Everyone needs a break from time to time to decompress and step away from the day-to-day madness. For families, a vacation is a unique opportunity to let the everyday stressors slip away so you can enjoy each other’s company. Some studies have shown that this type of quality time matters more than spending loads of time together every day.
I know what some of you are thinking. You already take a holiday trip to visit family every year and planning that is stressful enough as it is. A family vacation during the summer is a great way to bond with relatives without the pressure and craziness of the holidays.
You can even use your ancestry as inspiration for the trip. Turn it into a real family affair by letting the past influence where you go on your next vacation.
Visit a Place Where Your Ancestors Lived
If you’ve enlisted the help of genealogists to research your family tree, then you have a trail to follow that probably starts far away from where you live today. Many Americans find that their ancestors lived all over the U.S. and before that they migrated from various countries around the world.
You can get in touch with your roots by venturing to a city where your ancestors once lived. With census documents, you may even be able to get their exact address to see where your relatives called home. Things like the local paper and schools can also provide insight into the lives of your ancestors.
Visit a Place That Connected With an Ancestor’s Trade
Was a relative a fisherman? Live a day in their life by taking on an offshore fishing excursion from a vacation spot on the Gulf Coast. Or maybe one of your ancestors wasn’t from New York City but they helped build the base for the Statue of Liberty. That popular tourist attraction would take on a whole new meaning for your family. Getting to see it in person would bring you closer to a relative you never got to meet in person.
This is one more example of how your family’s past can inspire a vacation. For many people what they do is who they are. If a family member had an interesting trade or helped in the creation of an iconic landmark taking the time to learn more about it honors their legacy.
Visit a Place Where a Relative Always Dreamed of Going
Has a grandparent always talked about drifting down the French Riviera or taking an African safari? If you have a special relative that’s getting older help them check something off their bucket list.
While planning out the trip, consider activities that will fit their interests and physical capabilities. As much as you’d love to hike along the Alps on a trip to Switzerland, your grandparent may not be able to keep up along the trail. But don’t think that means your elder wants to sit by the pool all day. Remember, this is a once in a lifetime trip for them, so you better make the most of it.
Plan to do a few things each day and spend the rest of your down time learning a little more about their life. Like why they always wanted to visit that location. You might be surprised by the stories about their life when they were your age as well as the things you learn about other relatives. One thing is for sure – it will be a trip that you’ll both remember the rest of your lives.
Visit a Place Where Relatives Vacationed in the Past
Vacations are a family tradition in some households. Every year the family goes back to a specific spot or enjoys a certain event like an annual festival. Kids grow up with fond memories of spending summer vacations at a familiar spot that they looked forward to visiting every year.
If you’ve started a family of your own you can keep the tradition going by visiting with your kids. Go by some of the destinations you remember from childhood as well as a few new spots where you can make new memories. Have a little extra fun by recreating photos from past family trips.
You can even make it a family reunion by inviting your parents and siblings to join the vacation. Many vacation homes can fit 10 or more people and end up costing less than hotel rooms. It will be like taking a vacation as a kid all over again.