Take your family vacation to the next level by partnering with another family! With a little planning, you can increase your enjoyment while defraying the costs of travel.
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Step One: Make your match
Maybe you've vacationed with another family before, or maybe this is entirely new territory for you. If you've never double-dated with another family, it's important that you put some serious thought into your selection. For the best possible outcome, find a family that has kids the same age as yours. It's a good idea to vet the family by doing a couple of small outings before you find yourselves trapped with them in a foreign land.
Step Two: Talk travel expectations
Once you find a family you'd like to travel with, make sure that you have the same wishes for a vacation. Do they like to rough it, or do they prefer to travel in the lap of luxury? Do they like to pack their schedule with activities, or do they enjoy lounging and relaxing? Make sure that you share the same goals for vacation before planning any further.
Step Three: Make a plan
As long as expectations are clear, there are some serious benefits to traveling with another family. Hopefully, you can share the costs of lodging, rental cars and even some outings. However, the split costs are a disaster waiting to happen if you don't have clear expectations for how cost sharing will work. It's also a good idea to make a plan for how you withdraw from the group on the nights you want time alone with your family. Also, arrange for how you want to split child care responsibilities if either couple wants a date night. Addressing these concerns up-front will minimize anxiety and conflict during the vacation.
Step Four: Book your trip
Select your dates of travel, and go ahead and book your lodging. Make sure to ask the hotel receptionist for a group booking discount, if it's available. And even if you've never done a real road trip, a double-date family vacation is the perfect time to try it out. The kids can shuffle between cars to hang out with their friends, and there's something about traveling as a caravan that makes long road trips a little more bearable.
Step Five: Enjoy!
Before you depart, do a gut check. Traveling with multiple families will always come with a little bit of confusion. Try to remain flexible so that frustration doesn't turn into a vacation-ruining conflict. Instead of feeling annoyed during your travel, enjoy the fact that double-date vacationing affords you cheaper travel and deepening friendships.
Do you enjoy sharing vacations with other families, or flying solo? Share with us in the comments below.