A family vacation is an important time for the whole family to escape everyday life’s routines, stressors, and demands. However, it can be challenging to determine what destinations are appropriate for an entire family, especially if you have children of all ages. If you’re not sure how to go about planning a family vacation, here are some tips on how to find a destination that will make all members of your family happy!
Involve The Whole Family
It’s important to involve everyone when picking a family vacation. It can be tempting to take charge as the grown-ups but by involving your children and other family members, you can find something everyone will enjoy.
Start by discussing your options with your spouse, children, and extended family members. Be sure to ask questions that will help you decide which destination would be best for the whole family. Ask things like “What are the most important things we want to do while on vacation?” or “Which activities do you think would be fun?” It’s also important to consider how long of a vacation you want, as well as what type of destination would suit your family best. For example, some families prefer a warm destination during the winter months, while others prefer visiting historic sites or exploring different cultures.
Write an Experience Wishlist
The first step to finding the perfect family vacation destination is to write an experience wish list. Make a list of experiences you want for your families, such as hiking, swimming, or visiting museums. This will help you identify which destinations have these types of activities. When you’re making your list, take into account the needs and desires of all members of your family.
Try to accommodate everyone’s requests for your family getaway, whether it is visiting theme parks, taking a fishing excursion, relaxing by the pool, or whatever you choose to do. A good idea is to have everyone write a list of what they would like to do, then put them in order of what they want to do more. Let them know you will try your best to do as much as possible during your trip if you can’t do it all.
Have Backup Plans
If your first choice doesn’t work out, always have a backup plan in place. Have alternative destinations similar to your original choice. The same goes for any planned activities too. While it can be frustrating to start over again, if you have a shortlist ready with backup options, it won’t be as hard, or take as long or arrange.
Plan Your Journey and Pack Appropriately
Before you start your search for family vacation destinations, plan the journey and make sure you pack appropriately. Plan your travel itineraries well in advance and book any necessary flights or transportation. It’s also important to have a fully stocked car for any trips that are needed during your time away from home.
You should start with your travel arrangements and look at what you might need to keep everyone happy and occupied during your journey, from snacks and drinks to electronics, coloring books, pens, and more. Keep this to hand, so you know where it is when you need it.
From here, you can then look at what you will need when you arrive at your destination. From sunscreen to medications, hats, swimwear, sandals, or skiing equipment for winter sports vacations.
Make a list and check it off when it is packed into your suitcase, so you know exactly where you are up to and what you still need to get before you leave.
It’s also important to know what vaccinations are necessary before departing on a family trip overseas. You don’t want anyone coming down with something preventable!
Let Your Child Know What to Expect
If you’re planning a family vacation, it’s essential to let your child know what to expect. Whether going on a plane or driving miles and miles, your child needs to understand what they are getting into. If you’re going to be on an airplane and will have access to movies the entire time, that may be something that your child is looking forward to. Or, if they’ll be driving long hours and will have the opportunity to sleep during some of the car ride, that may be something they are looking forward to.
Show them videos of similar experiences so they know beforehand what to expect, as this will remove the element of uncertainty. Talk to them about what traveling on planes will be like and what you can do to keep busy during the flight—the same with road trips. Discuss how long you will be driving, how many times you plan on stopping, and what to expect when you arrive at your destination.
The first step in choosing a family vacation that everyone will enjoy is to let go of your expectations.
Let Go of Expectations
You may have high expectations for a family vacation, like high-quality hotels and restaurants, or the ability to do all the activities you want with your children. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that you can’t please every member of your family at the same time.
You can plan your holiday to the last detail, but in reality, vacations with children or large numbers of people can quickly go awry. For example, while some kids may enjoy relaxing by the pool and not doing anything, others may want to spend their entire day on the beach swimming and playing. And the best way to deal with these scenarios is to expect this from the off. This way, you won’t be disappointed when things don’t go how you imagined them.
Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy your vacation too. Sure, a family trip might be hard work to organize and partake in, but at the end of the day, you are there to have fun and enjoy yourself, so make sure you take advantage of this time to sit back and relax while everyone else is around you too.
Make your vacation easier by booking meals out, so you don’t have to cook all the time, or take advantage of kid’s clubs babysitting services if available to have an afternoon or night off from parenting duties.