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Shellydon

Planning a vacation that all the people actually like

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26 minutes ago, Margaret in CO said:

I only remember one vacation as a kid. We went to the World's Fair in NYC. Oh, we went to the grandparents' house a few times, and whilst there, we would go to the Mystic Seaport. It wasn't a tourist thing at the time, but did have the cool ship, the Charles W. Morgan. We traveled a lot anyway, from one coast to the other, as the Navy moved us. But they weren't vacations. I do remember stopping at a park and eating watermelon once. One Christmas Eve, we were moving from ABQ to Denver and we stopped and got pizza. My mother and I would split a small Coke every 2 weeks when we'd go to the AF base to grocery shop. We really lived it up!

A few years ago ds was invited to his fiancee's family's vacation. "Mom, have we ever taken a vacation?" "Nope. We ranch." We'd take half the day off to be in the rodeo parade, but that was hardly a vacation--it was hard work, washing horses, cleaning tack, hauling to town. And the last few years, we DID buy BBQ tickets, but the kids would split a plate and I wouldn't eat because it was too expensive. Dh calls square dance lessons on Thursday nights' all summer, and they feed us, so I guess that is a vacation. Only dh is there to work. We spent the night twice a year or so at the cabin, but that was because we were cleaning it and opening it for the cousins who own it. 

I put up a meme on FB today for dd: it shows a fat horse with the caption, "and I'm like there's my ski trip, eating a bit more of my Caribbean cruise". 

I grew up raising horses, sheep etc.  We only went on one vacation as a family.  I really feel like I missed out by not seeing more of the world, so DH and I have made a big effort to put time and money into traveling.  The kids have been to dozens states and had lots of experiences that I wished I had been able to have growing up.  My oldest will graduate in a year and maybe they will be more agreeable to travel again.  Or maybe not.  We may have hit a stage where the complaining is too much and we take a break.

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As the eldest is the one who likes wildlife, book a cabin from which she can walk solo or with one parent, take the others on outings/activities.

I've stayed at the YMCA of the Rockies and that might work. 

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3 hours ago, Garga said:

Staycation.  Go on day trips to things people like that are close by. 

A busy cruise sounds like it would fit the bill for everyone.

Ah—that’s what I would have done, too.  I’m through with trying to force my kids to do “fun” things that they don’t think are fun.  Not worth the effort. 

I don’t know.  I’m an American.  I only remember about 3 vacations from the time I was born until I moved out at 19.  And the only reason we had those vacations was because family from out of town came to visit and wanted to “do things”.  We went to Washington DC, Gettysburg, and some cabins in the Appalachians somewhere.  Every time someone would visit, it was the same thing: DC, Gettysburg, Appalachians.  My family didn’t do any vacations.  And we didn’t do staycations.  We just didn’t do anything!  I used to read a ton of books as a kid because there wasn’t much else to do (only child.)

We lived a 2-hour’s drive from Ocean City (a very, very popular beach in Maryland) but my parents never took me.  The first time I saw the ocean was when my dh found out I’d never seen it.  He picked himself up from off the floor and then drove me there the next weekend.  We drove there and back in one day.  My parents just weren’t into going anywhere.

Now that I’m the adult, we have very modest vacations.  The only “vacations” we have are to visit my parents every few years, who moved out west.  We will sometimes do a 2 night stay at the ocean.  And we do a number of day trips to things like the zoo or to a museum.

I should be more specific.  I don’t think you guys have more vacations if anything probably less due to less annual leave.  But here it would be rare for a family to do an all meals cooked stay in accommodation type holiday.   A lot of families have caravans, campers or tents and road trip, some hire holiday houses.  It’s common to have an occasional Bali type trip which would be accommodation and meals etc.  probably because of the generous annual leave and huge distances here road tripping is pretty popular. 

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2 hours ago, Shellydon said:

I grew up raising horses, sheep etc.  We only went on one vacation as a family.  I really feel like I missed out by not seeing more of the world, so DH and I have made a big effort to put time and money into traveling.  The kids have been to dozens states and had lots of experiences that I wished I had been able to have growing up.  My oldest will graduate in a year and maybe they will be more agreeable to travel again.  Or maybe not.  We may have hit a stage where the complaining is too much and we take a break.

