Share This Page

How to plan trips with multiple families

| Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Traveling with multiple families can add up to loads of spring break and summer fun. Proper planning can go a long way toward keeping friendships and expectations intact.

Here are five tips to consider:

Choose wisely. Give careful consideration to the families and friends with whom you choose to share your precious vacation time. Parents you know from the sidelines of the soccer field might show different colors in a holiday setting away from your hometown. Consider hosting a planning party to discuss specific destinations and details before making final plans.

Sharing. Family groups often choose to share a beach house, condo or cabin. That can mean divvying up expenses, transportation, room assignments, cleaning and cooking. Be sure to have a clearly defined plan before your holiday gets under way to avoid misunderstandings about how time and resources will be allocated. If you sense close quarters could be uncomfortable, suggest staying in a resort or hotel where individual rooms will provide each family more time on their own.

Bring reinforcements. With a covey of kids under roof, bringing along helping hands can save sanity. Your favorite neighborhood teen might jump at the chance to help out in exchange for a few dollars and the opportunity to experience your chosen destination. Trade time off during the day for evening duty, so that grown-ups can enjoy a quiet dinner or a night on the town.

Style matters. Not everyone's parenting style is in sync. Before departure, consider discussing issues ranging from bedtime and use of technology to strategies for handling mealtime and household chores with the other parents. Then share expectations with your family before the fun begins. If your children typically make their beds, minimize TV time and eat what they are served, it can be awkward if their travel pals are watching cartoons while waiting for a parent to create a custom waffle and squeeze special orange juice.

Plan private time. No matter how much you are enjoying your vacation buddies, carve out private time with your own family as a group and individually. Whether you take walks on the beach, shop, grab a sandwich or visit a local museum on your own, don't head for home without catching up with your clan. You'll be glad you made the special effort once your regular routine resumes.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.