“Vacation is what you take when you can’t take what you’ve been taking any longer” ~
We have shared some great vacations with family and friends over the years – but without a solid plan in place, good luck Chuck. There’s a fine line between “calm” and “calamity”. Establishing ground rules and laying out expectations before you go is a MUST. We’ve had a few vacations that came dangerously close to a National Lampoon’s Vacation movie!
DON’T SNOOZE WHEN YOU CHOOSE TRAVEL BUDDIES
Ben Franklin (and my mother!) once said “fish & guests stink after 3 days”. So if you’re under one roof for a week you’d better be really compatible with your buddies or it will be one week TOO long. On holiday I like to dig my toes in the sand and read a good book. Your idea of a holiday may be hiking through every ancient ruin in a 100 mile radius. Having a “live and let live” attitude reduces tantrums & pouting (and I’m just talking about the adults!) We are all creatures of habit; my mom likes to get up early, we don’t. She likes to go to bed early, we don’t. But we’ve found a happy medium because we’ve discussed what we expect on our holiday. Having a place to stay that meets everyone’s needs & privacy avoids conflict. And if you want to keep the “eye rolling” to a minimum, do yourself & everyone else a favour and don’t talk about work or your annoying co-worker who loudly crunches his carrots. I have no interest in hearing about your work unless you are a Navy SEAL in which case I’m all ears!
PILLOWS, POTTIES & PEACE
Sort out who sleeps where before you go. If everyone has their “eye” on the master bedroom a few eyes might be lost in the squabble! A “must” for me on vacation is having my own bathroom. Having your own bathroom keeps your vacation flowing smoothly (pun intended). Vacations are about rest and comfort and Playa Beach Getaways condos tend to be large, luxurious with en suite bathrooms so if you make a point of giving us your “Must-Have” list we’ll book you a spot that will make your head spin with delight. TV/DVD in the bedroom(s) is a godsend when the kiddies have hit their limit. Throw Shrek on and you’re good to go!
SHARE THE (DISH) LOAD
Condo life gives us the most R&R, freedom, space and privacy and yet it’s not nearly as much work as you might think! Some nights we go out for dinner (very cheaply) and some nights we stay in and made a salad with a roasted chicken we’ve picked up from Walmart. If everyone lends a hand, guaranteed to keep frowns upside down! There is daily maid service which picks up the slack so there really is not much work involved in renting a condo. If you wash out your coffee mug, pick up your bathing suit and hang your towel then in my eyes you’re a hero!
Before we leave on vacation, we rough out an estimate for our groceries and incidentals and everyone then chips in their share. At the end I do a quick calculation to ensure everything is fair and square. Dining out or shopping as a group, just keep it straight forward and have everyone pay their own way.
Money issues are easily avoided with care & consideration. Be upfront about your budget and what you are capable of doing financially before you go. Don’t book a three hour boat tour without consulting everyone & expect a “high five” and an open wallet from your group (and we know how badly that “3 hour tour” turned out for poor Gilligan 😉
FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS
There are great benefits to travelling together with family and friends. In fact we are still talking about our trip this past winter where my kids got to see their grandmother experience things like snorkeling! We have also stayed at some pretty luxurious private rentals because we shared expenses. On the other hand, renting a few condos side-by-side gives you the same shared experience. And as they say “good fences make good neighbors” and the same holds true for condos! With a group there’s always someone game for an adventure, to shop with or sit around and share stories and private jokes over a drink (insert cheesy picture of us with sombreros!)
The key is to let things roll off your back, have a good sense of humour and remember you went on holiday with these people because you love them! So if a disagreement occurs, settle it quickly and move on. Aretha Franklin said it best…it’s all about R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Now go call your friends and plan your next vacation with us! It’s no coincidence that Playa Beach Getaways has been “rated excellent” on Trip Advisor & FLIP KEY.