Balancing Act: 5 Tips for Keeping Everyone Happy on Vacation

Those of us who take the lead on travel planning are taking on quite a responsibility. We need to figure out where to stay, how to get there, align schedules, research restaurants, and more. But we also need to worry about whether or not our plans will keep everyone in our travel party happy.

According to a new study from Wyndham Vacation Rentals, 48% of vacationers have felt stressed about keeping everyone happy and entertained while planning a vacation. Here are 5 ways to ease some of those worries:

planning vacation

Survey the group:  When you’re planning a trip with a group of friends, set up some time to discuss travel styles and priorities during the planning stage. Don’t make assumptions. Check everyone’s pulse for what they want to do (and not do) so there’s no major meltdowns when one person hates museums and the rest of the group wants to see them all.

Split up planning: Getting everyone involved in the planning ensures that each person feels in control of some part of the trip. One great way to do that: assign each person a day (or two) of vacation that is theirs to plan. Each person can come back with a day’s worth of activities and restaurant choices. This way, everyone shares the burden of planning and feels that they get to do what they want on their vacation.

family relaxing on vacation

Don’t over-plan: Researching the best attractions, shops and restaurants in your destination is a great way to make sure you don’t miss anything. But some of the best moments on vacation are those spent sitting in the coffee shop you stumbled upon on the way home from dinner or the quiet evening spent laughing and recounting your favorite memories in your rental home. So remember to leave some time open to unwind and live in the moment without worrying about hitting every hot spot on your must-see list.

solo travel

Go your own way: Sometimes, it’s just not possible to have a whole group agree on activities. If the makeup of your travel party allows, it may be best to split up at times. If half of the party wants to check out the downtown shops and the other half wants to go fishing, choose a day when you can split up. Then make plans to meet up for dinner so you can recount your day and spend the evening together.

Turn boredom into creativity: Parents dread the “I’m bored” refrain from their children, especially on long car rides. But being bored has its benefits: some of the most creative games and projects come out of boredom. So don’t feel like you need to come up with ways to entertain your children at all times – with a little prompting to make up a new game or make a list of their favorite places, they may surprise you in their abilities to entertain themselves.


Sources: Vacation Ready Survey conducted by APCO Insight on behalf of Wyndham Vacation Rentals, 2017