Generation gaps are oddly predictable sociological phenomena that can hamper relationships. And the best way to bridge the gap is to spend quality time together to strengthen the bonds and create new memories on a family trip.
Benefits of family trips
According to a recent study, vacations helped alleviate job stress, while another research concluded that vacationers had fewer headaches, backaches, and heart irregularities up to five weeks after their holiday.
Family vacations are vital for bonding, playing and interacting with family members. They enhance one’s self-esteem and advance brain development in children. When you’re sitting on a beach in Goa or even Costa Rica, making sand castles with your kids, without looking distracted or worrying about work-related emails, you let them know that they are important to you and they make you happy.
Most of us spend a lot of time indoors and far removed from nature. Spending time with the family, exploring the great outdoors will help one appreciate nature in all its glory. A vacation can push people out of their comfort zones, putting them in unforeseen circumstances and scenarios that they get to experience as a family. This helps them understand each other’s perspective, and bridge the generation gap. Spotting a tiger during a jungle safari in Corbett, or encountering an African bull elephant in the Serengeti would be shared moments of wonder and fascination that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Even if the generation gap is too vast, family vacations create the shared memories that cement a family. Love and affection for family members should come through familiarity, not through filial obligation. Travelling to a foreign land with your family around you helps you appreciate their company, and often repairs and resurrects frayed equations. Navigating through the streets of Jaipur or through the ruins in Hampi can be fun and exotic, letting family members rely on each other.
Tips for a fun family vacation
For a family vacation to be a wonderful bonding exercise, there are some things that you need to keep in mind. As opposed to travelling solo or even as a couple or a group of like-minded friends, the different perspectives involved in the vacation impose different constraints. Planning a family vacation should not be taken lightly, as anyone who has had to deal with an irate parent or child waiting in a hotel room will tell you.
Planning a trip with your family is a complex exercise; the best way to get the perfect plan is to work together to create it. Get everyone together, let them get involved and try to cater to everyone’s interest. Being a part of the planning process will make family members feel more invested in the trip, increasing their enthusiasm and participation in various activities. Imagine going scuba diving off the Andamans on the insistence of your daughter, and watching her swim past coral reefs. This will instil greater responsibility and improve the experience for them all.
Choose the stay wisely
An important thing to note for family vacations is that different people will have different expectations from their lodging. While the adventurous lot might prefer staying in a tent, others might require a warm and plush bed for a restful snooze. Ensure that everyone’s tastes are accounted for, and everyone’s requirement is catered to.
Share every experience
While finding the right accommodation might be difficult with different needs, staying separately should not be an option. Family vacations lose their point if different members of the family are largely engaged in separate activities. It won’t really be a family vacation if one person is taking pictures of exotic birds, while another is watching a movie or taking nap in the hotel room. Ensure that the experience is shared by everyone – common living spaces with separate rooms and group activities that everyone can agree on – will make the trip enjoyable to the whole family.
This article appeared in the 13 April edition of Deccan Herald.