Here's a few things I came up with that I think are important in a vacation:
- Relaxation. Okay, I know this should be obvious, but a lot of people don't get it. Once at their arrival stop, and even on the way, they fill their agenda so full, it's like a mad race to the finish line, which, of course is the day they arrive home. Exhausted. Frustrated. Don't do that. Plan ahead. Decide ahead. What to do. When to do it. Take time out to sit and talk, play games, whatever. RELAX!
- Learn. Take time to explore. Ruins. Museums. The beach. Rocks. Mountains. If you take kids with you, be sure to take time to walk the beach at night and wonder at the stars, or as we enjoyed this year, hot air balloons and chinese lanterns. Discover wildlife, the wonder of an odd plant or a new creature (to them). Find a mermaid. Pretend to be a pirate. Lie under a tree and watch the leaves shift and wave. Dig your toes in the sand. Show them how to prepare a meal over an open fire.
- Enjoy the simple things. Prepare meals together. We have a twelve year old grandson who's just recently started cooking. His breakfast of scrambled eggs with chopped ham (or whatever is available) and cheese is really good--and I'm not a scrambled egg fan. :) At our recent trip to the beach, we divided different expenses and one person chose the meals for the two weeks (not counting the nights designated for eating out. It was nice to have homecooked meals that were nutricious and less expensive than eating out every night.
- Study. One of the greatest things is allowing children get acquainted with animals and other creatures they ordinarily have no opportunity to do. Our three-year-old grandson met goats and was able to feed them and pet one exceptionally friendly one.