Here’s another guest post for anyone interested in taking a family vacation in the near future:
For the first time in nearly a decade, my family planned a vacation with all five immediate members – mom, dad, two older sisters, and me. My sisters, mom and I are all teachers, so we took advantage of our spring break from the classroom, and dad took time off work. We flew into San Jose, Costa Rica for a week in the jungle. My oldest sister is a travel enthusiast. For weeks leading up to our trip, she read book after book about Costa Rica, creating a detailed itinerary of our daily activities. The rest of us simply had to be dressed and in the rental car each morning by 7am; we were in her hands. Unfortunately, she is not one for lying on the beach. Each day was filled with hiking the perimeter of volcanoes, zip lining through the jungle, and feeding wild monkeys. Typically, I would not complain, however, each point of interest was separated by several hundred miles and hours spent on undeveloped roads. We completely underestimated the time it would take to drive from one town to the next.
One would expect that driving 120 miles on the “highway” would take around two hours. However, the Costa Rican roads we encountered were half paved and winded around the sides of mountains. Our mother did not want us driving after dark. However, the first night our estimated 3 hour drive turned into 8 hours on the road. We eventually found the small town just before midnight, and luckily the inn keepers were very accommodating of our late night check-in. Our week in Costa Rica was an amazing adventure. We saw a great deal of the countryside and experienced the local daily lifestyle. We avoided tourist-y hot spots, and forged our own path. This provided many opportunities for family bonding, and a bit of bickering on the side. I am grateful to my family for such an experience. However, we did learn a few important travel lessons. First, always plan for things to take a bit longer than they should, and schedule your time accordingly. Second, leave some free time for relaxation, so that travelers don’t get too run down. And finally, never assume that roads will be paved!
Kim, Virginia Beach, VA
Have you had any similar family vacation experiences? Let us know @travefy
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