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Blended family vacations come with challenges

When you get remarried after a divorce, there are a lot of areas in your life that you will need to evaluate. You might be focused on things like making sure the blended family is getting along and that rules are clearly established. There is another area that can prove to be challenging – planning a family vacation.

Getting things in order to have your children and your new spouse's children go on a vacation can be a complex undertaking. You will have to figure out how to schedule things across three homes instead of two. You also have more than one child custody order to review. This means that you need to get started with the planning as early as possible.

Grab a calendar

One of the biggest challenges pertains to figuring out when to go. Sometimes, the child custody orders will stipulate that vacation plans take precedence over the regular parenting time schedule. Even if this is the case, you should try to work things out so that you aren't taking all of another parent's time. You also have to find out if another parent already has plans for the kids during the time you are trying to go on vacation.

As you plan for the dates, remember to schedule ample time for travel. If you know that you are going to fly and will have to be at the airport at 5 in the morning, don't plan on picking up the children that morning. Instead, plan to get them at least the day before so that you don't have to rush to get to the airport.

Destination and activities

Make sure that you verify that you can take all the children to the intended destination. There are sometimes limitations to how far they can travel. If you need to get permission to travel or need any special documentation, such as what might be required for you to take the children out of the country, get it as soon as you can. This should all be in order before you make any non-refundable reservations.

When planning the activities, make sure that you choose things that everyone will enjoy. If there are big age gaps between children, you might have to plan an activity for the younger ones and then another for the older ones. While this isn't ideal, it can help the children to learn about taking turns and being respectful of others.

Before you head out on the vacation, make sure that you relay the plans to the other parents. Make arrangements for the children to call them during the trip. You should also make sure you have all paperwork that you may need, including passports and insurance information.

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