When my eldest daughter Bethany entered high school I realized how very few vacations we had left until our children are grown. And I regretted not making better use of our spring breaks and summers for taking my kids on the adventures I wanted them to experience. Without a clear plan in place, we’ve seen our calendar overtaken by sports, volunteering, family commitments, and social events – all good things, but they left little room for us to work with.
That’s when I created a map of the 18-plus summers & vacations between Bethany’s birth and Evelyn’s (our youngest) departure for college. We’re finding it’s much easier to work the other good things in around those plans than the reverse. And I’m not so distressed about the time left because I know we have many great experiences together as a family ahead of us.
The 18 Family Summers & Vacations chart is the same simple layout I use for my family. I started filling it out by noting the year, each of my kids ages that year, and any important (and unchangeable) events set to occur that year. I also filled in what experiences we’ve already had. It helps to see how much we’ve done. And it’s sobering to see how many gaps we left.
I hope you’ll try it out for your family vacation planning.