It sounds to me like you grew up appreciating travel and vacations because you didn't do much of it. On the other hand, your kids have had neat vacations and now have an entitled/unappreciative attitude. I think taking a year off sounds like a good idea because it might help them see the vacation as a privilege and not a right.

Emily

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Vacations are a rare treat for our family and WDW is not within our budget. If any of my kids complained about the plans, I'd do what you did and cancel the trip. We do try to find something during each trip that everyone will enjoy, but I don't put up with whining if someone doesn't like all the options. I think I'd leave all the whiners at home and take my own vacation.

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I'm sorry you have to cancel your vacation plans and it sounds like you made the right decision.

I only have my 9 year old twins, but it's been trial and error figuring out what everyone likes. We take a large vacation every year. Just got back from Italy a few weeks ago. My girls loved Rome. liked Venice okay but found the hill towns in Umbria boring. As annoying as that was, I think my 9 year old self would have thought the same. 

We, as a family, did not like Disney and are not beach people so it is helpful that we have more similar interests. If Colorado was still an option I would have thrown out the suggestion of something like Keystone or another resort where there are plenty of activities for young children (and childcare and day camps) and plenty of hiking, fishing and scenery for your oldest. 

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3 hours ago, tdbates78 said:

I'm sorry you have to cancel your vacation plans and it sounds like you made the right decision.

I only have my 9 year old twins, but it's been trial and error figuring out what everyone likes. We take a large vacation every year. Just got back from Italy a few weeks ago. My girls loved Rome. liked Venice okay but found the hill towns in Umbria boring. As annoying as that was, I think my 9 year old self would have thought the same. 

We, as a family, did not like Disney and are not beach people so it is helpful that we have more similar interests. If Colorado was still an option I would have thrown out the suggestion of something like Keystone or another resort where there are plenty of activities for young children (and childcare and day camps) and plenty of hiking, fishing and scenery for your oldest. 

Europe is in my wish list!  6 people makes it really hard though, as hotel rooms are so small. 

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13 minutes ago, Shellydon said:

Europe is in my wish list!  6 people makes it really hard though, as hotel rooms are so small. 

I think @Quill went on her own (well, to meet her DD who was studying overseas). She might have tips if your family isn't interested in going.

We went as a family when I was 17. We were a family of four, plus my grandparents, so we often rented more than one hotel room or the top floor of a house, and with airbnb I think finding suitable accommodations is much easier than it used to be. 

 

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1 hour ago, EmseB said:

I think @Quill went on her own (well, to meet her DD who was studying overseas). She might have tips if your family isn't interested in going.

We went as a family when I was 17. We were a family of four, plus my grandparents, so we often rented more than one hotel room or the top floor of a house, and with airbnb I think finding suitable accommodations is much easier than it used to be. 

 

Yes, I was solo except for whenever dd was available to play with me. I have debated with myself whether I will go back solo when dd teaches in France next school year. Dh will not go. He has no interest in traveling outside the US. A couple of my SILs have expressed an interest, and two friends would like to go, though one of the two can afford it better. I do find it hard to work with what travel companions want to do, though. Of my SILs, one is very oriented to beaches and relaxing, or shopping. Nothing wrong with that of course, but it’s not what I prioritize. 

I think it’s difficult to find a travel companion. Dd is optimal because we like similar things. 

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I don’t think it’s an American thing. The vast majority of Americans rarely go on a vacation and most sure aren’t able to afford WDW.

Most take weekend trips or staycations.

My family has had a handful of 4 day weekend road trips together but Branson is a rarely entire family thing. And now the kids are older, 2-3 may not make it at all or only for 2-3 of the 7 days. Which I’m glad to have at all but it’s a sad change of life thing. 

Growing up dh and I were only kids but very different vacation childhoods. I was dragged everywhere my dad went. Every dadblum boring as heck civil war site below the mason Dixon every summer and every spring break. And every weekend was spent on his boats. Which sounds bucolic but was mind numbing boring bc my dad wouldn’t let me do anything in the water because he couldn’t swim. So I traveled fairly well and often comparatively. 

