How Conscious is your Designed Alliance for travel this summer

What is a designed alliance, and what does it have to do with travel?

A Designed Alliance is something that we consciously or unconsciously create and use in all our relationships, defining the rules and expectations that will govern future actions. It can determine how we react and how harmonious -- or dysfunctional -- our relationships are, making us responsible for our own learning and transformation.

But how does this relate to summertime travel? Well, we are always in relationship with ourselves and others. And we are certainly in relationship with others when we travel.   


When you first begin planning your summertime trip, you are already designing the alliance. Deciding where to go, to drive or fly, what to see and what to eat; all of these things are part of the design. Backing up a step, this design process is an intentional way of being in the relationship while you are creating the trip.

While getting ready to travel this summer, you want to sit down and talk about what the design looks like, including purpose, expectations, intentions, outcomes, and values of the family. This may seem like a lot to discuss, but it’s an important step and can be accomplished in 30-minutes or less. During this conversation, determine who you are going to be WITH OTHERS and who you will be WITH YOURSELVES, addressing any potential pitfalls.

For example, the morning of our first international trip, we discussed the stakes of our travel (the agendas and investments we could gain or lose) and decided the answer was “Roll with it.” Whatever comes up, just roll with it! Case in point, when we arrived at the airport, my 6’4” husband realized that we were in seats without extra legroom for a 13-hour flight. While “roll with it” didn’t exactly make his flight any more comfortable, it really allowed the kids to “roll” with his reaction(s) and we can now all laugh about this family story.

As another example, we recently left for a different trip with another family and the day before we departed, both families got together and discussed what outcome everyone wanted from our travels. The kids really just wanted to have fun with one another, and this helped us ALL set-up a conversation about the creation of a cell phone basket. By placing their phones in the basket, they were able to focus on each other without the constant distraction of what the rest of the world was doing. It created a fun and peaceful environment, furthering our children’s ability to achieve their own outcome. As a result, everyone had a blast!

Summertime travel is the perfect time for making family-related goals and visions, and a designed alliance is an invaluable tool in ensuring everyone’s expectations are met. Most importantly, take it easy on your family and yourself, and have fun!



“When is the last time you planned a family vacation, and what kind of pre-planning did you include?”