Family vacations are wonderful ways to bond, make memories, and simply have fun and get away from the routine of everyday life. And though it can be a challenge to be sure when you have young children, with a bit of smart planning and a lot of patience and enthusiasm, it can be done. Here, Go Look Explore offers you some great tips on making that family vacation a lot less stressful and a lot more fun.
Table of Contents
Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More
LifeTales notes that the more you plan, anticipate, and research, the more likely it will be that you’ll avoid some of the pitfalls that can come with traveling with small children. This means thoroughly researching destinations to see how easy they will be to navigate with small children, if there is enough there to interest them, and what kind of accommodations and food choices you’ll find when you get there.
Make an itinerary before you leave the house. It can be exciting to just go exploring when you’re on your own or as a couple, but when you’re with children, it can lead to problems. Make a rough outline. That way, you have a plan before you start out each day, taking into account extra time for little legs. But be flexible, don’t expect to adhere to it too closely since unexpected things can, and probably will, happen.
Time to Pack
Just like your travel itinerary, you should make a list of what you’ll need to pack ahead of time to be sure you don’t miss anything. And making a list early means you have time to purchase what you need at home and not have to go looking for it in a different city.
Pack light. You may be tempted to pack a lot of just-in-case items, but that can make travel cumbersome and more expensive if you’re flying. Use packing organizers or travel compression bags to pack more efficiently. Add comfort items to your list and throw them in at the last minute. Those would be things like a favorite stuffed animal or blanket.
Avoid carrying around a lot of bulky documents by scanning everything important before you leave, including backups of your driver’s license, credit cards, and passport if you’re traveling abroad. You can try this app that turns your smartphone into a scanner. You’ll feel like you’re taking pictures, but the OCR captures the content and converts it into a PDF you can keep on the cloud and access from anywhere.
Check the ten-day weather forecast for the city you’re traveling to just before you leave since weather forecasts change the closer you get to that date, then adjust the clothing accordingly.
Where to Go?
Disney World and Disneyland are the most requested family theme parks by children everywhere. They have a seemingly endless number of rides and activities children and their parents love. Since it’s designed for children and families, all the amenities you need are available. You can find a lot of online information, news, and resources to help you plan your trip, like Mouse Life Today or the park’s website.
Beach vacations are also very popular for families, with lots of things for kids to do, from building sand castles to eating ice cream on the boardwalk. And you can look for hotels in areas with high walk scores so that you don’t have to drive everywhere. Instead, walk to the beach, hotel, and dinner will be a breeze!
National parks give parents a chance to introduce their children to the wonders of nature and an appreciation for the beauty of the great outdoors. You can purchase family passes for almost all state and national parks.
Royal Caribbean points out that many cruise lines offer family-friendly cruises with lots of activities for children, not to mention being able to eat whatever they want whenever they want. It’s also a budget-friendly vacation.
Or try Switzerland for an amazing international adventure. Go Look Explore has lots of amazing advice for travelers, so visit the site for great ideas.
Drive or Fly?
Your mode of travel will depend a lot on your destination. Driving has the advantage of being convenient and budget friendly. You’re able to make stops along the way at city parks and rest stops for your children to run and play.
Traveling by plane with your family, though more expensive, is obviously much faster and gets you to where you are going that much sooner. And it’s the only way to go if you’re traveling overseas.
You’ll need to address the accompanying jet lag during the family vacation so that everyone isn’t too sleepy to enjoy themselves when you arrive. Start by gradually adjusting your and your children’s bedtimes to accommodate the time zone of the city you’re traveling to. It’s also important that everyone stays hydrated. And don’t forget to adjust for light. If you’re traveling east, expose yourself to light earlier. If you’re traveling west, expose yourself to light later.
Plan for a Great Family Vacation
No matter how or where you vacation, remember that the primary goal of traveling with your family is to spend quality time together, so be flexible and make adjustments along the way to accommodate everyone in the group.