Planning Your Family Vacation

When planning your family vacation there are several factors to take into account when you are deciding where to go. First, how much time do you have? If you have two weeks you may want to combine a couple corresponding trips. Maybe a trip to a large theme park followed by a relaxing week at a beach resort. Or you may want to take a trip to somewhere it will take some travel time to get there and would be more adventurous then your normal trips. If you only have a long weekend and are looking to make the most out of the time you have as a family then you will want to go somewhere you can get there by flight or car in a reasonable time so your time away is spent enjoying and not just getting there.

Second, budget, how much do you want to spend on your time away. Remember its about getting away and having quality time together. There are so many exciting trips that will fit your budget if you find the right travel agent to guide you through the process.

Third, try to think of what your family really enjoys to do together, for some it may be a camping excursion for others it would be a cruise. Do you want a relaxing vacation or would you like to be the adventurer and try something different. Remember its all about getting away and having fun and incredible moments to share as a family that will create memories to last a life time.

We are an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. We are specialized in all Disney Destinations, whether its Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise or Adventures by Disney there is something for everyone. Every trip you make will be done in the Disney way with every detail kept in mind to make it the best for you and your family.

Travel Tips for Your Family

Having children does not mean you have to stop traveling. Although there are still many families waiting for the children to be of a certain age, or leaving them with other relatives to take long trips, the tendency to take the children with them is on the rise. A great news if we take into account that Spain has always been in line in Europe in terms of family trips abroad. Until now, a large majority still preferred Spanish coasts or camps to enjoy the summer. And, although both plans are very respectable, it is not the children who cut our wings to travel the world.

Find a destination that suits the little ones

Travel with your family

There are many countries that have great attractions for children. Water parks, attractions, themed, with animals, hotels where there are activities for them or places frequented by other families where our children can meet more children. Try to find common activities according to their age and call their attention. For example, in Asia a good idea is to introduce them to the snorkel and enjoy the seabed. In the jungle you can see different types of animals, zip line or play sports.

Choose direct routes

If you travel by plane, avoid flights have scales. If they have them, then they are not very long. Try, in addition, that the schedules are good for the children and that they do not break their biorhythm. During the trip, feel them near the windows, so you can go contemplating the landscape and have a further distraction. If the flight is at night, be sure to ask the stewardess for a blanket and pillow. The more rested they reach the destination the better they will feel. If the trip is long, we recommend that you bring them some entertainment. Some companies have sheets and paintings to distract you, also with coloring drawings and magazines where you can take advantage of the maps of the last pages to show them geography.

Includes the essential

Depending on the country you are traveling to, it will be convenient to carry everything your children need. It is better not to leave anything to improvisation, especially in medicines. Always carry a first-aid kit by hand. You never know if you can find medicines easily or at what price.

Do not be afraid

Many families acknowledge not taking their children with them for fear of something happening. However, there are many countries that are safer than ours. If traveling alone or as a couple, no mishap occurs, why would it happen to our children? What’s more, taking the children with us will open doors for us. In some countries in Asia or Africa, families tend to be very numerous, so they will be happy to help you, meet you and possibly your children will end up playing with ours.

Slow down

Although during the day they seem unstoppable and have more energy than us, children usually get tired before. Avoid long journeys full of visits, museums, meals composed by something quick and wanting to squeeze the trip to the top. Learn to enjoy a relaxed pace, with longer breaks so that children have time to eat and rest. The days will end sooner and you may have seen fewer things, but you will have enjoyed them longer.

Adapt to your schedules

Depending on the age, the child will have pre-established habits. Even if you are in the other part of the world and have the feeling that time does not exist, it is best not to alter them. Try that the different meals are at the same hours, that you sleep as necessary or that you are in bed at the established times. This will avoid that fatigue will lead to tantrums and that in the end it will be an uncomfortable situation for everyone.

Simplify

Depending on the age you will need more or less things. If your child does not walk, then here the question arises: Baby carrier or backpack? The only answer is destiny. If you are going to travel to a city where the streets are paved and it is easy to get around them, then you can afford to take the chair. If what you have planned is to do some hiking in the mountains, visit old villages or do outdoor activities, then the most comfortable thing is a baby carrier. During the trip you will see that many parents have also chosen this option. Forget about cribs, changing tables or other items. Many hotels already count on it.

Building the Best Team Possible: Relationships Between Family and Non-Family Employees

In our experience working with family business we often hear of key non-family employees who become anxious or frustrated when working with, or overseeing family employees-especially in the next generation. We commonly hear reports of family members underperforming or being under qualified for the positions they are given, displaying attitudes and behaviors that would get non-family employees fired. Fortunately, there are successful strategies for avoiding these situations that can lead to discouragement and deteriorating motivation for your non-family managers, as well as unsatisfying results for the business itself.

The first step is to develop a clear and transparent process for integrating relatives into the business. Often, families handle family employment in a very informal manner, and history has shown an informal method is much more likely to produce negative employment complications. A clear process might include the establishment of a summer jobs program for high school students who will work in basic jobs for the company, an internship program for college-aged students where they are exposed to higher-level information about the firm and its products and services (excellent for future owners who are not likely to actually work in the business fulltime), and a formal process for orienting relatives who intend to enter the business fulltime as their chosen career. Most important is to get this process outlined on paper and to then communicate the ground rules to all in a forum. This helps set expectations and allows junior generation family members to understand the opportunities and responsibilities involved in working with the family enterprise. It also adds to family credibility in the eyes of non-family employees.

