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How To Plan A Multi-Family Vacation

Would you like to spend more time with your best friend or your family? Check it out with a multi-family vacation! These group trips are becoming increasingly popular. In fact the tourism industry has begun to call this phenomenon “togethering”. A multifamily vacation is a chance to relax and share adventures with friends and family, as well as reduce the costs of accommodations.

However, it is not always an easy task to reach a compromise when two families have different kinds of holiday styles. There can be several levels of disagreement over schedules, choice of destination, choice of accommodations, and even selection of daily activities. “The needs of the Group compete with the needs of the individual, so we cannot expect to do everything we want on a multi-family vacation,” says Matthew Purinton, family therapist of the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia.

“Before you start to pack, discuss openly those difference that can cause problems”, recommends Marybeth Bond, author of 11 books of travel and writer of the blog GutsyTraveler.com. Here we tell how to prevent conflicts and return home with friendships intact and full of good memories on a Facebook page!

1. Speak Frankly About Money

Do not book hotel rooms until everyone is in agreement about destination, accommodations, and costs. Make sure that everyone has put in their part of the deposit and that everyone acknowledges that the deposit it NOT refundable. “Nothing can hurt a friendship so much as when you reserve rooms and pay and then your friend says that he and his family are not going,” say Bond.

2. Planning For Meals

Maybe you like the freedom of eating out every night on vacation and your friends want to prepare their own food and save money. Decide, together, on a meal plan that fits the economic needs as well as the wishes of each family involved. An option might be to alternate nights at a restaurant with night preparing food together.

Both families need to ante up money to a food fund or eating out fund in order to avoid having to keep track of receipts at the grocery store. Separate checks at a restaurant works just fine. Do your kids have special food needs or tastes? Bring special snacks, etc. for them.

3. Vacationing Together Does Not Mean Being Stuck Together Like Glue

Being together is the goal of this group holiday, but no one wants to be stuck together every second of the day. “If your friends don’t like art do not force them to go to museums when what they really want is to go shopping in a mall,” says Purinton. Find a balance between activities that can be enjoyed together and where each family can quit and do something else when they get bored.

4. Discipline With Love

Surprise, surprise. Kids do not always act like little angels. It will not be any fun for the group if you spend your entire trip scolding and disciplining them. If your friends have a different method of keeping their kids in order be tolerant. Maybe you will learn something.

But what if the kids really behave badly? “Be philosophical and patient,” says Bond. If the children really are doing something dangerous or inappropriate go ahead and intervene but leave any discipline to the parents of the children. There is nothing wrong with telling the kids not to jump over a chair but it is another thing to deny them activities when you are not their parent,” says Purinton.

5. Keep Flexible Hours

No matter how carefully you plan a vacation day something unexpected always happens. Someone falls asleep, a child wets their pants, you lose the keys to the car, etc. But if one of the families is always late, it can be irritating and lead to tension and resentment. Please agree that if one family arrives more than twenty minutes late for an activity that the other family will go ahead without them. As Bond says, “why ruin a friendship for 20 minutes?”




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