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Connection ~ It’s What Vacation Is All About

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What motivates you to take a vacation? Maybe you want to explore someplace exciting and new. Or perhaps relaxation is your primary vacation motivation. For me, a true vacation is all about connecting with the people I love through memorable experiences.

Connection ~ It's what vacation is all about

Connection ~ It’s what vacation is all about (Photo credit: Andrew Maguire, courtesy of Vail Resorts)

This story is brought to you in partnership with Vail Resorts.

Craving connection while traveling

On a recent press trip to Japan with other journalists, I found the country fascinating but I missed my family terribly. I kept thinking about how my husband would love the plentiful sushi and Shabu-shabu (a beef and vegetable soup you prepare right at your restaurant table). I longed to watch my kids write their wishes on wooden plaques at the Shinto Shrines I visited. I wondered which Bonsai tree would have been the favorite of each family member at the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum. I enjoyed learning about Japanese traditions on this work trip, but I felt lonely experiencing them without the people I love. Next time, they’re coming with me. I can’t wait to return to Japan to soak up the country’s beauty and culture with the connection of family…someday.

The Travel Mama wearing a kimono in Japan

I loved visiting Japan on a work trip, but I can’t wait to return with my family (Photo credit: CD Sagun)

Choosing a destination with connection as a goal

When my extended family searched for a family reunion vacation destination a few years ago, our focus was on finding a place where we could all come together and enjoy each other. During lengthy email exchanges and phone calls, we considered a family cruise, a tropical destination or a Disney vacation.

Finally, we decided to spend our summer vacation at Keystone Resort in Colorado. Instead of trying to wrangle all 13 of us into doing every activity together, we spun off into smaller groups and pairs. My sister, niece and I enjoyed mountaintop yoga one morning. Another day, a bunch of us embarked on horseback trail ride. Then all of the men went fly-fishing together while the ladies had a spa day. This allowed for deeper bonding between family members. And every evening, the entire crew got together for dinner, followed by board games, tons of laugher, and connection.

Connecting with each other and with nature at Keystone Resort

Connecting with each other and with nature at Keystone Resort in Colorado (Photo credit: Karen Mullery)

Why choose Vail Resorts for connection

Last winter my family starred in three television commercials for Park City, Utah. (So fun!) I had skied before, but Park City Resort put a spell on me. It was during this trip that I really fell in love with skiing. Outdoor activities, like snow tubing or skiing, have a way of bringing people closer together. Maybe it’s from breathing in that fresh, clean air and looking at nature’s beauty. Or it could be because ski resort activities, no matter the season, require concentration and living in the moment.

Connecting with family at Park City Resort

Connecting with family at Park City Resort (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

In any case, I am craving it. That’s why my family has booked another Vail Resorts getaway, this time for spring skiing at Northstar California in Tahoe. With our busy lives filled with homework, work commitments, errands galore, and technology overload, I look forward to unplugging and re-connecting with my family on this vacation. We sure could use it!

Vail Resorts offers eight destinations at which to have fun and connect with your loved ones. Choose from Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; or Northstar, Heavenly and Kirkwood in California.

Connection ~ It's what vacation is all about!

Connection ~ It’s what vacation is all about! (Photo credit: Andrew Maguire, courtesy of Vail Resorts)

How do you connect with family or friends on vacation? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: This is a sponsored story written by me on behalf of Vail Resorts. The opinions and text are all mine. Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show,, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

  1. That is what a true vacation should be. Going on a vacation is one of the best ways to connect with your loved ones.

  2. You’re so right. Vacations are really about making connections and a lot of times we forget that. I make sure our family has minimal phone time and that really helps with actually spending time with each other 🙂

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Eileen – Good rule! It’s nice to live in the moment instead of constantly staring a screen.

