Going on vacation with your family does not always lead to family time. Sounds odd, but it can happen. You land at your destination and each person dashes for the thing they want to do the most. Or, more often, each person, especially the kids, dive into digital devices and disappear. So how do you rescue your family? How do you make your family vacation into a vacation with family time?
A few traditional methods are at hand when you are renting a vacation rental. The units have kitchens and dining tables which means a family meal is completely possible. All you have to do, and yes, we’re making it sound easy, is gather your family at the appointed time for your meal. And, just like that, you have family time around the table. Then, of course, you will need to police the runaways who want to have dinner in front of the TV, but we can’t solve all the problems here, just layout the guidelines. Our purpose is to let you know that possibilities exist, and we wish you good luck. We do have, however, more ideas to help you gain that family time you’re looking for.
Keeping with the vein created above, you should know that, in the summertime at our beaches on the Florida West Coast, it will often rain in the afternoon. If you are staying here in the summer, you should have some family games ready to go. Yes, you’ll have to battle the digital world to pull this one off, but it can be done. Nothing says family time more than game night, or in this case, game-late-afternoon. With the rain coming down and the thunder rolling, you have the opportunity to spend some quality time with your loved ones. One last word of advice on this one is that, if the digital games just won’t go away, then insist on taking a turn at the controls. With your kids rooting for you (we can only hope), you might wind up having some truly enjoyable family time.
The next tactic we suggest is bribery. Yea, it works. We have plenty of goodies and fun things to do here on our beaches. Several shops dedicated just to candy dot the coastal road between Clearwater Beach and St Pete Beach. If ice cream is the thing for your family, you won’t have to travel far. The offer of ice cream is often all it takes to get the family all on the same page. If it works, use it!
The swimming pool might not put your family in a huddle, but is a place you can all agree is fun to visit. If your vacation rental has a pool, it is probably a somewhat confined space, where your kids will not stray far. If you want the kids to communicate with you more, take a book and pretend to read it. That usually works.
One way to ensure you family is in the same space together is to put them on a boat. Tour boats are great spaces and you can select which one based on its size and what it has to offer. If your family isn’t sitting together, you will, at least, have the same experience together that you can talk about afterward. The smaller the boat, the more you will be together, if that’s a tactic you want to employ.
The ultimate device to put your family together for some family time, however, is to rent a private charter or even your own personal watercraft. If that’s the route you take, we recommend an agenda, such as a fishing trip, an island scouting tour, or some other plan of action that will put the family all on the same mission. If the goal is one the whole family is behind, you will surely wind up creating family memories to last a lifetime.
Every family is different and you know the personalities on your team. Just scan through the list above and consider which ones suit your crew the best. We wish you luck on creating family memories you will all be able to talk about for decades to come.
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