If you’re planning a family vacation, chances are you’re counting down the days in anticipation. Going on vacation with your family can be the perfect opportunity to spend uninterrupted time with your spouse, kids, or other relatives, creating memories that’ll last forever and experiencing new activities and places together. It’s also a fantastic way to bond and strengthen relationships with your family members. Plus, everyone needs a break once in a while – even young kids!
Here are our tips for having a great family vacation, no matter what your destination!
Rest up. Try to keep your schedule light in the days leading up to your vacation so that everyone is well-rested on departure day. Travel can be tiring, especially for little ones, so this is an important first step in getting your vacation off to a good start.
Pack smart. Check out our perfect packing checklist for some helpful tips and suggestions! Let kids pick out one special item to bring from home, like a stuffed toy or a favorite blanket, to help them feel more comfortable while traveling.
Get your kids involved in planning the trip. Let everyone in the family pick out an activity they want to try, a restaurant they’d love to eat in, or an attraction they want to see. That way, everybody has a chance to contribute to the trip itinerary.
Give yourself lots of extra time. Rushing is stressful, and everything seems to take longer with kids in tow, so assume you’ll be delayed and plan accordingly. For example, if you’re taking a connecting flight, opt for a longer layover even if you’re fairly sure you’ll make your connection with a shorter layover. Yes, you might be a bit later arriving at your destination, but your journey will be much more relaxed and less rushed for everyone.
Include one or two “must-dos” every day. When planning a family trip, it’s just as important to avoid under-scheduling as it is to avoid over-scheduling. A good rule of thumb is to plan just one or two must-do activities each day, keeping the rest of the day flexible. That way, you’ll feel like you’re getting plenty accomplished and you’ll get to see and do lots of things without rushing around or feeling hurried, and you’ll also have ample downtime, too. After all, the point of a vacation is to relax!
Maintain a regular schedule. Keep your family on an eating and sleeping schedule that’s similar to what you follow at home. This will make the transition to “real life” after you get home easier, too.
Give everyone a chance to blow off steam. If you’ll be spending long periods of time in planes or cars, make sure everybody has the opportunity to run around and burn off excess energy. Go for a walk, swim in your hotel pool, or play a game of tennis together to help everyone unwind after a long travel day.
Take lots of photos! Don’t forget to capture the memories you make on vacation. Check out our tips for taking great vacation photos.