Dh’s parents traveled the world but never took him anywhere. They left him with her parents. So he spent a lot of time at old folks camp grounds. Dh sneezes if he looks out a window.  But the people made it a wonderful memory anyways for him. 

Of my friends only a few go on week long vacations. Some go camping. Some take a weekend trip every few years. Most don’t do vacations at all. Regardless of income.

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20 hours ago, Shellydon said:

Europe is in my wish list!  6 people makes it really hard though, as hotel rooms are so small. 

It's difficult even with a family of 4 to find hotel rooms large enough to accommodate us. In Venice that involved squeezing two extra twin beds along the walls in our hotel room to make a "quadruple room". So we usually use airbnb or VRBO to find apartments if we are staying for 3 or more days. This was our second trip to Europe as a family (a few years ago we did Switzerland, the Alsace-Lorraine, Paris and Bavaria) and rented two-bedroom apartments in every location except Paris, which was a one-nighter. As a bonus the apartments are usually cheaper than hotels and come with kitchens. Our two bedroom apartment in Ribeauville, in the Alsace in France, was less than 100 euro a night. as an example https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/13164170?guests=1&adults=1&sl_alternate_dates_exclusion=true&source_impression_id=p3_1559310733_0BPgxcyeb6hwosDv  

Edited by tdbates78
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re size of European hotel rooms

21 hours ago, Shellydon said:

Europe is in my wish list!  6 people makes it really hard though, as hotel rooms are so small. 

 

1 hour ago, tdbates78 said:

It's difficult even with a family of 4 to find hotel rooms large enough to accommodate us. In Venice that involved squeezing two extra twin beds along the walls in our hotel room to make a "quadruple room". So we usually use airbnb or VRBO to find apartments if we are staying for 3 or more days. This was our second trip to Europe as a family (a few years ago we did Switzerland, the Alsace-Lorraine, Paris and Bavaria) and rented two-bedroom apartments in every location except Paris, which was a one-nighter. As a bonus the apartments are usually cheaper than hotels and come with kitchens. Our two bedroom apartment in Ribeauville, in the Alsace in France, was less than 100 euro a night. as an example https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/13164170?guests=1&adults=1&sl_alternate_dates_exclusion=true&source_impression_id=p3_1559310733_0BPgxcyeb6hwosDv  

 

Yes, there are 5 of us and we've definitely found that it's substantially cheaper to get an apartment.  With airbnb / homeaway / tripadvisor and all the other services it's quite easy to find something even for 2-3 nights, and with a quick stop to the local market we can provision for breakfast at least (which also finesses the adjustment-to-jet-lag, since people can arise at different times).  It also gives a living room/hangout space, which is nice, and if you're lucky a terrace or access to a courtyard.  (It's worth investing some planning time in understanding neighborhoods to ensure you're where you want to be... and worth paying a bit more per night to be in a place where folks can walk to things / split up when we're inclined to do so.)

 

re broader question of "finding something that all the people actually like" - I guess I'm a little thrown by holding that out as an objective.  

I certainly don't hold that kind of all-in enthusiasm for our ordinary life.  I don't expect ALL the people in the family to love EVERY meal I prepare -- sometimes it's T's favorite and J only tolerates it, sometimes it's J's favorite and S who is vegetarian only eats the side dishes... sometimes we head out to the latest Marvel movie because that's S's passion, other times to a baseball game which is not especially my thing but my husband enjoys, other times we go to a poetry slam because that's E's thing.  On vacation, sometimes everyone else sort of condescends to go on a NPS ranger hike because I adore NPS ranger hikes, other times we charter a boat because my husband is most happy on a boat, sometimes we concentrate on museums (S) and outdoor cafes (E), KWIM?  Not everyone *does* actually adore everything we do as a family but we take turns.  And it comes out in the wash because we're a family, in it for the long haul, and fortunately we get lots of opportunities to do lots of things so another opportunity is coming around.

So I'd first ratify the several suggestions above to solicit and take specific input on specific activities that each family would like -- and then actually take that input seriously into the planning...

