It seems kind of funny when you think about it. It's probably easier to travel with a group of strangers than it is with your own family — you might think that you know them, but you probably really don't. Not to worry. With some simple, easy to follow advice, you can make your travel plans a success.
Plan ahead, talk to each other, avoid surprises
It may be obvious, but members of the same family probably don't speak to each other nearly enough. Before any travel plans, especially before a major holiday like Christmas, it's a good idea to sit everybody down and get their take on the situation. A few might envision going to a snowy ski resort, whooshing down a white, sugar cane mountain. Others might prefer swimming with the dolphins in one of those recently created resorts in the Caribbean. How will you know who wants what, unless you sit everybody down and have a heart-to-heart.
Choose a destination on which everyone can agree upon
Any time spent with members of your own family can be stressful, so you'll want to try to file down those rough edges as much as possible. One way to do this, is to try to find a destination that most of your family will want to visit. You may have a young son who is interested in Star Wars and a daughter who is in love with the latest Princess craze. For something like this, you'll need to do some googling to find common ground. A place like one of the Florida theme parks could do the trick. You don't have to dedicate your stay to just one amusement park; any travel agent can probably help you negotiate between all that central Florida has to offer (Disney, Universal, Sea World, Gator World, NASA, and everything in between).
Make it as interesting or as diverse as possible
While taking the family on a Christmas Holiday, you are given the opportunity to not only have some bonding time, but to try to help everyone have a really good time — and make a positive memory. This may not be as difficult as you think, as long as you keep your itinerary full of interesting and different things to do. This will keep the trip lively and help everyone to see everyone else in a different light. By taking your family out of their familiar comfort zone, each member can have the inspiration from discovering a new experience/sensation, while seeing and appreciating the others' experiences.
Anticipate any special needs and make preparations
Think about who is coming along on the trip with you and ask yourself, “Does this person require anything special?” or “What can I do to make this trip more enjoyable? — after all, we are on vacation.” You may or may not have someone in your family group who is physically challenged, but even so, know what you can do in advance to make the time you spend on vacation less labor intensive. For, example, if you are traveling by air, you can reserve an airport taxi like Airflight Services that way you can get to your vacation destination sooner. Little things like making it easier for your group to and from the airport can exponentially increase the happy factor.
Confirm plans and make sure you have a sufficient budget
Any plans can go astray, and when you are on a Christmas holiday with your family, you'll want to avoid this at all costs. Call ahead to each hotel, attraction, car rental office, etc. and CONFIRM, CONFIRM, CONFIRM. Check and double check your budget. If you can, take a zero balance credit card with you, just in case one of those pesky emergency situations pop up. Make sure you have travelers' checks, as well as cash. Review your map, itinerary, driving times, etc. Don't let anything go to chance.
With some simple planning and preparation, you can definitely have the very best Christmas holiday, ever, with your family. Keep in mind that not everyone will love you, and there will be problems along the way, but with a cool head, the support of your family, and a good GPS, you'll be okay. In the end, when the vacation is over and you are all looking at the JPEGs, group shots and selfies, you'll be remembered for giving everyone a great time!