Blended families are beautiful but they can also be stressful. Everyone’s learning each other’s likes and dislikes, habits and quirks while maintaining the new daily routine. The stress can spill over to vacations as well, especially if you’re a newly blended family. Here are a few tips to help you manage the stress on your blended family vacation.
- Compromise & keep it fair. As parents you know what your kids will like/dislike on vacation. To keep it fair and considerate of what all the kids want to do, give them several options and let them vote and come to agreement on where the family should vacation. Remember, children think parents are only their escorts and there to pick up the tab.
- Mini vacation anyone?! In the beginning, an 8 day safari will be way too long, especially if everyone is not comfortable with each other yet. Mini vacations/getaways are best especially when you are a new blended family. Plan on a 3-4 night vacation and think of it as a trial adventure for members of the new family to get to know each other while having fun.
- Mix-it Up! Activities should be inclusive of what everyone likes to do. Group activities will be great and a lot of fun, but mix-it up by going on separate outings. For example the wife takes the girls on an all-girl excursion and the husband takes the boys on one. Experts also stress that going on totally separate vacations (each parent with their biological children only in different destinations) when you are blended families is not a good idea. It will create division and strife in the family.
- Be Flexible and Communicate. Flexibility and communication are the keys to making any vacation fun and stress free. Be open to changes in the plan and don’t assume anyone knows what you like/dislike. Don’t be selfish and encourage family members to share their thoughts and desires.
- Create a lot of memories. Take a lot of group family selfies throughout your vacation and proudly display them at home when you return. Everyone will remember the fun they had and look forward to the next vacation.
Now that we have our tips and tools, where should we go on our blended family vacation? Cruises are going to be great floating destinations for a blended family vacation. All cruises sail to great destinations and have tons of onboard activities that will appeal to all family members.
Cities/destinations with theme parks and specialty resorts are also great because there will be activities for kids of every age. For example Orlando, Florida is a great destination for blended family vacations. Not only is Orlando home to Disney World and all that it offers but resorts like Coco Key Orlando also call it home. Coco Key Orlando has its own water park but is centrally located near Disney, Sea World and Universal as well as shopping malls for Mom. Simply fun for everyone!
Parents, remember to communicate your expectations and rules and you’re all set for a little fun and break from the daily family routine.
BMWK: As a blended family, can you share your vacation tips?