10 Steps To A Great Resort Family Vacation

Nov 7, 2017

I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but we went on another lake vacation this past summer. This time it was with my parents, grandma, sister and her family. We went just north of Brainerd, Minnesota to a wonderful cabin on Gull Lake at Grand View Lodge Resort.

Note: Grand View Lodge Resort provided me with a few photos to use for this post. Scroll to the bottom to see our family photos. This post is not a review of the resort. All the recommendations in this post are my opinions and I was not paid for this post.
We had seven adults and four kids, so we knew we would have to plan for a little bit of chaos. Since we have stayed at Grand View Lodge many times, we knew how to best maximize their accommodations and amenities to best suite our large family.

Tips for a Great Resort Vacation

  1. Plan for optimum sleeping arrangements: We got a cabin that had four bedrooms, so each couple (and my grandma) had a room. The kids were able to go to bed at a reasonable time and give us adults free time to watch movies, visit and play games.
  2. Meal Plans: We got the Modified American Plan, which got us a buffet breakfast at the lodge and dinner at one of the many resort restaurants. Since our kids are early risers, we beat the rush for breakfast and it was a calm and relaxing meal. Pro Tip: Make reservations for dinner early, time slots fill up quickly and eating dinner at 7:30 with toddlers is literally my worst nightmare.
  3. Only plan one "scheduled" event for the day: Grand View Lodge had many options for activities throughout the day. Many are included with the price of the cabin, but you do have to sign up for them. We signed up for one a day, so we didn't over plan our vacation. 
  4. Don't drop the nap: Sometimes kids need to skip naps, that's just life. However, whenever possible, we try to still have our kids nap on trips. This allows for some down time for adults and the kids aren't crabby at dinner. 
  5. Plan fun activities for the grown ups: The men in our group golfed twice during nap (9 hole). The ladies had coffee and ice cream at the resort. 
  6. Mommy time: This is my one regret. My sister and I were both pregnant on this trip and I wish we would have saved our money to use the spa. It would have been perfection.
  7. Use caution with great-grandparents: My grandma fell off a dock and broke a few ribs. It was very scary, but she is doing much better now. When it happened, the staff were extremely helpful. Besides getting the wheelchair and making sure she got the proper medical attention, they also checked on her many times throughout the duration of our stay. It's paramount to keep an eye on kids by lakes, but also important to look out for your grandparents.
  8. Take pictures: I don't really have to tell millennial moms the importance of picture taking. But, this is a great opportunity to get cousin, grandparent and great-grandparent photos. 
  9. Buy a keepsake: My daughter got a stuffed loon (she has a mild obsession) and they both got t-shirts. Whenever we play with the loon we reminisce about time with family. 
  10. Enjoy moments: It's so easy as millennial parents to look at our phones when the grandparents are watching the kiddos. But I encourage everyone to leave the phones in the cabin on a few outings (I mean, it's my camera, I can't leave it every time), and just be present. Enjoy the moment and have fun as a family!!

Family Photos:

Property of Dreams of Adventure Blog | Do not distribute

Property of Dreams of Adventure Blog | Do not distribute
Property of Dreams of Adventure Blog | Do not distribute


  1. Wow-these tips are so helpful. I appreciate the tips on keeping naps and only planning one event per day. Any more than that seems like it would be a lot.

    1. Thanks Anna! I am glad you liked the tips :)