If you’ve been thinking about taking the family on a vacation, then you may already find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the details that are involved: selecting a spot, scheduling travel, finding affordable lodging and transportation. Oh, and let’s not forget packing. As a matter of fact, sometimes it’s the planning of a trip that can tempt you to not even go on it in the first place.
However, if you’re reading this article, know that it’s not for naught. Below, we’ve provided you with five great tips on how you can plan a stress-free family vacation. This way, you can enjoy preparing to go almost as much as arriving there.
Plan the trip as a family. Although the parents understandably get the final vote on where to go, it can actually prove to be pretty beneficial if you ask your kids to join in on the planning with you. One of the main reasons why is because it will help you to get a good idea of the kinds of things that interest them. For instance, while you might assume that they want to go to Disneyland, they might surprise you and want to go camping instead, which could actually end up lowering your vacation costs.
Explore all-inclusive packages. If you do decide to take a trip overseas or on a cruise, don’t forget to speak with a travel agent about what are known as “all-inclusive packages”. The awesome thing about them is that you can usually find travel, lodging and the prices of admission to various events all for one set price; one that is substantially lower than if you had purchased each of these things separately.
Don’t wait until the last minute to pack. It seems like a simple enough tip, but you might be surprised by how many people wait until the night before to pack for a family vacation. When it comes to washing clothes, try and do that a few days before. Once they are dry, then put them in your suitcases. That can easily save you a couple of hours of packing time.
Pack light. Speaking of packing, another rule to keep in mind is that more stuff that you take along with you, the more you’ll have to try and keep up with. Plus, if you are flying, taking more than two bags per person will probably end up costing you money. Therefore, pack only what you absolutely need and remember that when it comes to things like toiletries, you can easily purchase them at a local drugstore or grocery store once you arrive.
Pick kid-friendly activities. There’s a pretty good chance that you and your spouse could spend a large part of the vacation resting in bed or sitting on a back deck sipping some iced tea. However, if you bring your kids along, you already know that they are going to want to stay entertained for pretty much the entire time. Thanks to the internet, you don’t have to wait until arriving to your destination to get an idea of some fun things to do. For instance, if you are planning a trip to Key West, Florida, go to your favorite search engine and put “family activities in Key West Florida” to get a list of things to do. You’ll probably see activities such as going to the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory, kayaking in the Mangrove Islands and even taking a couple of Key West Ghost Tours. That way, you can purchase tickets ahead of time and perhaps even get a discount for doing so.