|Family Vacations: From The Mentors
The best family trips I've had are the ones that have a plan. I go to Georgia every summer and we often go without a plan. This often means that some of the family is doing one thing, while another part of the family is doing something else, and it just isn't much fun. But it IS fun when I go on vacation with several specific things in mind that I would like to do, such as going to the beach, checking out some historical site, or meeting up with other family friends. If we plan events, not too many of course, we tend to have more fun. My favorite family trip was to Europe because we only spent a few days in several cities, so we had to decide on what we wanted to see and then make sure we got to see those things. There was very little sitting around or arguing over what we should do. Anyway, that's essentially how I feel about family vacations. If you have a purpose or there are certain things you want to accomplish while on the vacation, the vacation tends to feel more enjoyable and successful.
My family's a real creature of habit. It seems that if we're going to go on a vacation, we always go to Las Vegas. I'm not complaining, though. I LOVE VEGAS! One time, it was a special vacation because my birthday was in a few days and my parents were going to renew their vows. My mom wasn't feeling so well, so she stayed in the hotel room while my dad, my sister, and I went to walk the Strip. We were being completely spontaneous! First thing we did was take pictures with strangers, then we went window shopping and got temporary tattoos. Las Vegas holds a special place in my heart because it has always represented relaxation and quality family time (translation: F-U-N). This particular trip was special because I got to see a real fun and spontaneous part of my dad that isn't obvious when he comes home from work exhausted and stressed. When I get angry with him, I try to remember that week in Vegas when he was more himself and had less worries.
As amazing as certain vacations may be, it's possible to not have the best time and become homesick and miss your friends. As a matter of fact, these feelings are quite normal! I went to the Bahamas with my family for a week. THE BAHAMAS...and I did not have a good time. All I wanted to do was go online to talk to my friends on the computer! So my advice for when you're on a trip and feeling homesick is to remember that you'll be home soon, then HAVE FUN, LET LOOSE, and ENJOY the beautiful places that surround you wherever it may be! Vacations are what you make of them.
I've driven down to Florida with my parents and two brothers a couple of times. What helped was that I brought my summer reading book and read all the way there! My favorite subject in school is Social Studies, so my brothers and I used to play the All Around the World game. Someone would name a state like New York, and you'd have to name a city, country, or state that ends in the last letter. We would go on for hours in between naps and stops for food. It was so much fun!
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