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15 Years of Family Travel Planning Nets Incredible Results

by Michael MacNair

As we sat there pondering life on the Inca trail with our family this past New Years, my wife and I realized that this was the dismount on 15 years of core family travel. Our kids are now 24, 21, and 18. Significant others would surely be added to this group and other trips will take place, but our plan for our core family was complete. We reflected on how if we didn’t make a plan and commit, so many very special experiences would have never materialized. The joy we received was very special and time will tell how this impacts our kids. What is your 15 year vacation travel plan for you and your loved one(s)? Making one was powerful for us.

My wife and I sat down at a couples conference back in 1999 and committed to one another that seeing the world with our kids was a top priority. We knew that if we didn’t have a plan written down, the commitment would drop and the places we wanted to see with our kids would slip by. We have three active athlete kids who grew up in the competitive Washington, D.C. suburbs, our own business, and very busy lives. So if we didn’t make the time and money happen, the likes of these vacations would have been filled with possible sports practices and simple trips – if we were lucky. This is what happened with many of our friends. Peru was a fitting end to what included Spain, Costa Rica, Disney, Ireland, Club Med Mexico, BVI sail adventures, a surf trip in California, Jamaica, Ski trips, a Cruise, Panama, and more.

How did we do it? I will first admit that we are in the travel business, but this mostly brought us passion and knowledge and not deep discounts because we had to travel at high season. We sat down and wrote down all the years that would take us through college for the kids. We then listed the next column the kids ages so we could go on the right trip when the kids we are the right ages. This also works well if it’s just you and your partner. We then left a column for the trip and another for notes. The notes would include activities that made the trip important, or people we wanted to go with. The first thing we found was that we had at least 25 trips we wanted to do in 15 years. So we had to pick and organize and get going. That was the biggest result of doing this planning. We were inspired to get going and inspired to go on these most important trips. The list became a main driver of planning each year and something that inspired us to work harder to make it happen.

Get to work now on making your plan and I am sure you will reach the pinnacle of vacation nirvana.

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