If you’re traveling as a family, it’s likely that you’ve set this time aside to bond with them. Travel is a fantastic way to bond with each other, and create beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.
Family travel can of course be more stressful than traveling alone; the logistics involved in coordinating group flights, accommodation, and tours, and trying your best to keep everyone happy and civilized!
But remember that less is often more when it comes to planning an itinerary, and if bonding is your main goal, the thing that matters most if that you’re spending quality time together.
The following are 6 ideas for bonding with each other when you’re on a family trip abroad.
6 Ways to Bond With Each Other on a Family Trip
Make Sure Everyone Loves the Destination
If you’re looking for a quality family bonding time, it’s important that everyone likes the destination.
Yes, there will need to be sacrifices in any type of group scenario, because not everyone will always agree or like the same activities, but talk with your whole family before traveling and make the decision together.
It’s a great idea to ask for suggestions from each family member, so that way everyone feels as though they’re involved. And you can often turn the planning process into a bonding session in itself.
You can then choose the best destination from the list of suggestions by voting. Remember, a family vacation means that each and every member of the family is involved in the decision-making process.
If one or two members of your family feel isolated or left out, it’s going to make it even more difficult to bond.
Plan Group Activities
It’s the way that a lot of family vacations go; mum goes down to the beach, dad might go to the bar, and the kids, if they’re old enough, might go off on their own.
Many resorts even have day care centers and the option of hiring nannies so that the adults can have some time alone.
Spending time apart can be great – you don’t have to be tied to each other’s hip 100% of the time, and allowing your family to do their own thing means each individual can get out of the holiday what they want. But do set some time aside specifically for group activities.
There’s no bonding to be had if you’re spending all your time apart; and you can’t even really bond if the only time you spend together is over dinner at the end of the day.
If you have independent members of the family, try to plan group activities for half the day, and then save the other half to let people go off on their own. Sharing experiences is the biggest way people bond.
Capture Your Beautiful Moments!
The best way to keep beautiful moments alive is by capturing them. A picture of you and your family on vacation will help you remember your best memories even after years have already passed.
This is a great way to bond on the actual trip; a family gathered around the camera at the end of each day laughing at the funny moments, and reflecting on the experiences you shared together.
But it’s also a great way to bond in the future; pulling out the photo album on special days.
You can even take it a step further if you like and turn vacation photography into a professional shoot – that way everyone is able to be in the shot (there’s always that one person who’s never in the photos because they’re always behind the camera!)
Vacation photography is a growing trend, and many people hire professional photographers on location nowadays. There are plenty of professional family photographers, though look for someone with years of experience, and be sure to check out their photography style first.
Photographers like Hillarry Pitts, who have a really established online presence, and specialize in family photography are the type of photographers you’re looking for.
Eat Local Food
Instead of looking for a McDonalds and eating there, dine in local restaurants. Be adventurous and try local food!
No-one’s going to bond over KFC, which is an experience you might have every Saturday, but the time that Tommy ate a cockroach?! The time that Nanna downed a Mexcian chili? That’s bonding!
In venturing out to eat new foods, you’re pushing everyone out of their comfort zone, and sharing a new experience together.
You can support each other through your fears (like adventurous food!), encourage each other, and most importantly, make really epic memories!
Instead of Using a Bus/Taxi – Walk!
When you and your family walk, you get to talk to each other. You get to navigate streets together, you get to experience and see more.
In comparison, when you’re sitting in a bus or taxi, you go from the hotel to a destination, the kids might be fidgeting or looking out the window, and you don’t feel comfortable carrying conversations. Instead, it’s an awkward silence until you get there.
Also, don’t forget that walking is a physical activity. It does keep you active and improve your health. This could be a great way to incorporate exercise into a child’s life who may not be very active at home.
Walking is also more cost-effective when compared to other options of navigating new cities and places.
One of the biggest distractions to family bonding is electronics; and it’s not just exclusive to kids; mom and dad are also guilty of spending time on their phones.
Electronic devices can be a fabulous form of entertainment when you’re in transit; bored out of your mind on a long haul flight, or trying desperately to keep the kids entertained during delays.
But when you actually get to your destination, ban the electronics. Lock them in the hotel safe (just don’t forget the code!!).
That way you’re forced to actually speak to each other. To actually look each other in the eyes … even though you live in the same home you may find you haven’t actually looked at each other in a while!!
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You really do need to get everybody onboard to bond Meg. Heck; even during trips in my native USA, we had to love heading to South Carolina from our home state of NJ, collectively, to enjoy the trip and to grow closer. Rocking post.
So glad you enjoyed the post Ryan :) It’s such precious time that you never get back, so I think it’s a missed opportunity to spend the trip distracted or not paying attention to each other. Glad to hear you’ve been able to use your incredible trips to strengthen relationships :)
Trying to agree on what restaurant to eat at is not one of them. :)
Ha ha I feel your pain!