VDP for the Masses


Summer vacation week has officially started for the Austin Family and this year’s experience is a little different than those in the past.  For instance, we are down to one child to join us on our summer experience.  In the past, we would have packed the van with three kids, 5 bikes, 2 tents and enough cooking equipment to process food for the 5th Infantry Division.

We would have loaded several days’ worth of food, rolled our sleeping bags and tucked away our bug spray.  Every corner of the van would have been filled with necessities for a week of fun family memories.

This year, the three remaining Austins (Ben, Anita and me) decided to stay close to home and see what Indiana has to offer.

I must say that we were very democratic about determining our destinations.  We began by making a list of anything and everything that might sound fun during our week off.  We listed everything from Caving to Canoing.  We listed Harry Potter, Swing Dancing, and Duck Pin Bowling.  We considered King’s Island and Holiday World.  We suggested hiking in the woods, Symphony on the Prairie and theater in a barn.

When it was all said and done, and all the possible ideas were exhausted, we reviewed the list and discussed the positive and negative aspects of each.  We observed any logistic aspects of the vacation destinations and then rated each item on a scale from 1 to 10 (ten being the best).  Each person rated the event.  Utilizing the Excel spreadsheet developed for the process, we then sorted the items according to the best average score.  As you can see, ComedySportz ranked highest, followed by my father-in-law’s birthday party and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. 

Page two of the spreadsheet provided a good place to develop a working schedule to optimize our events, geographic locations and approximate time required to make the most of our destinations.

I believe this new science of Vacation Development Planning (VDP for short) will be the wave of the future and am open for consultations to help your family plan their next week of vacation.  A small retainer fee is requested at the time you book your VDP session.

In the mean time, I’ll keep you up-to-date with our POF (Program of Events (also known as vacation)).