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Family Travel Guide - Tips for families on the move

The family vacation experts at HomeAway recently surveyed more than 5,000 dads to find out what they really want for Father's Day. To spice things up a bit, HomeAway also checked in with the ladies to see what they think tops their husbands’ wish lists.


So just how in tune are men and women when it comes to picking out the perfect gift for Father's Day? The results just might surprise you, make you giggle, or even blush just a little.


Family vacations top dads’ wish list for Father’s Day

FAther's Day - 72%.jpg

According to the survey, dads would prefer a family vacation over any other gift for Father’s Day (35%), including new technology (11%), a new set of golf clubs (6%), a luxury watch (3%), home theater equipment (3%), or a riding lawn mower (2%), etc.


Overall, 72 percent of dads said they'd like to receive some sort of vacation or trip for Father's Day. When we asked dads what kind of vacation trip they’d like to take, the majority of dads chose a family vacation (49%) – even over a romantic getaway with their significant other (38%). Only a small group of dads said they'd prefer a guys' trip with their friends (just 13%).


Gift ideas from the kids

We asked dads what they’d like to receive from their children, specifically, for Father’s Day. At the top of the list, 31 percent of dads said the gift they want most from their kids is unplugged time with the family (no texting, social media, iPads, etc.).


Coming in at a close second, dads said they’d also like to get something homemade from their kiddos (25%). Check out the HomeAway Father’s Day Pinterest board for homemade gift ideas and inspiration.


Not surprisingly, only 12 out of 1,097 dads said they’d like to get a neck or bow tie.


And from the significant other…

On the flip side, we asked dads what they want from their significant others for Father’s Day, and then compared it to what women told us they think their husbands want from them for Father’s Day. The result? Women assume husbands want sex as a gift from their wives, when they'd really just prefer a romantic meal, instead.


According to the old saying, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so not surprisingly, 46% (the majority) of men said they’d like a romantic dinner from their wife.


When it comes to gifts in the bedroom, women actually overestimated their husbands’ desire for something more intimate for Father’s Day. The number-one answer women thought their husbands would choose when it comes to a personal gift from their significant other was to “make love” – when actually only 22% of men listed it as their first preference.


The very bottom of the list? Only 19 out of 1,061 dads said they’d like to receive cologne from their wives for Father’s Day.


Where to take dear old dad?

So now that you know what dad wants, what kind of trip should you plan for him this summer? According to the survey, dads want to head for a beach or lake (48%).  Surprisingly, golf (5%), gambling (2%), camping (3%), vineyard (5%), sporting event (3%), theme park (4%), and fishing / hunting (4%) trips came in at the very bottom of dads’ wish list for Father’s Day.


Here are the top 10 destinations dads said they'd like to go for Father's Day:

  1. Florida
  2. Hawaii
  3. France
  4. Italy
  5. California
  6. Colorado
  7. Nevada (Las Vegas)
  8. Mexico
  9. Canada
  10. London


For additional ideas of where to take dad, homemade gifts and crafts, recipes and more to make this year extra special, check out HomeAway's Father's Day board on Pinterest.


Rest, Relaxation and Romance

Posted by dianah Jul 23, 2012

Finding a babysitter and having a dreamy date night with your partner may seem like the ultimate way to squeeze in some romance while vacationing with your kids in tow; but Hubs and I have discovered you can find romance wherever your travels take you – you just have to be creative!


One of the toughest things about traveling with the Littles is finding time to be alone with your partner. However, we’ve found that staying in a vacation rental home or condo versus a hotel provides significantly more opportunities for “R,R & R” [Rest, Relaxation and Romance]. Once we put the kids to bed in their room, there’s plenty of space for Hubs and I to hang out without disturbing them – no babysitter required.  However, having the extra space also means we can invite grandparents or other families along on vacation, and trade off on nights out on our own. Grandparents in our family are really sweet about picking up on our subtle hints of longing for a grown-up night away.


Another option is using a service to find pre-vetted babysitters, such as Lucky Lil’ Darlings. I chatted with Lindsay Bell, Founder and President of the company recently and they are highly committed to helping families find safe childcare.


You don't have to have a dinner date to be romantic either. Try securing childcare in the middle of the day and do something new or adventurous. One time when Hubs and I were in Barbados, we rented a tiny sail boat that we could man ourselves. Unfortunately, we caught some extra wind and got slightly nervous we would lose our way (and did I mention I was seven months pregnant at the time?), but at the end of the day we learned something new – together – and it was totally romantic and exciting.


Never underestimate the power of something simple. If childcare isn’t an option, try taking a walk with the kids in their stroller while they nap. Even short amounts of time alone can allow the two of you to connect. Also, little gestures mean a lot. Picking a flower for your wife or writing a note to your husband in the sand can be very romantic, and requires little time and effort.  


Sometimes, having your little ones around can serve as a reminder of what the two of you have created together. A family and all it comes with is romantic all on its own. We sometimes can forget how incredible living that dream really is. I had the most heart-warming call with my husband while I was traveling with one daughter and he was at home with the other. The call included all four of us on the phone together and the Littles were talking to each other saying how much they love and miss one another. It was so sweet! Hubs and I were beaming to each other despite being a million miles apart.


The number one thing that adds romance to my relationship when we travel with the kids is staying relaxed. We are much more apt to hold hands, steal a kiss or share a loving glance throughout our adventure when we are both relaxed, on the same page and sharing the responsibilities as a team. It’s during those fun times that we enjoy the little moments our family shares, the funny things our kids do and we can feel the true respect and admiration we share for one another that sometimes gets lost in the daily grind.