I get it. You’re excited. It feels like you haven’t been on a real family holiday for decades. If you are just starting, it could be that you have never been on a holiday with a family of your own. That first one is like no other, mostly because you make all kinds of mistakes that you will never make again. After a particularly trying time, vacations are more important than ever. We need them to serve as a palate cleanser to wash out the bad taste of whatever awful thing we are trying to put in the rearview mirror.
In this case, we know what is in the rearview mirror, except it is not just behind us. We are still going through it to some extent. It is like trying to escape a desert. We see the crystal lake as clear as day. But when we finally arrive, we realize it was only a mirage. This is why it is so easy to understand your excitement about finally going on a family holiday. It is easy to be consumed by the idea. But unless you want to make the kinds of mistakes that are reserved for first-timers, make sure the following is in order before you head out:
The last thing you want to think about when planning for a vacation is all the things that could go wrong. Force yourself to do it. Consider the types of life insurance there are and be sure that you have the right kind for your needs. Do you have whole life or term life? If you bought a term life policy ten years ago, you might want to check and make sure it isn’t about to expire just before you leave home without it.
If you have whole life, you will be covered for your whole life. But you still need to reevaluate your policy to be sure you have as much coverage as you need. A lot can change in 10 years. You might have purchased your original policy intending to save money on premiums. As your family grows, you need to be sure the insurance benefits keep up with it. Your family is not a set it and forget it kind of thing. Your insurance isn’t either. So before you head off to parts unknown, revisit your life insurance and make sure it is also ready for your family vacation.
A Good Travel Guide
It is surprising how many people go on a family vacation without a detailed plan. They start out believing it is a good idea to just wing it. Just winging it is how you end up in the wrong part of town with your camera, smartphone, and wallet stolen. It is how you end up at that restaurant that would have been shut down for health reasons had it been located in a different part of the world. Traveling like this is madness.
What you need is a good vacation guide to wherever it is you’re going. You might think you know New York because you have been there a few times on business. But even the locals don’t fully know New York. There is simply too much of it to know. What you need is a game plan for what you will do, what you will eat, and where you will stay. You will also want a good list of sites worth seeing while you’re there. This takes planning, not winging.
Whether it is for a natural disaster or a family holiday, the importance of emergency contacts cannot be overrated. Make a list and check it to see that it is up to date. Don’t just put anyone on that list. That friend that is always broke and borrowing money from you is not going to do you any good in a crisis. You need someone you can call in the middle of the night who can wire you $300 immediately without asking too many questions. If you don’t have that person’s number, don’t leave until you do.
You absolutely need a family holiday. Go for it! Just don’t go without updated life insurance, a good travel guide, and the contact information of people you can count on in a pinch.