...but also, second, maybe step back a little from the idea that ALL the members need to actually like ALL the activities ALL the days together.  That sets an extremely high bar for what a "successful" vacation looks like, unrealistically high IMO, bound to frustrate/ disappoint/ breed resentment.  People have difference interests and preferences.  Learning flexibility and give-and-take in honor of one another's preferences is another form of success.

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On 5/30/2019 at 12:28 AM, Shellydon said:

I grew up raising horses, sheep etc.  We only went on one vacation as a family.  I really feel like I missed out by not seeing more of the world, so DH and I have made a big effort to put time and money into traveling.  The kids have been to dozens states and had lots of experiences that I wished I had been able to have growing up.  My oldest will graduate in a year and maybe they will be more agreeable to travel again.  Or maybe not.  We may have hit a stage where the complaining is too much and we take a break.

It sounds to me like your kids have just taken travel for granted because it was a normal thing for them.  I don't necessarily think it's a negative entitlement attitude; vacations are just not special. And, with kids growing up and having different interests, it's sure to become harder.

I do remember a point where my brother refused to go on our family's yearly camping vacations.  (He is 10 years older than me.) Camping was all we did, every summer, and I loved it but we stopped when I was about 9 so I didn't have a chance to get tired of it. My brother did get sick of it; it wasn't enjoyable to him. My sister was probably on the verge and would have stopped going if we hadn't stopped anyway. (We stopped when we made a huge move for my dad's work and everything just changed.)

My own kids grew up with the notion that Embassy Suite-type hotels were the normal, standard hotels where everyone stayed. Because when they were little, almost all our hotel stays corresponded with my husband's work; we'd tag along and stay where he stayed.  When he no longer had that job and we were paying for our own accommodations... well, it was a quite a shock to them.  It wasn't an entitlement issue; they just didn't know anything different. 

I hope you find peace and enjoyment whatever you end up doing.  It's probably good to take a break from family vacations for a while.  I suspect that at some point your kids will come to appreciate all that they have seen and done.  

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29 minutes ago, marbel said:

It sounds to me like your kids have just taken travel for granted because it was a normal thing for them.  I don't necessarily think it's a negative entitlement attitude; vacations are just not special. And, with kids growing up and having different interests, it's sure to become harder.

I do remember a point where my brother refused to go on our family's yearly camping vacations.  (He is 10 years older than me.) Camping was all we did, every summer, and I loved it but we stopped when I was about 9 so I didn't have a chance to get tired of it. My brother did get sick of it; it wasn't enjoyable to him. My sister was probably on the verge and would have stopped going if we hadn't stopped anyway. (We stopped when we made a huge move for my dad's work and everything just changed.)

My own kids grew up with the notion that Embassy Suite-type hotels were the normal, standard hotels where everyone stayed. Because when they were little, almost all our hotel stays corresponded with my husband's work; we'd tag along and stay where he stayed.  When he no longer had that job and we were paying for our own accommodations... well, it was a quite a shock to them.  It wasn't an entitlement issue; they just didn't know anything different. 

I hope you find peace and enjoyment whatever you end up doing.  It's probably good to take a break from family vacations for a while.  I suspect that at some point your kids will come to appreciate all that they have seen and done.  

Wise words, thank you.  Yes, we always stay at good quality hotels because we travel with DH for work.  That is just what they are used too.

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It may not be that your kids take travel for granted.  Some people just don’t like to travel. I’ve got a couple kids that I can’t get excited about going anywhere, like their father.  No matter how we get there or what type of fun awaits.  They stress over new things and big changes.  But I have raised them to accept this is just part of the loving others and not being selfish life. I’ll try to not make it any more stressful than absolutely unavoidable. We’ll have a mix of things and planned down times so everyone can enjoy the majority of the trip, and relax for all of it. This is the compromise people make to bond and get to know how to share our lives together. 

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7 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

It may not be that your kids take travel for granted.  Some people just don’t like to travel. I’ve got a couple kids that I can’t get excited about going anywhere, like their father.  No matter how we get there or what type of fun awaits.  They stress over new things and big changes.  But I have raised them to accept this is just part of the loving others and not being selfish life. I’ll try to not make it any more stressful than absolutely unavoidable. We’ll have a mix of things and planned down times so everyone can enjoy the majority of the trip, and relax for all of it. This is the compromise people make to bond and get to know how to share our lives together. 

