How to Plan an Epic Family Vacation

I’m back from our family trip to Cape Cod with lots of ideas for ways you can plan a fun family trip this summer, even if your other plans have been changed or cancelled because of Covid.

Snippet from the Show

“Connection is more important than perfection.”


“Enjoying what you’re doing in the moment and having a positive mindset is huge.”


1) Get your mindset right.

Remember that this is a TRIP, not necessarily a VACATION for you. Not everything will go perfectly and not everything will go as you plan, but that does not mean it is all a failure. Even if there are arguments or disappointments along the way, know that they are part of the experience you are having together as a family. Plan on making your trip the best ever, even if you experience some setbacks along the way.

2) Make some plans.

But don’t be so detailed and demanding and structured with your plans that there is no space left for spontaneity or relaxation. Having the structure of doing one extar “thing” each day while you are away is a good way to pace yourself but also make sure your do some of the things that are important to you.

3) Share the load.

On our recent trip, we took turns making meals and that turned out to be a lot of fun for all of us while easing the burden on me in the kitchen. Even if your kids are not old enough to take over dinner prep, make sure all family members are pitching in and helping out with everyday stuff that needs to get done — meals, laundry, and clean up.

4) Split up your group.

Especially if you are away for a few days, look for ways to split up your group occasionally so people can enjoy their own activities but also so you can mix up the group dynamics a bit and allow for different personal connections. Maybe split up guys and girls, big kids and little kids, or have a grown up night out.

Let me know if you are making plans for trips this summer and how it goes for you. I would love to know how you and your family are spending time together this summer, in spite of Covid restrictions.

My newest book is one that I wrote with Dan, the Manual for Marriage, a beautiful resource for every couple. In it, Dan and I share reflective essays on marriage and family life, but it also features a large collection of prayers, Scripture passages, hymns, and stories from the saints that will encourage and support you in your married relationship.  

I have received so much feedback from all of you about my newest book and the first chapter that I shared with you at the end of episode 210Giving Thanks and Letting Go: Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood is a book in which I share from my heart about the very real changes, challenges, triumphs, and joys of being a mom in an “emptying nest.” You can read that sample chapter at Ave Maria Press. (Use the coupon code BEAN20 to get 20% off your order!)

My book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth, is available for order! Use the code, GIRLFRIENDS to receive ten percent off your order. Don’t miss out on this special available exclusively to listeners of the Girlfriends podcast. 

Have feedback or an idea to share? I would love to hear from you!


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Megan Madden

Megan Madden is a homeschooling mother with a passion for writing and speaking on authentic femininity and virtuous womanhood. In 2017, she began graduate studies in marriage and family at the International Theological Institute in Austria. After moving to Kraków, Poland to work with university students, Megan more personally continued her research on the complementarity of man and woman, particularly on the question of what it means to be a woman. She delved into the study of renowned Catholic writers on women such as St. Edith Stein, Gertrude von le Fort, Alice von Hildebrand, St. John Paul II, and St. Teresa of Avila.

The results were the development of Megan’s online ministry A Mother’s Lace, as well as speaking opportunities and her book with Ascension: Mary, Teach Me to Be Your Daughter.

Megan lives outside of Oxford, England with her husband, who is a lecturer in theology, and their five children.

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