Imagine 4-5 family members in one van on a 3-week road trip. Does that sound like fun to you, or does that sound like a potential recipe for disaster? Or both?
The road to family vacations is usually paved with good intentions. But unless you want to relive the misadventures of the Griswolds, it’s probably a good idea to check out these conative tips first to help you make that family trip way more enjoyable and smoother for everyone.
After all, it’s easy to consider how every member of the family thinks and feels, but how they instinctively take action is just as important and often gets overlooked.
So, just remember…
From the planning stage, to dealing with transportation, to engaging in activities and beyond, our natural instincts come into play on family trips. The more you understand everyone’s needs, the easier it will be to make sure those needs are met during the trip, and to benefit from the natural strengths of each member of the family as well. It’s not just about accommodating needs; sometimes it’s just about having a clearer understanding of why someone in your family is acting the way they’re acting and giving them the freedom to be themselves!
If everyone in your family has taken a Kolbe A™ Index (or, for the kids, often a Student Aptitude™ Quiz), figuring out the source of potential stress in a given situation becomes so much easier to navigate.
Some people naturally create systems and make plans when striving. That means, if you have one or more of these individuals (7-10 in Follow Thru) in your family, you can probably expect some pretty intense itineraries. While that’s not how everybody naturally approaches vacations, this method can be very valuable, especially if your trip has many working parts.
But if you happen to be an Initiating Follow Thru (7-10), make sure to keep in mind that not everyone naturally responds well to a structured schedule. One workaround to help everyone is to plan out some time that is, well…unplanned. If there are members in your family who need that flexibility and it’s just not how you operate, anticipate their needs by working that free time into the schedule.
Say you’re visiting a museum on the trip. There’s a good chance different people will react to this excursion (and pretty much any adventure) in very different ways. Some people naturally look for as much information as possible and will instinctively research (7-10 in Fact Finder) while others are naturally inclined to cut straight to the bottom line. If your children are on opposite ends of the continuum, you may see one enthralled with reading information at every exhibit while another moves on quickly and roams around more.
When you have a greater understanding of why they’re demonstrating these behaviors, it aids you with the ability to make activities fun for everyone, and also to appreciate different approaches.
Which brings us to a reality when dealing with conative differences. Sometimes, the people you love most will not be doing things the way you would naturally do them. It may feel like they’re resistant to the activity or like they have a bad attitude, and often that’s the case. But even more likely is the reality that their conative needs aren’t being met.
For instance, some people have a natural need to physically interact with the environment around them (7-10 in Implementor). If you have one or more of these individuals in your family and you put together a vacation long on travel and short on breaks or chances to go outside and do activities, you’re probably all going to have a bad time. If you create opportunities for all conative needs to be met, you may find that some of the affective attitudes aren’t there.
Family members who naturally experiment and come up with new ideas (7-10 in Quick Start) and those who are naturally resistant to risk and uncertainty can sometimes have very different ideas of what a successful day on vacation looks like. And that’s just one example of many potential conative issues.
So, what’s often the best solution to avoid boredom and/or angst for those in conative conflict? Compromise! We’re all capable of going against the grain, though it can be draining. But your conative strengths are all about how you take action when striving, and you’re on vacation. It’s okay to have some moments when you’re not playing to your instincts, so long as everyone is given the chance to play to their strengths when needed throughout the trip.
When everyone’s needs are met, you’re bound to feel a lot closer to those closest to you. After all, a happy family means a happy family trip!