Fights, delays, lost luggage, illness—sounds like your annual family vacay? If this is you, it probably feels like you need a vacation from your stressful family vacation, right? Good news, you want to make it right this time.
A family vacation is about sharing quality time with your kids, siblings, or parents, making lifelong memories, and enjoying. If you plan to have a stress-free time with your loved ones, don’t sweat over it. Here’s how to enjoy a fantastic family vacation experience.
- Involve Your Family
Don’t assume anything; involve your family in the plans. Does everyone really want to go? Maybe not. However, don’t let one person “kill the vibe” for the rest of the family. Forcing uninterested family members to join the rest on a family trip is a recipe for disaster. For instance, they may be ill, have issues, or have tight schedules. So, no need to involve such individuals because they might have no time for fun and can even cause disagreements along the way.
- Plan on Your Destination
The destination is usually the star of the show in a family vacay. Choose your destination well because that may just be the difference between a memorable vacation and a horrible one. If you have little kids and plan a relaxing outing, avoid destinations with hilly and rugged terrains and extreme weather conditions. Instead, choose a child-friendly destination that is also good for adults. This calls for thorough research and reading online reviews. Subsequently, you need to be clear on some issues:
There are a couple of things to consider when you’re planning for the vacation:
- Try using apartment-style houses that feel homey if you have little children.
- Choose destinations with enough space for the whole family.
- Ensure enough healthy food and water is provided or available to buy.
- Ensure safety, free from noise and a child-unfriendly environment.
- Ensure your housing is not far from the tourist sites and amenities.
Your proximity to the destination should help you decide on what mode of transport to use. Consider the following:
- Avoid long, tiresome road trips unless it is part of the plan.
- Avoid overpacking. It makes it difficult to move huge bags, and luggage may get lost in the process.
- Research and book flights with low chances of delay and cancellation.
- Choose comfortable modes of transport, for example, spacious seats.
- Consider your family’s travel to and from your destination during budgeting to avoid getting stranded.
Choose activities everyone coming along will enjoy. Do your family members enjoy hiking? Choose Peru. Looking for museums and architecture? Choose Paris. However, it is essential to include everyone in deciding on activities and let every member have a taste of what they like. For example, you can visit Hawaii if your family is split between hiking, volcano tours, and beach activities. Because Hawaii has all of these activities, everybody wins.
- Hire a Travel Agent
Planning for a family vacation can be stressful, especially during peak holiday seasons and with a busy work schedule. However, let a travel agent do all the dirty work. A travel agent will help you find the perfect destination at discounted prices and affordable accommodation, prepare an itinerary, book flights, and advise you on important factors, like weather. Hiring a travel agent also helps you manage your expectations to avoid disappointment. You can grab contacts of a professional travel agent on Leadar and use their expertise to arrange your trip.
Family vacations often face challenges because of budget constraints. Imagine having to cancel your kids’ favorite activity on vacation and return home early due to limited funds. To avoid such situations:
- Research extensively about your destination and note your projected expenses. You can search for a budget planner to help you to stick to the budget during the retreat.
- Carry extra cash for emergencies and miscellaneous expenses.
- Travel insurance would come in handy in case of medical emergencies. The insurance will cater to these emergencies, so you don’t have to spend your cash.
- Always use affordable alternatives. This will help you maximize your savings, exhaust your itinerary, or even get extra activities.
- Make a Detailed Itinerary
Stress en route mainly comes from disorganization. Losing track of your kid, running late for activities, conflict, and blame games become inevitable. However, preparing a detailed itinerary can help you stay on track since everyone knows what to expect. Set reminders and alarms beforehand to help you stick to the itinerary.
- Pre-Vacation Briefings
It is normal to get excited about a trip, even for adults, especially if it takes you to new territories. In the spur of the moment, some luggage or valuables might be lost. Therefore, it helps to communicate earlier about what is expected of everyone during the vacation.
Do not wait until the last minute to pack. This mistake could lead to underpacking and overpacking. Let your family members know what to pack according to weather, terrain, and activities.
Set the ground rules for everyone, especially kids. For example, swimming alone or without appropriate swimming gear. Have a fallback plan in case anything happens.
Share out duties and responsibilities among everyone going on the trip. For example, who will be responsible for the activities, venues, driving, and cleaning?
Save your family from public arguments by making peace between feuding siblings and help keep things diplomatic before the trip. Brief your kids or siblings beforehand to avoid wardrobe malfunctions, getting lost, and mishandling unfamiliar tools or tableware.
- Have a Backup Plan
Sometimes all that can go wrong goes wrong, no matter the planning. Always have a fallback plan to ensure you can quickly turn things around and still enjoy your vacation. For example, have backup power for when your vacation house’s power fails.
- Keep Your Home Safe
Travelers tend to forget to keep their homes safe during family vacations. You don’t want your vacation cut short due to a break-in or theft. Ensure your property is secured, or have someone house-sit while you are away.
Family vacations can be chaotic and stressful, especially if kids are in the picture. However, proper planning will help you put together a perfect trip. The key factors to a stress-free trip are the destination, accommodation, and budget. Choose an affordable but fun place for your kids, and rest assured the vacation will succeed. It is also important to have a backup plan if things go against the plot.