Making the Most of Your Family Vacation

How often do you pick up at the last minute and go on a family vacation? For some families, that method is doable. Most of the time vacations must be thought through and planned. Do you have enough time off? Does the vacation fit within your budget? Will your vacation be fun and include everyone? Those are just some of the questions you should ask yourself.

Planning a Family Vacation

Family vacations require careful planning. There are so many details to consider.

  • Decide your destination
  • Plan your dates
  • Save up your money if needed
  • Do your research
  • Plan your activities
  • Make lists
  • Organization is key
  • Find travel essentials
  • Start packing early
  • Prepare your kids for the flight

Decide your destination

When it comes to deciding where to vacation, you can start by making a list of your family’s likes and fun activities. Create a list of places you always wanted to go and consider the activities and attractions in each place.

Plan your dates

Do you want to travel over winter, spring, or summer break? You’ll save money if you travel during the low or less busy season.

Save up your money if needed

Define your budget and save up money for your trip. Rather than getting your morning coffee at Starbucks, throw that money into a jar and save it for a vacation. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll save just by doing something as simple as that.

Do your research

Before going anywhere, you need to do some research. This will help you determine the right location and find the best accommodations, transportation, and activities. It’s important you find what best fits your family.

Plan your activities

It’s a good idea to know what you want to accomplish or do on your vacation. Choose activities that you can enjoy and make good memories as a family.

Make lists

The best way to make sure you don’t miss something is to make a list. Start planning early. Make packing lists and things you may need to buy. You can also make a list of the places and activities you hope to do on the trip.

Organization is key

Lists are helpful to stay organized. Family vacations can become stressful. By staying organized, you can avoid some of the unwanted stress. Vacations should be fun!

Find travel essentials

There’s no need to overpack. Consider the things you cannot travel without, like clothing, medication, stroller, car seat, toys, and diaper bag. Once you’ve wrapped your head around your travel essentials, packing for your vacation will be less daunting.

Start packing early

Don’t wait until the last minute! Take a look at your list and see if there’s anything you may need to find or purchase. Create a comprehensive packing plan so that nothing gets forgotten. A week prior to your trip, choose a room that you can keep off limits until you go away. That way you’ll be able to set out vacation essentials without ever being disrupted.

Prepare your kids for the flight

Travel isn’t always a walk in the park. If your kids have never flown on a plane this can be scary. Teach them how to stick with you and not run wild through the airport. Make sure the actual travel is fun and exciting.

  • Start with one or two nights
  • Start close to home
  • Do at least one really memorable thing together
  • Make plans for varied group activities
  • Find time to spend with just your spouse
  • Give yourself a buffer on either end of the trip
  • Limit screen time
  • Take lots of pictures

Start with one or two nights

It’s important that your first family vacation is only a night or two. Travel can be overwhelming and new to some family members. With the change in routine, sleeping away from home, and a lot of time in the car can make travel challenging at times. It’s better to test the waters with a short trip first to see how everyone does with traveling.

Start close to home

Starting close to home at first gives you options. You can still have just as much fun, but you’re not dealing with completely new surroundings or a time change. Schedules are always different on vacation and adding a time change can throw everyone off.

Do at least one really memorable thing together

Your vacation should be memorable. When you’re researching your trip, find at least one thing your family would find memorable. This could be snorkeling along the reef, or whale watching. Find something fun for your entire family!

Make plans for varied group activities

Of course, not all your kids are the same age. Something that interests your 6 year old may not be the same for your teenager. Although this statement may not always be true, it is important to find some different activities.

Find time to spend with just your spouse

Spending time with just your spouse shouldn’t be on the back burner in all the busyness of vacation. Find something that just the two of you can enjoy. It could be as simple as going for a walk on the beach.

Give yourself a buffer on either end of the trip

Vacation is tiring. Your travel time will be less stressful if you’re not leaving right at the end of a long work day or coming home on Sunday before an early morning work day. Give yourself an extra day to get ready and catch up.

Limit screen time

Screen time can be important at times. Vacation is a time to relax, but you can do that without lots of screen time. Find fun activities to do outside! Vacation is a time to explore new things and places. Screen time can wait.

Take lots of pictures

Pictures are worth a thousand words. It’s so easy to take a quick photo or video on your phone. Don’t ever forget to take pictures; you may regret it later.

Traveling with your family can be an adventure. It is an opportunity to learn, and make lifelong memories together!

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