we always did one family vacation each year, and then each of us took separate trips to our own parents with the kids, and at least a long weekend alone or with friends. I grew up camping and that is always my ideal family vacation, but DH hates it. Kids did not care as long as we were someplace with a pool and please “a slide in the water, Daddy”. Theme parks were outside our budget as a destination but there are at least 3 in Ohio so we managed one a year, usually the local one (Geauga Lake, now closed after a brief stint under 6 flags management).
We usually planned a sight-seeing driving circle tour --around lake Ontario or another great Lake, a nearby state-PA, Ill-Wis, Washington DC & no. VA, KY-mammoth caves and environs, Tenn-Smokeys, Gatlinburg etc., Myrtle Beach, Niagara Falls, NC
with stops at motels (usually no-name, off the interstate on the US route through the town, cheaper, more fun).
we made at least one stop at a historical site, usually a Civil War battlefield, leading to that famous complaint “Mom, is this going to be historical?” or history musuems, especially living history exhibites like colonial settlements, 19th c farms etc. That was my profession and avocation so I insisted. Old bookstores were always a feature, and golf for DH. ONe “kiddie” type attraction (Gatlinburg is great for that stuff) but ALWAYS a waterpark with a water slide (mom stayed dry thank you very much but kids and dad loved it).
our couples trips usually involved business in some way, but also made room for golf for him, historical sites and bookstores for me
DD goes on family vacations with all her in-laws where they rent cabins at some resort that has kid stuff, pools, golf for the men, shopping for the women (these people are huge outlet and flea market shoppers), kid stuff.
now we have a one-week get-together with the girls and their families at a central location family outdoor resort type place. We have a reunion of sorts and Christmas-in-July where we do the b-day and gift thing for the whole year as a gift exchange, games, mapquests, puzzles, mini golf tournaments, and all the typical resort activities. We did a destination vac once with all of us to Orlando, but I have no desire to do it again.
my ideal vacation? fly to an exotic spot of historical and/or literary interest, see the sights on a tour, come back on my own to places that interest me, browse old bookstores, and any kind of boat trip, excursion or tour on a river or lake. happy hour with margaritas by the pool is a definite plus
so we will be in Mohican country in central Ohio at the end of the month with all our kids and grandkids for a week, outdoor resorts in adjoining cabins (think luxury condo with log exterior), golf, canoing, kayaking, tubing, fishing, riding, pools, state parks, hiking, all outdoor stuff you can think of in a gorgeous location. I will be babysitting with the infant, others are old enough to run in packs.