Time management Monday: planning family visits

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Bowman family reunion 2010

As I write this, I am in the US for the first time in several years to visit family. This is also our family vacation this year for myself, my husband and our two children. Planning an international family visit is tricky, because there are so many people to see in a limited time. This is a common challenge not only for expats but for anyone who lives some distance from their relatives.

Any time you travel to visit family there are a lot of logistics and moving parts. The best situation is if you can get other family members nearby to come to you to minimize your own travel, especially if you’ve already come a long way to get there and especially if you have young children. I speak from unpleasant experience that if you spend a lot of time traveling around the country with little kids, inevitably someone (or, all of you) will end up sick. Try to take it easy on going from place to place.

Other logistics to consider are where to stay. We are lucky that my husband’s folks have a very large house so they were able to accommodate us. Even so, we are staying in a hotel for a few days to be nearer to some of my family while other relatives are in town, both to minimize our driving time during those days and also to give Grandma and Grandpa a break from our kiddos. Which brings me to my next point…

Yes the purpose of your trip is to visit family, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend every second together. In fact, if like us your family trip is also your vacation, you’ll want to schedule in some “just-us” time to do some vacation activities.

The reality of traveling to see family is you will probably have to schedule most days of your trip to make sure you get to see people. They will need to schedule time off work, or you’ll need to work around their weekends. You’ll need to plan family reunions, family dinners and family photos. It won’t be much of a spontaneous trip, but it will be fulfilling and create lifetime memories.

Do you travel to visit family? What are your tips?

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