  3. Robin Masshole Mommy says

    I love connecting with my family on vacay, but sometimes I travel alone to disconnect because I need a break 🙂

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Robin – I totally understand what you mean. My husband and I go on a romantic getaway every year to re-connect or we’ll go on separate trips with our friends to connect with them.

  4. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    I totally agree. Of course, seeing a new place is fun, but the connection of doing it together as a family is what really means the most.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Yes, and it’s so nice when you can find the right destination to find that connection! 🙂

  5. This is such a beautiful post, I love connecting with my family and Vail Resorts looks like a great place for those families who love the snow season!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Maureen – Vail Resorts are indeed fabulous during the snow season, but they’re great vacation picks during summers as well!

  6. Angela Ricardo says

    What a nice vacation, I love to go in new place and this vacation is what I really need right now.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Angela – All 8 of the Vail Resorts look like a spectacular place to unwind and reconnect, don’t they?!

  7. Catherine Sargent says

    Spending quality time with loved ones is so important. Our favorite family vacation is going on a cruise. We don’t have internet access or cell phone service to interrupt us from each other.

  8. Vail Resorts sound perfect for family bonding. It sounds like your family had a great time when they visited.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      They are! I have loved visiting Vail, Keystone and Park City. I can’t wait to visit Mountainview this spring!

  9. I always find a vacation to be a great way to reconnect as a family. A destination with an outdoor theme would be a nice change of pace for us.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Marcie – I feel like kids today are so starved for nature…it’s great to seek out a vacation that focuses on outdoor fun!

  10. Reesa Lewandowski says

    We’ve never done a trip like this before! Vail sounds and looks amazing!!!

  11. What an awesome way to vacation with the family! I like the idea of breaking off into smaller groups based on activities each individual would enjoy. Definitely a way for everyone to have fun on the trip and get more time to bond with all of the family members. I’d love to o to Vail with the family some day!

  12. Toni | Boulder Locavore says

    First, I love all your photos! Stunning! And it looks like this place is a great destination to spend the holidays! Thanks for sharing!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Thank you, Toni! A couple of the pics were provided by Vail Resorts, taken by Photographer Andrew Maguire. 🙂

  13. Our Family World says

    I love all your stunning photos, I’ sure you had a fun vacation there. I bet that place for a family getaway.

  14. You’re lucky to have in that place! I’ve never been in any places like this. I love all your photos.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Dana – Vail Resorts has so many great options to choose from…I hope you can visit someday!

  15. Janell Poulette says

    For my husband i it is very important to relax and do things together. We do of course love to do things apart and enjoy alone time. But making memories as a family is priceless.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Janell – Agreed! Connection with spouse is just as important as connection with kids while vacationing!

  16. Great review on Vali Resorts. First time hearing about them but definitely a good vacay for those who enjoy colder lodging trips!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Kiwi – Vail Resorts make a great destination during summer, too, for hiking, horseback riding, fishing, boating, bicycling and more!

  17. Sounds like Vail Resorts has a lot to choose from! Would love to visit some day with my husband and experience all there is to offer!

  18. Joyce Brewer says

    I love the idea of connecting, as well as separating into groups for vacations.
    On our family’s recent cruise, my husband and I took turns hanging with our son solo.
    I had the best nap on the beach in Belize while they played in the ocean.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Oh my…a nap on the beach sounds so heavenly right about now! I think it’s all about balance…time alone, time with kids, time with your spouse!

  19. Dawn McAlexander says

    My husband and I love to visit the Caribbean. We always connect with each other so much better when we visit these islands because it is something that we both have in common.

  20. I would love to go there. I really need to make it a vacation destination!

  21. Yeah, I get it. I would totally miss my family if they weren’t with me on a vacay, press trip or not. 😉 I love the pictures, that group one at Park City Resort is awesome. 🙂

  22. Beautiful post! I am loving all your pictures. Thank you for sharing

  23. Planning a vacation with family not only strengthen your bonding but also give beautiful memories. It is a great idea to spend quality time with friends.

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