Beach hiking with Lil Mel 1994

Happy Father’s Day!


These days, many dads live far from their kids and are getting ready for their annual Summer Vacation Visit.  Many count on vacations together to make up for all the time apart.  Other dads plan just-me-and-the-kids getaways camping, hitting ball parks or fishing. This all adds up to a lot of dads traveling solo with their kids.

Such trips can help build happy memories and strengthen family bonds. Just don’t expect one perfect moment after another. The kids may get homesick—or plain sick.  They may think what you’ve planned is totally lame.


 Here’s how to organize a trip that will be fun for all of you—and help you keep your sanity.


1. Let the kids help decide where to go and what to do when you get t here. Consider their interests- theater, dinosaurs, baseball or fashion. Spend some time giving back to the environment working on a trail, for example on vacation and you’ll get an especially good deal at a RockResort.

2. Invite the kids to help navigate along the way.  You’re a team and that makes it more fun.    


3. Introduce the kids to something you love—theater, a certain ball park, snorkeling, Let them show you their passion-of-the-moment too. Ready to learn to skateboard?  Surf?


4. Encourage the kids to call or email their other parent. Don’t get angry if they get homesick. It’s normal.


5. Be prepared if someone gets sick, it rains, the hotel isn’t w hat you expected. Got the pediatrician’s phone number?  Keep your cool, no matter what happens. Remember, the kids will take their cues from you. If you get angry and upset, they will too.


6. Join Forces with extended family or friends. You’ll have some adult company and can share expenses at a vacation condo. (Look for deals from places like Sterling Resorts along Florida’s northern Gulf Coast, for example, Homeaway or ResortQuest. Just make sure the kids will get along!               


7. Opt for something that will be a new challenge for all of you. Learn to scuba dive, hike up a mountain, go rafting or navigate a new city.


8. Consider a cruise. You’ll meet lots of other parents and kids. There are organized activities for the kids and teens so you get a break AND you know w hat you’re paying up front. European cruises can be a good way to introduce the kids to Great Sites.

9. If your kids and you love the outdoors, consider a white water raft trip with companies like OARS or ROW  You will be with like-minded parents and kids and can relax while the guides do all the work—and help entertain the kids.


10. Relax! You don’t need to be doing something every second.  Build in down time wherever you are. There’s nothing wrong with doing nothing on vacation!