Start the planning with the question, "Where would you go if you had all the money and time in the world?" Then follow up with the question, What makes that the place or adventure you'd choose? Think about the factors that matter.
After you've thought about those questions and responses for your family group, then group the answers you had in common and those that are true for just one or two of your group. Next, choose a place that matches most of the needs you have in common and one that has some of the individual needs as well.
For example, I have an active family. They like to run, hike, bike, swim, and play. Yet, I also have a family that likes space. So we need a place with plenty of adventure, but also space for individual reading, writing, quiet walks, and "alone" time. One place we've discovered that meets all those requirements is Acadia National Park. The park offers limitless adventure and plenty of beautiful places for solitude and thought--perfect.
Another factor you need to consider is money? What's your money style? If your family cringes every time they have to pay a fee or take out the wallet, then an all-inclusive, prepaid vacation might be perfect for you. Another way to solve that problem is to plan ahead and pay ahead, then by the time the vacation arrives you've paid for most of it. Further, simply talking about the budget before the trip can help. Whatever your collective money style is, money remains an important vacation consideration.
One more vacation consideration is the balance between planning and spontaneity--how much of the vacation do you want to be planned, and how much are you willing to leave to chance? Usually a happy medium of the two leads to the best vacation. Everyone who travels knows that you have to expect the unexpected, and that's where flexibility and spontaneity comes in. Also, everyone who travels also knows, that a little planning about restaurants, places to visit, reputable accommodations, and reliable adventures sets the stage for a better trip. Plus, in many cases, the "virtual vacationing" and planning is half the fun of the trip itself.
As you get ready for summer adventures and fun, remember the joy doesn't depend as much on the dollars spent or extravagance as it depends on pleasing yourself and the people you enjoy being with the most. Planning an enjoyable event with and for the people you love makes a vacation memorable and wonderful. Best of luck on your vacation plans, and stay tuned for more tips and travel spots in the days to come.