Family Vacation Planning Tips

Like overstuffed baggage, overstuffed vacations have a way of exploding at the worst possible moment!

Here are some planning reminders:
With your vacation budget in mind, have each family member outline his or her ideal vacation (i.e. where to go, what to do). Try to incorporate at least one element of each person's favorite activities into your vacation plans, whether beach-bumming, golfing, or site-seeing.
Remember that vacations are about making memories. Discuss what vacation memories you'll want to have in five years.
Select a site that provides something for everyone.
After you've planned your vacation, cut your "to do" and "to see" lists in half. Less is more.
If you have both go-getter and laid-back family members, agree to go your separate ways for a few hours every day. This will satisfy everyone and keep the peace.
If grandparents or other family members are coming along, arrange separate living space for them so they can have some quiet, private time. This is a good idea for parents of older children, too!
Call or visit your doctor and dentist before your vacation - for a checkup, travel advice, and/or medications.
Ask your parish priest for the name of a parish (and an introduction phone call to the parish's priest) in the area where you will be vacationing if you will be there on a Saturday, Sunday, or major feast day. You will rediscover the liturgy in a different environment, plus make new friends you may want to visit on your next vacation. [To obtain the current issue of Orthodox Parishes and Institutions in North America, write to: Orthodox People Together Directory Offices, P.O. Box 1128, Torrance, CA 90505-0128, or phone (800) 747-9245. $9.95/each, includes shipping & handling. The OPT Directory lists all Orthodox churches, of all jurisdictions.]
Remind your parish priest the week before you leave that you will be gone, so he can include your family in the prayers for the safety of those "traveling by land, sea, or air."
Maintain your family prayer routine while on vacation. Take along a small icon (laminated if you plan to be tent camping!) and prayer book/Bible.

Adapted from Hope Health Letter, May 1996, pg. 2.

© 1996 by Orthodox Family Life and the original author(s).
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