10 Guidelines for Making Vacation Faces, Happy Faces!

Happy Faces

Happy Faces

We just returned from a week at the lake with all our children and grandchildren.  Here are some fun pictures of happy faces mixed with a 10 practical guidelines that help keep faces happy during a vacation.

NOTE: No children or adults where harmed during the making of this post, however several fish now have very sore lips.  Click on any picture to enlarge.

Drowning Worms

Drowning Worms

1.  Let everyone be involved in planning the  activities. When children or adults feel invested in the planning they enjoy the vacation more.



Preston w ice cream2.  Remember that some of the simplest activities create some of the greatest memories.  A boat ride to the marina for an ice cream cone stands out as a favorite memory every year.





I found a pair of classes I cannot lose!

I found a pair of classes I cannot lose!

3.  Plan for white space.  Allow time when children and adults can relax, read, nap, play simple games or just converse. A vacation that consists of running from one activity to the next is not a vacation.
4.  Leave the office at home.  If you must do work, plan to do it during a SHORT period of time early in the morning or late at night when children are in bed.  My workaholic son-in-law forgot his computer at home.  Best thing that ever happened.  Unfortunately, I violated this rule and was water boarded by the family.


4 yr old Tyler tries and succeeds. A moment none of the family will forget. Click this picture and look at all the smiling faces

5.  Create adventure!  Encourage everyone to try something new.  My 4-year-old learned to water ski this year.  Look at the expressions of joy on everyone’s face. We jumped off bridges and cliffs. We tubed and explored and swam.  We caught fish and bugs and poison ivy.  What a week!IMG_5147


Look out below!

6.  Unplug!  Except for white space limit or eliminate Internet games, mindless television watching, and aimless vacuuming.  Families need time face-to- face, eye-to-eye and heart-to-heart.


7.   Get plenty of rest.  IMG_5361Nothing destroys a vacation more quickly than a tired and grumpy child or adult.




8.  Eat and drink sensibly!  Trust me.  It is no fun to be chosen as a marker buoy because you bloated up from overeating chili the night before.

9.  Make a duty roster. Cooking, cleaning and doing daily chores should not fall on the IMG_5748shoulders of one or two people.  Have fun sharing the responsibility.  One of my sons in law made a work chart detailing personal responsibilities for each day. It eliminated a lot of hassle and conflict.  He made it a contest that became part of the fun.IMG_5242


10. Love on each other.  Take the time to individually let each member of your family know how much you appreciate and love them

What guidelines do you use that have helped make vacation a Happy Face time?


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