Family vacations are a great way to bring everyone together and make awesome memories that you and your children will cherish your whole lives. Planning those trips, however, can feel overwhelming. From choosing your destination to making reservations and keeping an eye on your budget, there are a lot of moving parts that go into creating a great vacation that everyone can enjoy.
In this post, we’ll walk you through the steps of planning a memorable vacation so you don’t have to worry about missing important details or making the wrong decisions. Let’s dive in!
Dos and Don’ts
First and foremost, let’s look at some important do’s and don’ts of a successful family vacation. There are some things that are necessary to get everyone on the same page and some things that just result in stress and tension.
Some important trip “do’s” include:
- Consider everyone when planning the trip to ensure you can all have a good time.
- Make group decisions about things like where you’re going and where you’re staying.
- Find somewhere with enough space for everyone to be comfortable and relaxed.
- Let each person choose at least one activity during the trip.
Some “don’ts” that will help you keep the peace include:
- Don’t assume longer trips are always better. Sometimes a short trip to a fun place is the best way to avoid vacation fatigue and fighting.
- Don’t default to activities you could do at home. Find new experiences that make the trip feel fun, unique and worthwhile.
- Don’t force new foods on picky eaters. Find places that have opportunities to try new things and safe foods you know they’ll like.
Now on to planning your trip!
Step 1: Choose a Destination
There’s no shortage of places to go or things to do for a family vacation. You could book Southern Caribbean cruises or reserve a cabin in the mountains or spend a week at Disney World. The world is your oyster!
The key to choosing the right destination is making it somewhere everyone will enjoy. Be sure to include your family in the brainstorming process and put the final destination up to a vote.
Step 2: Make a Budget
Once you know where you want to go, you need to decide how much you can spend. This is an important step to make the trip stress-free for you. The last thing you want to worry about on a vacation is finances.
Decide how much you’ll spend on things like travel, accommodations, activities, souvenirs and food. Be as realistic as possible to avoid stressing about money on your trip.
Step 3: Plan Travel Dates
With your budget in mind, you can start checking travel websites to see what dates fall within your travel budget and fit with your schedule. It helps if you’re somewhat flexible with when you want to leave or how long you’d like to stay, especially if you’re searching for a good deal.
For example, the cheapest day to fly is Tuesdays. So if you can plan to travel on these days instead of weekends, you could save a lot of money on your flights.
Step 4: Book Travel
With all of your logistics planned out, it’s time to start booking your trip. Some websites like Expedia or Travelocity allow you to book things as a package and offer some discounts. Or you could book things separately on your own.
Be sure to keep track of all your receipts and store things like plane tickets and hotel reservations in a safe place. You’ll need these items on your travel days and will likely be in charge of yourself and your children’s paperwork.
Step 5: Enjoy Your Trip!
The only thing left to do is wait for your travel date to arrive and enjoy your well-planned vacation! In the meantime, remember to research potential activities and put together a proposed itinerary for your family. You don’t have to follow it to the letter but a general plan is helpful when you arrive to keep yourself organized and ensure you see everything you hoped to.
With these dos and don’ts and five easy steps, you can plan a great vacation for your family and avoid all the stress!