Tips on How to Prepare for your Family Vacation


The old saying goes that travelling broadens the mind. We all wish to make it an unforgettable, enlightening and memorable experience, not just for ourselves, but for our children as well. However, travelling with kids can become quite overwhelming and exhausting when you know that there’s so much to pack, boxes to tick off and on top of everything, deal with not just moody kids, but many other snags that will inevitably come up during your vacation.

This proposition does sound like a recipe for disaster, but it doesn’t have to be so. Here are several tips on how to make your next trip an enjoyable adventure both for you and your children that will give you loads of memorable moments to cherish.

Different age – different needs

If you have babies and toddlers, you know well how unpredictable they can be and are always a handful, so just the thought of taking them on a vacation seems daunting. However, a few simple tricks and a change of scenery can do wonders for even the most high-maintenance kids.

Renting a vacation home is one solution for the simple reason that there, you’ll have all the amenities of your home and lots of space to store all your gear. In some cases, you’ll have the house already stocked with toys and baby equipment, and the agency will be able to arrange for reliable babysitters so you could take a break for a couple of hours.

Booking an all-inclusive vacation is another solution as these resorts offer nearly everything: great restaurants, amenities and on site activities, so you don’t have to struggle to find fun content for your little ones, or yourself. Such are play lounges, themed villages and water parks, so while the kids have fun, the parents can enjoy a quiet dinner in an adult-only section.

Finally, you can opt for one of the best cruise deals. Cruises are very popular with families as they offer convenience, value and adventure all in one! There are various fun activities for everyone, from babies to grandparents. With kids’ clubs and tailored programming that usually include karaoke, scavenger hunts, arts and crafts and pool games, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to scatter around and reunite later for meals.

Older kids mean less hassling with the equipment, but it also entails more activities to keep them entertained. Grade school kids need lots of activity and socializing with kids their age, so choose interests first and destination second. Consider theme parks like Disney, mountain or beach resorts, or biking and hiking trips. It’s quite likely you’ll meet other families there and you’ll be able to join efforts and split chores, so as one family has all the kids and cooks meals, the dads, for instance, can get away to their own fishing adventure.

During your stay, if you love an active vacation and you plan to spend your time exploring but you didn’t come by your car, a smart move is to do some online research and find a cheap car rental that could be at your disposal upon your arrival.That way, you would avoid the hassle of finding suitable transportation on site with all your luggage and kids there!

Finally, if you’re vacationing with tweens and teens, it will take some careful planning. They like to have their say, so plan the trip together and choose something that they find appealing as well. Be open to their suggestions, allow them to bring a friend and visit unusual places like notorious crimes sites, former prisons or dungeons and celebrity graves. This will give you more time for yourself and lots of interesting things to talk about over dinner.

A few more tips….

Since there are so many things to think about when packing and getting ready for the trip, it’s useful to make a to-do-list and tick things off as you go. In that way, you’ll avoid the stress of forgetting something important, such as travel documents. Keep in mind that all children need passports when you travel abroad, even infants. Also make sure you check the rules of your destination country regarding visas, vaccinations and passport expiration date as some of them require that your passport must be valid up to six months after your trip.

Travelling by plane can also be quite challenging for kids. Experts say you should opt for convenience over costs. Even though a cheap flight with layover sounds great, being stuck at the airport between flights with screaming toddlers sounds like a nightmare! It might be better to take direct flights and avoid delays and luggage hassle. On the other hand, for older kids it’s more convenient to break up a 10-hour flight into two shorter ones and let the kids stretch and run around a little.

Even with the best preparations, there will be a few bumps on the road, but they will all be a small part of your travelling adventure, so just accept them and enjoy the ride!

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Casey Stanton