Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Destination Unknown

This past week we headed off on a family vacation to Massachusetts, staying in Plymouth within driving distance to Cape Cod as well as Boston. It’s all part of a new tradition we started last year to take the kids to visit a city new to them at the close of each school year. Last year we went to Chicago.

What I didn’t anticipate was the debate over our destination. Now that the kids are old enough to appreciate these trips, they’re also old enough to voice opinions—and expect us to listen. My daughter lobbied heavily for New York City. Obviously, she lost. And she’s not happy about it.

We also like to take a family vacation in February every year, preferably to a much warmer area of the country. When the kids were younger, Disney World or the beaches were always safe destinations. Now, the boys want to fish and the girls, ah, don’t. For this upcoming year, the boys are lobbying for San Diego, and my daughter is lobbying for the Caribbean or Hawaii. I’m lobbying for a shorter, less expensive plane ride, which means Florida. All of the sudden, planning the fun family vacations has become less than, well, fun.

So, I’m curious. Who plans the vacations in your house? Who gets to vote? How do you decide on the final destination? Any place you’re yearning to go?

At least I can still say our family still has a good time on vacation once we get there. And that’s a relief!!


Alan Orloff said...

Usually, my wife plans the vacation. That guarantees it will be a good one.

Five years ago, we took 7 weeks and drove across country (and back) with our two boys. Beforehand, I had everybody come up with a list of 20 places they wanted to go. Then we got a giant map and plotted all the choices and picked a route that hit as many as we could. It was a great vacation and we hit a lot of interesting spots: Football Hall of Fame, Corn Palace, surfing at Laguna Beach, Grand Canyon, Deadwood, nighttime rodeo in Cody, Graceland, Mt Rushmore, redwood forest, Vegas, Golden Gate Bridge, Hearst Castle San Deigo Zoo, Hoover Dam--and that's just scratching the surface!

Beth Groundwater said...

I was the family travel agent, and now I do it for the two of us. Usually I chose the locations and everyone got a vote on what activities we'd do and sights we'd see once we got there. We took the kids to New Zealand, Australia, two trips to Europe (southern and northern), Hawaii, Alaska, etc. so they had no reason to complain! Except when they overdosed on museums. :)

Darrell James said...

Vacation just seems to happen in our household. A fantastic idea comes up (usually when there's alcohol being passed about). "Let's go there!" And the next thing you know we're on our way.

Deborah Sharp said...

Cute post, Lisa. My husband's and my traveling style would never work if we'd had kids.We alternate planning trips. When I'm doing it, it's carefully laid out, lots of internet research, some lodging pre-booked. When he's doing it, it's typically: ''Hey, wouldn't it be fun to go to Ireland?'' Plane tickets purchased, and the rest? ''We'll decide when we get there.'' Aaargh!

Mike Dennis said...

I plan the vacations. I dictate the destination, the dates, and the activities. I brook no opposition. What I say goes. Every time.

Of course, I'm not married and have no kids.

Shannon Baker said...

Planning recreation at our house is always fun. Sometimes I take the lead, sometimes Dave, and sometimes, like last Saturday, we just get up and decide to throw the kayaks on the pickup and head off to Lake Powell. We're planning a dive trip to the Caymans this fall, so any tips would be welcome!

Alice Loweecey said...

My husband and I plan vacations together. When the boys were younger, we made sure there were activities for them where we went. Now that they're older, we get their input more.

*start broken record* For 8 years we went to the wonderful Fern Resort in Orillia, Ontario. Hopefully we'll be able to return next year. Darn budget restrictions!