Every vacation-planning family member knows that family travel doesn’t begin the minute you step foot outside the house. No, in fact, it happens days, weeks and months ahead of the date you actually plan to walk out the door. Hopefully, by the time you’re finally done planning your vacation, you’re still excited to go!
Research ahead of time
If you meticulously plan your vacation way ahead of time, your family will thank you (or more than likely, they might not even notice). Research every aspect of your destination based on your family members’ various needs and preferences. For example, is two a good age to go on a Disney cruise? Will it be okay to visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial with two three-year-olds in tow?
Consider all food angles
No matter the age of your kids, they’ll still need to eat, like, eight times a day. There’s no way around it — it’s best to make food a major consideration when it comes to your vacation plans.
If you’re a chef, rent a condo, house or apartment. If you’re not, well, then there’s the tried-and-true all-inclusive, where you don’t have to worry about food at all, because it’s there for the taking, eight times a day.
Traveling with older kids, maybe a hotel will work best. Wanting to save a lot of money and DIY everything on your own, camping may work in your favor. Be creative, think of all the options. Maybe there’s a hybrid somewhere in that mix, too.
Pack with thought, capsule wardrobes are great for packing light. By bringing clothes that all “work together” you are able to pack less and get many outfit combinations.
You might think you’re going to need two packages of swim diapers for your toddler, but do you really? Think about how many times a day will you actually go swimming? It’s sometimes tough to gauge, but remember, there are always grocery stores and a Walmart close by if you don’t pack enough.
Take your time
Don’t be in a hurry to get from point A to point B, and don’t push it to hit two more stops in between, either, if it’s just not going to work. With younger kids, you might never be sure when a meltdown will ensue or a potty-training incident will go awry. Build in time for that stuff, and you’ll be more relaxed about your vacation in general.
Don’t be afraid to break up a drive
If you’ve got 11 hours before you reach your destination, spend the night in a hotel at the halfway point if you need to. If you have little kids or even big kids, it’ll be way less taxing and more like a vacation.
Have a rain plan
If your plan is to spend a week at the beach and the forecast calls for rain, better have some rainy day activities in mind to combat the whining that’s sure to ensue when/if it rains for the fourth straight day. You can still have fun even if the forecast is less-than-perfect.
Break up activities throughout the vacation
If you’ve brought your boat and camper to a lake, for example, and you’re planning to… boat and camp for a week, you can bet you might get a little tired of the same thing every day. Try the water park in the middle of the week, or alternate boating with fishing for a few days.
Talk to your family
As always, you’ll need to take your family’s specific needs into consideration, no matter what. If everyone in your family is content road tripping for 11 hours, then drive 11 hours straight instead of stopping. If your family members are comfortable hiking in rain, then don’t bother to implement a rain plan. Every family is different, so think critically about how you can make your vacation the best it can possibly be for your family.
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