This is simply my experience and opinion as a person who tries to live in the “now” and experience the “present moment”. This applies to a large family or if your alone or with a child or couple. This will also save you money and time. If you are a person who insists on schedules and attempting to plan every detail in your life this list probably wont be for you, although I would encourage you to try something different
#1 Schedule more than 2 things, or ANYTHING. The entire point of vacation is to be free of constraints and appointments concerning time. Are there some things or places you want to see? Ok great write those down, but leave them open to “feel” on when or if you do them at all. Weather could play a factor in this. For example wait until you might have an overcast day to visit that historical site or fort.
#2 Go out to eat every night. I know, you are fixing dinner 1 or 2 nights where your staying. What I am saying is pick 1 or 2 places that might be MUST eats. Maybe you have plenty of cash to blow. Well then this may not be for you. Go for it, hit a new place every night. But think about those moments around the deck or table or just in the room where you will have more time with each other. Moments of peace and laughter cooking and eating you would not have at a crowded place.
#3 Keep the same routine. Let me guess, each day you hit the beach from 9 AM-12 PM sharp, lunch at 1 PM then pool, or golf or whatever. Your not punching in and out at work. This is called a vacation. It is a vacation from time constraints. I’m not saying don’t set that alarm to watch that sunrise one morning. But don’t hold yourself to some rigid schedule or for that matter everyone else who is with you. They would like to be on their own schedule also. They will thank you later.
#4 Worry about work or home. Again another pretty obvious one but still one people do not practice including me. There may be sick loved ones at home. There may be some serious issues back at work (there always is right?). Well its fine to be concerned with those things but only for a short period. When you find your mind drifting to those things, recognize and take control. Take note of your thoughts and be proud you are concerned BUT then move on with your thoughts of the present moment on vacation. This is the reason you are on vacation. What are you going to do from your remote location? If someone is constantly contacting you during this period then they are being very disrespectful and rude. Politely tell them “I appreciate what your doing and for reaching out and ill give you 10 minutes of my time while on vacation, but after this please allow me to continue with my time off.” Set those boundaries they will respect you more in the long term if they do not in the present. Their probably ill and stressed and possibly bitter that you are not there to put out their fires for them. Present it as an opportunity for them to take ownership of the situation no matter what it is.
#5 Try to entertain everyone else. It is always good to make sure everyone has what they need. But it is not up to you to make everyone have the time of their life. Sure cook a meal for the family. Drive everyone to that special spot they wanted to go. DO take that time to spend with your children or other family members you wouldn’t normally get to spend. Playing a board game, cards, or just sitting on the deck chatting. It has been my experience that some of the most special memories I have are with grandparents who would love to tell some old stories on a warm summer evening after dinner with their family around. It is important to remember that people are in a different place in their lives. Many elderly may be thinking this is the last chance they may have to spend that precious time with younger members of the family and share wisdom or just some laughs. This is their water park or roller coaster. It is a balance for sure because everyone needs their alone time but we need to spend that quality time with those around us without worrying if it is enough. It is the thought that counts. That thought is the NOW.