Plan a stress-free family vacation in 5 easy steps
Family vacations are an essential part of childhood. During the summer school is out, magic is in the air, and anything seems possible. Family trips are fun and important for parents and kids alike; the experiences and memories they share together often become defining cornerstones for the way each passing year is remembered.
Vacations should capture the magic of summer and togetherness, and while they may not be perfect, good planning can help make the experience more fun and less stressful for everyone.
A few helpful tips might be just what you need to take your vacation from good to great!
Step One: Choose your destination
Pick a destination that appeals to everyone. A family vacation is for the whole family, so make sure there are activities everyone will enjoy, especially together.
Look for hassle free options, such as a centrally situated resort, or a hotel near a metro. After a long trip, a location that doesn’t require a lot of piling in and out of the car might be just the ticket.
Step 2: Choose your transportation
Make sure you have enough travel-friendly activities to keep the kids busy. Waiting for a flight, train, or enduring a long car ride will be a lot easier if the kids are occupied and happy.
Plan for extra travel time. The kiddos will probably need extra potty breaks, snacks and chances to get out their wiggles, so plan your time tables accordingly.
Talk to your children about what travel will be like, no matter your method of transportation. Prepare them for what they can expect, and what will be expected of them. This can make the whole trip go more smoothly.
Step 3: Plan your itinerary
Plan your vacation activities to your heart’s content. Make your itinerary as detailed and exhaustive as you like. It’s always good to have a plan. But, remember to stay flexible. You are on vacation to have fun and that might mean being spontaneous.
Make sure you do not overbook your trip. There is nothing worse than an exhaustion-induced meltdown in the middle of a fun day out. Keep it light, keep it fun, but keep it relaxing.
Also, have a backup plan for rainy or excessively hot days. When you plan your itinerary, check the area for fun indoor activities like museums, theaters, or malls, to keep in your back pocket incase of bad weather.
Step 4: Pack your bags
Create a packing check-list to keep you organized and ensure nothing gets left behind. You can make things even easier and divide the list into items you need to pack and items you will need for the journey such as toys, games, electronics, or snacks.
If you choose to bring electronics for the kids, make sure you download movies, books, and music ahead of time.
Bring snacks that are easy to eat on the go and require very little or no preparation and clean up. This will cut down on the number of food stops you need to make and can quell a hunger-driven tantrum before it starts.
Pack thoroughly but thoughtfully. You don’t want to over pack, but you do want to remember essentials such as glasses, medications, sun block, bug spray, chargers, and other necessary.
Step 5: Plan for fun
Remember this is your vacation – have a good time!