In addition to a process for integrating family into the business, a second critical element is a family employment policy guiding the requirements for relatives seeking employment. It is the ownership group’s responsibility to seek alignment on expectations for employment, as unity around these expectations will protect the family from unnecessary conflict in the future, and allows the ownership group to speak with one voice. A typical employment policy clearly defines the path to employment for the next generation, answering questions such as:

• Does the policy apply to lineal descendants only? What about spouses?
• Who do we go to when we wish to apply for a position?
• What education is needed before we can work full time in the company?
• How many years of outside work experience are needed before we can come in fulltime?
• Can we work directly for another relative?
• How will our pay be determined?
• How will promotions be determined?
• What is the process for receiving performance feedback in the new position?
• Can a relative be terminated? If so, by what process?

The employment policy is necessary, but not sufficient to guide family employment in a positive direction.

The third component needed to navigate family employment issues is a Code of Conduct to guide behavior on the job. The ownership group has tremendous power in guiding productive family behavior by working together to forge a set of expectations to which relatives can aspire. The Code of Conduct drives behavior by articulating the family’s expectations about the following:

• How are we expected to perform on the job?
• What attitudes or behaviors are expected towards our supervisors, peers and direct reports?
• What communication expectations exist between fellow family employees? What information do we share and what do we not share?
• Will we operate in conjunction with the employee handbook on all matters, or what exceptions will exist?
• What are our expectations for vacation, time off and work hours?
• What will we do when we have a conflict with other family employees?
• How will we speak about each other to spouses, relatives and others?

Having worked together to establish the three components of integration, the family must then communicate with non-family management about its hopes regarding family employment. This is best done at a forum between the family shareholders and relevant key non-family managers. In this meeting, the family articulates its vision for the enterprise, its commitment to the enterprise and the values it intends to support in the business. In particular, the family takes time to articulate its deepest hopes around family continuity, and asks the key non-family employee group for help in achieving the above.

As the forum is a two-way dialogue, non-family employees should be given plenty of time to articulate their needs from the family in meeting the vision, gain clarity on whether they will really be supported in helping the family group reach its goals, and express any concerns they have about family employment. This process can be used to help key employees see what is in it for them, such as ownership continuity, a stronger organization (assuming family policies support a stronger organization), and the freedom to supervise family employees without backlash.

The weakened economy has lead to two emerging complications around non family motivation and family employment: specifically, bringing on new family employees while the firm is downsizing due to economic pressures; and the family’s taking of perks while non-family employees are being asked to go without (e.g. pay freezes, reductions in 401K benefits, etc.).

The first issue, bringing on relatives, can be addressed through the forum concept described above. The family can express how important it is that they prepare the next generation of family owners/managers, and their taking a long-term view in these matters. At the same time, sometimes the family needs to think creatively to limit the disruption this particular hire might cause for non-family managers. One suggestion could be to put the new family hire’s compensation above the line on key managers’ budgets (for example, putting their compensation in overhead rather than in a key manager’s operating budget). In this case, the manager will be minimally impacted by having a junior generation family member in “learning mode” on their watch. In fact, it may be viewed positively, as they get performance from a family member without it impacting their budget (and therefore, their own compensation or bonus calculations). This is often done for a year or two, until the relative graduates from training mode and begins to directly contribute to firm performance.

The second issue, family perks in a time of scarcity, deserves the family’s attention. Assuring that family perks are not impacting employee compensation structures negatively is a start. While non-family employees may be tolerant of family perks (those perks not afforded to all employees of the same authority level) in good times, they may become very resentful if they see the family taking benefits when everyone else is being asked to cut back. These feelings will be especially strong if they believe their compensation and benefits packages are being influenced by events beyond their own control, as occurs when family employee perks are charged to non-family managers’ budgets. Families do well to explore whether family employee perks are hindering employee motivation and taking corrective action if this is the case.

As with so much else in family business, the strength of these companies comes from the successful blending of differing priorities or agendas: family and business, or in this case, family and non-family employees. While the above details the effort required, it is a great investment to think through the challenges and opportunities that come from the overlap of family and non-family employees at your company, and to do what it takes to make this a strong union. In our experience, successful businesses need the commitment and enthusiasm of the family as well as that of a broad range of key non-family employees and executives.

Founded in 1994, The Family Business Consulting Group, Inc.® is the leading business consultancy exclusively devoted to helping family enterprises prosper across generations. With 22 consultants in the United States, Canada and Europe, FBCG advises more business-owning families than any other firm in the world. In addition to assisting clients with strategic planning and succession planning, FBCG consultants conduct research, present seminars and author newsletters and books addressing key issues such as conflict resolution, board development, and improving family relationships and communications. The firm is headquartered in Marietta, Georgia.

Principal Consultant, Christopher Eckrich specializes in building leadership excellence and maintaining family unity in family owned businesses. He assists family owned firms in establishing orderly succession plans that maximize effective leadership transition and prevent conflict during the transition. He also provides family business members with skills and strategies to successfully manage working relationships and reduce the inherent conflict that is present when family members work together.

Principal Consultant, Steve McClure specializes in family communications and decision making, succession planning and implementation, and governance & management in family firms. His work often involves family and non-family employee teamwork, implementing advisory boards or boards of directors, family governance, successor development and management practices, such as compensation and strategic planning, tailored to family businesses. His clients are primarily in North America and include financial services, manufacturing, philanthropic, distribution, construction, retail, agricultural, textile services and professional services (i.e., family offices and trust companies); all operated or owned by families.