one of those adult children, how does it go?

We learned a long time ago that fish and family have a lot in common…they both go bad in about 3 days. How many of us dread those times or wish we would have left about 3 days earlier?

For us this was not the case (Maybe you should ask our grown kids their opinion here, but for us, as the parents, it was terrific). It was an awesome time, but learning to all be together takes effort, commitment, and willingness to compromise. Living in close quarters can create issues. For example, schedules — some like to work from a set schedule while others tend to be more spontaneous and free-spirited. Some like to sleep in and stay up late while others want to get up early and get going. Some want to sit around and enjoy conversation while others want to go and do.

One of our dreams as a couple is to annually schedule a family vacation with all our kids and their families getting together at some location. This year we were all able to be home and do some activities launching from home. We do live in a great area with so much around that we can do day trips to terrific places.

What do you need to set in place to make family times happen effectively?

  1. Plan. Isn’t this always the case in life? We must plan and be proactive even when scheduling time together as a family. If we just set a date and everyone is able to show up but nothing gets planned, it often becomes individual activities or everybody doing their own thing. This can be frustrating unless part of the “plan” is to have these times coordinated.
  2. Discuss. What is it that people want to do? Where are we going, or what are we going to do? What does our budget allow us to do? What are we doing for meals and who is preparing? What is available at the location we are staying, and how much can we do ourselves, or what meals do we plan to eat out?
  3. Expectations. Who is able to do what? What finances are available and willing to be committed by the grown children? Jerolyn and I are attempting to pay for part of those family vacations but, as needed, asking our grown kids to chip in for some of the cost.

This was a great time for us and well worth the investment of our limited financial resources this year. It was more of what use to be affectionately known as a “staycation,” which we launched from our home. Staying at home and playing games or having family discussions can be some of the best and most memorable times.

We had fun for a full day trip, but honestly for us one of the more special moments was sitting on our back patio having a rather deep theological discussion with all chiming in on the subject. What a great evening.

You can make “family times” a reality even if it isn’t the family trip to Bali. It does not have to be the world’s greatest family vacation destination or a Disney trip, which both sound pretty wonderful.

Go back to the 3 things listed above and communicate. Plan, discuss, and be clear on expectations to make your family times enjoyable, memorable, and not causing family feuds or “family fish smell.”

Have an awesome summer and make plans to pour into your family both during the routine of everyday life or the exotic family vacation.


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