Sunday, April 20, 2014
Everyone enters into a vacation with certain expectations, similar to entering into a relationship. If those expectations are not met, at least somewhat, then disappointment ensues. As the family travel planner, it is up to me to find out everyone's expectations, and plan accordingly; making sure that the most important expectations are met.
The husband's expectations include traveling with minimal strife and hard work on his part. He wants easy. I do my best to get him "easy." He also wants to see and try new things, but doesn't always want to decide what those things will be. Done! His expectation is that we eat when hungry and eat well at that. Again, done!
One conversation we had recently was about what would constitute dinner on our arrival day in Orlando. You see, one trip we arrived at Orlando International Airport around the 6-7 pm time frame. We had snagged some fast food along the way, so when we checked into our hotel, I thought we were good to go for relaxation. The husband wanted to know when we were eating dinner. I thought we had already eaten. I was wrong. So, our recent conversation went like this. . . knowing that we will arrive at Orlando International before 6:00 pm, do you want to eat after we check into our hotel or do you want to get some food along the way? He paused, somewhat confused by the question, then I recounted the story above. He decided that grabbing fast food was an okay idea so that we could swim and relax after checking into our hotel. Got it! (See how important it is to know someone's expectations!)
The boy's expectations include having fun, getting opportunities to venture off by himself, shopping at his favorite Lego Store, and eating when he is hungry. Done and done! The boy also wants opportunities to make some decisions and even lead part of the time. Happy to meet those expectations. He also expects us not to fret over what he is eating or not eating. The boy will eat fruits and vegetables just as readily as he eats french fries, so I don't worry about how healthily he is eating on vacation. And, the words, "You'll spoil your dinner" don't come out of my mouth as he heads to the ice cream machine before eating a regular meal. The only thing I am adamant about on vacation is drinking plenty of water, and a glass/cup of milk with at least one meal each day.
This brings me to my expectations. . . fun, time with my family, and a bit of relaxation. I have already asked for a day or a portion of a day on the ship where I get to claim a deck chair for reading, napping, and enjoying the warmth of the sun. I told the husband that I want him to bring me calamari and drinks. He agreed. A deck chair on the ship also means a front row to movies on the Funnel Vision big screen, games near the pool, and most likely characters nearby. Yes, I want this for just one day!
I also have expectations because we are traveling with Disney. I expect cleanliness and Disney delivers. Great customer service is also expected, and again, Disney delivers with flying colors! That expectation for fun--being entertained--well, no one does it better than Disney. And, my expectation for efficiency is also met when traveling with Disney.
Because everyone's expectations get met, everyone goes along with the plan for the day, including wake-up times. And, yes, we still have those brief moments of grumpy, which means we need to find food and a place to rest soon, very soon!
What are your vacation expectations? How do you make sure everyone's expectations get met?