Vacations With Your Blended Family
Summer is a great time to take vacations with the family. Kids are out of school, and parents are eager to get out of the office and into the sun. When you are a parent in a blended family, you have a number of options available to you as to the kind of family vacation you can take; however, more options sometimes leads to more complications for families in this situation. When planning a vacation with your blended family, there is a much to consider and to plan ahead for. The OurFamilyWizard website has the tools to help your blended family schedule, communicate about, and execute your vacation plan. Consider these tips that can help you more easily plan your vacation with your blended family using OFW®.
Decide When To Go Early On
A blended family is comprised of parents who have children from past relationships. These parents and their children now combine their lives by way of living together some or all of the time. This means that the children all have other parents and family members who also want to spend time and vacations with them. Making last minute vacation plans can create conflict, especially when plans interrupt the children's time with their other parents and family members. Plan vacations with your blended family well ahead of time. Check your blended family schedule to see if there may be any conflicts with the dates you are looking at. If there happens to be a conflict, determine whether it is worth it to propose a trade in parenting time with one of the other parents in order to accommodate your plans. The OurFamilyWizard website has a parenting time calendar complete with customizable parenting schedules plus a tool to help you propose a time modification. OFW®'s patented Trade/Swap tool lets you indicate which dates you would like to take the kids and propose a few days to swap in return for the other parent's approval of your proposal. If the other parent disagrees but has a different trade of dates in mind, they can send a counter offer for you to consider. Being able to discuss vacation plans and adjustments to the schedule in a neutral environment helps to empower parents to communicate and propose vacation plans with less anxiety and frustration.
Choose Your Destination Carefully
You might have already had a place in mind for your family vacation before you planned your dates. Choosing the right place to bring your family on a trip is important, especially when you're vacationing as a blended family. Decide whether you want to take a vacation close to home or far away. If you're taking the kids out of state or out of the country, there may be specific guidelines that will affect some or all of your kids based on the parenting plans you and your new partner each have in place. Review those guidelines closely to ensure that your destination of choice does not fall in violation of either plan. Also, it's important to note whether this trip will include visits with extended family on either side. If you're vacationing with your extended family, for example, you will want to check with your new partner and their co-parent to make sure they are aware of and comfortable with this. Taking trips with your blended family that includes extra guests might create conflict if the other parents aren't aware of who all will be in attendance. Using OFW® with your co-parent, you will be able to discuss location plans for your blended family vacation using the message board. Every message you send is documented with the date and time it was sent as well as when it was first viewed by the recipient. Also, messages can never be edited or deleted. This will be helpful if you encounter a "he said/she said" moment down the line where your co-parent is saying they were unaware of some part of your plan. If you had communicated your plans about your vacation spot as well as who will be in attendance using OFW®'s message board, you will be able to reference your message as well as cite the date and time your co-parent did first view it.
Write Down The Details
With every family vacation comes a lot of details, more than just where you go and when. Emergency contact information and vital medical details should be available to each parent for every child at all times. On vacation, information like hotel phone numbers, travel itineraries, flight information, and other pertinent should be made available to the parents who are not traveling with their kids. Using OFW®, parents can store all of these details in the information bank. Sections for all important information related to your kids can be stored here, and documents can be easily uploaded for parents to share and view. If there is an emergency on your vacation, pulling up medical insurance information, allergy lists, and doctor's phone numbers are readily available and clearly organized. If the other parent who isn't on vacation needs to get in touch with you or their kids while you're away, they can access the travel itineraries with hotel contact information that you uploaded to the My Files section of the information bank. When you return from your trip, My Files is where you can upload and share all of your fun vacation photos of the kids.
Blended family vacations should be fun for the whole family and not aggravating for the other parents who aren't coming with. Planning your dates well ahead of time will help ease stress on both ends. Choose the right place to bring your family, and be sure to let everyone know who else may be vacationing with you. Finally, get the details written down in a place where all parents can see it. The OurFamilyWizard website strives to help families reduce the stress of planning, communicating about, and executing blended family vacations through providing the right tools to help parents stay connected from anywhere.