Yes!  I have one who gets homesick pretty easily.

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On 5/30/2019 at 11:57 AM, Shellydon said:

Europe is in my wish list!  6 people makes it really hard though, as hotel rooms are so small. 

 

On 5/30/2019 at 12:18 PM, EmseB said:

I think @Quill went on her own (well, to meet her DD who was studying overseas). She might have tips if your family isn't interested in going.

We went as a family when I was 17. We were a family of four, plus my grandparents, so we often rented more than one hotel room or the top floor of a house, and with airbnb I think finding suitable accommodations is much easier than it used to be. 

 

Dittoing this, dh and I just back from Europe for our 20th and stayed at Airbnb's they were great, we didn't need it this trip but there are apartments big enough for families. We plan on taking the whole crew in 3 yrs.

For our family vaca we're doing a long weekend up to the city this year for the whole family as our anniversary trip was a lot of our budget. I asked the kids what things they wanted to do and pretty much everything they wanted was in the closest city(except the beach b/c we're in the midwest), so we'll just alternate the different things and call that good for our family vaca this year. They wanted to do rock climbing, zoo, indoor playplace, obstacle course/ninja gym and some good food (we rarely eat out at home so they love eating out on vaca- we mostly do our own meals but eat out once a day or so). Next year we're going to do a beach trip b/c everyone loves that and we can afford to spend more on the family trip without our big anniversary trip. 

It is a stress planning a trip, I'd cancel vaca too if everyone was then complaining about it, hopefully by next year everyone can come together and figure out some things that will work for all involved.

eta: as a kid growing up all our vacations were camping by dad's relatives or rarely going to the river. Dh's family had more money and did some bigger trips but nothing like what is done today, I think our expectations have just changed as a culture. We're trying to strike a middle ground, enjoy things close by and some experiences further away as we can afford it.

Edited by soror

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On 5/30/2019 at 11:57 AM, Shellydon said:

Europe is in my wish list!  6 people makes it really hard though, as hotel rooms are so small. 

 

We have taken our group of 7 to Europe multiple times and yes it is harder than in the States with hotel rooms.  But honestly we did find a lot of trip and quad hotel rooms in every country we have been in.  Some more.  

But if we are staying for few days we usually do go the Airbnb route.  Super easy to do that for a group your size.  Don't let the size of your group get in your way.

Here are some crazy low prices to Europe too

https://thepointsguy.com/deals/level-sale-fly-to-europe-162-round-trip/

Edited by mommyoffive

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On 5/31/2019 at 10:35 AM, marbel said:

My own kids grew up with the notion that Embassy Suite-type hotels were the normal, standard hotels where everyone stayed. Because when they were little, almost all our hotel stays corresponded with my husband's work; we'd tag along and stay where he stayed.  When he no longer had that job and we were paying for our own accommodations... well, it was a quite a shock to them.  It wasn't an entitlement issue; they just didn't know anything different. .  

Exactly, they just thought that's what hotels were like! 

I have a funny story somewhat in reverse: when my inlaws wanted to take their grown children/spouses on a vacation, she told me that they had gone on family vacations when the kids were growing up but that it would be nice to take them somewhere that wasn't, y'know, a Hilton. I about died laughing, because my family would have (mostly still does) regard Hilton as a fancy hotel. My dad had a work convention at Disney World in their early years, and I'm sure that was a very nice hotel, but when we did AstroWorld and other stuff on our own we stayed in motels, with half of us on the floor. Not to mention her son and I honeymooned at a Days Inn, so it was just very funny to me. Poor kids, staying at Hiltons! 

It's all what you're used to. 

Free advice: never let people take you on vacations 🙄

Edited by katilac
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5 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

 

We have taken our group of 7 to Europe multiple times and yes it is harder than in the States with hotel rooms.  But honestly we did find a lot of trip and quad hotel rooms in every country we have been in.  Some more.  

But if we are staying for few days we usually do go the Airbnb route.  Super easy to do that for a group your size.  Don't let the size of your group get in your way.

Here are some crazy low prices to Europe too

https://thepointsguy.com/deals/level-sale-fly-to-europe-162-round-trip/

Thank you!

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