When you have a whole gaggle of children to cart around with you, a well-deserved vacation can turn into something of a mammoth undertaking all of its own. Between packing, getting everyone out the door, and making sure all of you arrive safely at your destination, there can be an overwhelming amount of information for parents to take care of. We’ll talk about some of the most important tips to help maximize your enjoyment of a large family vacation. With these strategies, you can vacation like a true pro, making your large family group something that only adds to the experience.
1. Lists, Lists, Lists Lists are probably the best way to stay organized. Whether you use a smart phone, computer, or good, old-fashioned paper, keeping a list is easy. Create and share lists of everything that you’re going to need on your vacation so that nobody forgets anything important or leaves anything behind. It’s best to actually create something like this on a computer, so that you can be able to print multiple copies, and add to it as your family goes on various trips over the years. Eventually, you’ll be able to tailor your packing list so that it accounts for specific trips and specific family members.
2. Arrange Ahead of Time Make your accommodations incredibly far in advance. The bigger your group is, the worse things go when plans fail at the very last minute. You want to do your due diligence and make all of your arrangements with more than enough time to spare, so you can have complete peace of mind and know that you and your family will be well taken care of for the duration of your trip.
3. Check for Last-Minute Deals or Discounts Even though you’ve made your arrangements well in advance, it never hurts to check for last-minute discounts and deals. They’re available on a variety of travel and frugality websites, and some even offer alerts that can be sent directly to your phone or email address, should a cheap deal to your destination pop up in the eleventh hour. If you’re lucky, you can wind up saving a pretty good amount of money this way. This goes for hotel accommodations and local entertainment, as well.
4. Find Activities for Everyone When you’re dealing with a large group of people, you want to make sure everyone feels accommodated. It’s no fun to feel left out, so make sure you look up activities for everyone. A larger family will naturally involve a diverse age group, so unless you’re parents to a set of quintuplets, you will likely want to set about finding something that everybody enjoys doing. What’s more is that some alone-time gives everybody a little chance to recharge while they do something they love.
5. Give Yourself a Break This recharge time doesn’t only apply to the kids, and just because you hired car service to JFK from Connecticut doesn’t mean you’ve had adequate time to rest and recharge. When you’re on vacation it’s important to figure out a way to ditch the kids and have a little “you” time. Have your spouse join you, if you can arrange it. Either way, it’s important that both parents get to spend a little time decompressing, whether it’s together or individually.