Top 8 Family Travel Tips

When traveling as a family, keeping the tribe united in a common purpose is perhaps the greatest challenge. Traveling in a group, whether in familial formation or not, means considering the tastes and agendas of everyone present. And that can be a lot! Different generations mean different priorities.

Traveling as a family does not come as naturally as you’d think. Just ask the Griswold family, whose own tortured vacation experience together is the plot of the 1983 film Vacation. It’s not all sunshine and flowers, friends (as the Griswolds would be pleased to tell you!)

Let me share with you my top 8 family travel tips for smooth sailing. Yes, sailing! By popular demand, this post is specific to a cruise on the glorious Mediterranean. Being on a boat with your family really can be all it’s cracked up to be. 

Give your family a memory they’ll always cherish with the best Mediterranean cruise experience. All you need is a little forward planning and finesse to make it the peak experience you envision. Let’s talk about happy cruising with these top 8 family travel tips.

  • Pump Up the Excitement and Win

Whether you’re keen on obtaining everyone’s buy-in before booking or you’re surprising your family with the cruise, pumping up the excitement builds unity of purpose, with your family coming together for an experience of family adventure. The memory you’re creating demands as much hype as you can manage, so get them hyped!

Talk about the sights you’ll be seeing, the food you’ll be eating, the glory you’ll be witnessing together as you traverse the Cradle of Civilization. That’s heady stuff, so lay it on thick!

  • Plan Shore Visits Together

Whether popping ashore in Athens or Rome, the storied cities of the Med promise endless fascination and intrigue. Plan these excursions as a group to build harmony. You can enjoy different itineraries or stick together. Either way, everybody wins! If you choose to split up, don’t forget to make a plan to meet up later in a prominent location to share what the day has brought you over a meal or a snack.

  • Bond In Style With Small Ship Cruising

Being on a small ship with your family may seem a little scary but imagine the unique experience shared; the tales you’ll all tell. A tailored adventure that’s exclusive and unforgettable sets your unitive adventure in motion. Family bonding in such an exclusive setting can only be a joy!

  • Break Bread In the Med

On a Mediterranean cruise, you’re guaranteed fine, satisfying fare that reflects the wonders of the region. Rich in the varied cultures of the Mediterranean Basin, each port of call represents a culinary wonder of the world, from Italy to Lebanon. Plan these moments as a family to savor every sumptuous bite together.

  • Rotating Leadership

Give everybody a crack at being in the lead in planning onshore outings, restaurant meals aboard, and other activities. While you all collaborate in the cruising choices you make, someone’s got to herd those cats, so rotate leadership for a taste of all your unique perspectives. Get to know each other better through your unique leadership styles.

  • Stay Organized Together

When you’re all excited and having a ball, it’s easy to lose track of where you are and what you’re doing. That’s why it’s not only advisable but fun to stay organized together. 

For this purpose, your best friend is a small chalkboard (it’ll fit in the bottom of a suitcase) that you update in the late afternoon/evening each day you’re aboard. Fill it with the day’s itinerary and build anticipation! As you all contribute to finalizing the day’s planned activities, you’re strengthening the ties that bind.

  • Let the Compliments Flow!

There’s not much else to do, so why not compliment your family? Why not let them know how fabulous that sundress/crop top/pair of deck shoes is? Mark Twain once said that he could live on a compliment for two weeks. A sincere compliment will probably last a lot longer than that! And when you’re nice, sweet, and flattering, everyone feels good. Good vibes will remain well beyond your Mediterranean cruise!

  • Relax and Enjoy Each Other

If you’re not going to savor one another’s company, then why bother going on a family cruise? What’s needed is a profound shift in the way you think about each other. How you’re related is way less important than how you relate when you’re doing a family vacation.

Be willing to see each other with fresh eyes. You’re in a different context, so think outside the “family” box and rediscover your blood relations beyond their familial roles. Maybe that’s where the Griswolds went wrong. Family members are people, my friends!

I hope you enjoy your Mediterranean cruise experience as a family, no matter where you’re stopping in the Basin. And I hope that these tips will make your incredible adventure together a beautiful memory for all of you!

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