By now, you all know that my sister and I take “Sisters Trips” every year. We’ve traveled to New York, Italy, Prague, Toronto and many other exciting destinations! 2014 will mark our 6th year and we’re going to Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Scandinavian posts coming soon!
In 2013 we tried something new. Something we haven’t done since we were children…we went on a family vacation. Here is how the conversation started:
Dad: “Your mom and I want to go to Alaska. Do you girls want to come with?”
Us: “Sure, sounds fun!”
Dad: “Well, it’s just that I didn’t know if it was cool to hang out with your parents on a vacation.”
Us: “Dad…we are old…you’re cool again. Plus, if you get annoying then we’ll just go to the bar.”
Dad: “ok, I’ll probably meet you there.”
So it began…the first family vacation in over 20 years! We made sure to bring along our Aunt for good measure. In September 2013 we all boarded a plane and headed to Seattle to greet our Princess Cruise ship...which would be our home for one whole week.
Here are some tips on how we survived:
1. Prepped, prepped…and prepped our family for airport changes.
On average, I fly two weeks out of the month. I am TSA/Global Entry approved. I only pack a Carry-On. I am an efficient traveler. I avoid all older people in line and race around anyone traveling with multiple kids. My mom, dad and aunt on the other hand had not flown since pre-911. Seriously.
So, my advice is that you prep anyone in your group that will slow you down. This will require you to answer MANY questions…over…and over…and over again. Questions like “Can I wear a belt through the metal detector?” “What if I have snacks in my purse?” “Do I have to take my shoes off?” “Are we sitting together on the plane?” “Will we have time to use the bathroom?” But if you are patient and answer them early then it will make your travel experience a LOT better!
2. Found the person in the group that can fix bad moods….and made them HAPPY!!!
This person is my dad. He’s the glue of the family and can turn any frown upside down. This is why it’s important that HE’s not in a bad mood. Enter…fun excursions. Pub and Bike Brew Tour…Check. Adventure park & Zip-lining…Check. Taking funny family photos…Check!
3. Brought extra alcohol…because we knew we’d need it!
When you go on a cruise, everyone is allowed to bring 1 bottle of wine/champagne on board for free. Everything else, you have to pay for. There are always a few bars on the ship and ours even had a wine bar that did regular tastings. We just found that after a long day we wanted to relax on our balcony with our own favorite bottle. We brought Castoro wine that we got from our Paso Robles, California trip.
4. Found fun things on the boat…and actually have FUN!
Our boat was amazing and had a little something for everyone. We went to a wine tasting, comedy show and even made a few stops at the casino. One of my favorite moments was watching “Mama Mia” on the top deck! My mom, aunt, sister and I had seen the Broadway play a few years ago so it was nice to bond and watch the movie together. We even got a little dancing in!
Hopefully these tips will help you on your next family vacation!
What tips do you have to survive family travel??