Some family trips don’t often go as planned, especially if the entire family is with each other 24/7, for an entire week or more.
So, if you’re a bit hesitant to take a family vacation with the kiddos and your partner, you’re not alone.
Still, there are major benefits of traveling with those that you care and love the most. Not only will you bond over mutual experiences, but going to new and unfamiliar places will help build deeper, more meaningful connections and conversations.
It also helps everyone reap a much-needed break. So in this post, we’ll share with you nine tips for an enjoyable family vacation:
Research and plan ahead
If you’re traveling with family, then chances are, you’ll be bringing kids and adults (such as your parents or in-laws) with you. The interests of every person should be taken into consideration when planning your trip.
While the younger ones will certainly want an adventure, the much older ones in the family would like to go somewhere laid-back and relaxed. So it helps that you take some time to plan ahead to ensure everyone stays happy during the entire duration of the trip.
Make reservations in advance
Back when you’re single, you probably loved to take spontaneous trips and didn’t make any reservations in advance. However, this can be cumbersome if you have other family members with you.
So, do yourself and the rest of your family a favor. Do hotel reservations, as well as book transportation, ahead of time so that you can avoid unnecessary frustrations along the way.
Wandering the streets for hours searching for a place to stay, or waiting for a few extra hours, isn’t fun at all. More so if you have a cranky child into the mix.
Get proper travel insurance
Getting travel insurance will help protect your family in case of unforeseen events, such as cancellation of flights. Knowing that you’re covered in case something unexpected comes up will make your trip less stressful and more enjoyable.
Travel insurance can be bought to cover for your family’s domestic and international travels, with either full coverage for over a year, or one-time protection for an upcoming trip.
Cruise and flight insurance are also available. Policies can be bought to cover non-medical circumstances. Medical coverage will help you in case there’s a medical emergency or you encounter health disasters while traveling.
Visit your family doctor before the trip
Ensuring that everyone is in good health before embarking on a trip is important. Hence, it’s important to know the following:
- International travel: Schedule an appointment with your physician at least two months before your scheduled overseas travel. You might need vaccinations or special medications beforehand. Hence, you need enough time to prepare.
- Domestic travel: Before a trip, it doesn’t hurt to see a doctor as you schedule yourself for a general check-up.
If anyone in your family has underlying medical conditions, your doctor can suggest specialists in the area that you’ll be traveling. That way, you’ll have their contact information and reach them when necessary.
Lighten your load
Packing for the whole family might be a daunting prospect, but don’t be tempted with the idea of involving everyone.
For instance, your child’s perception of their essential luggage will be far different than yours. For them, this may include infinite outfit changes and unnecessary toys.
The secret to an effective packing for your family could be making a list of essential things to bring ahead of time and learning nifty ways to pack more effectively. Hence, you might need to purchase some sturdy but lightweight luggage from the best luggage brands.
Make copies of your travel documents
So, maybe you’ve already double checked everyone’s passports ensuring that they’re valid, but did you take any copies?
It’s always a good idea to have scanned copies of everyone’s passports, insurance details, and driver’s licenses, and then have them in your phone or email in case you lose these important travel documents.
You can also send them over to a friend or family member that’s not on holiday in case your phone and other devices get lost.
Sort out your travel entertainment
Anticipate the frustration your kids will feel when they’ll be sitting in a car or airplane seat for a long period by incorporating some crafty entertainment strategies.
You can use audiobooks for older kids, while you can create playlists for children who love music.
While there’s a lot of things that you need to do in your itinerary, especially if you’re pressed for time, some of your family members could be overwhelmed if you’re rushing from one activity to the next.
So, you should plan only one or two activities per day. You can also use the rest of the time for some alone time for older kids and adults, as well as some play-time for the younger ones.
Try local experiences
When you go to more tourist attractions, you can end up being overcharged. On the other hand, knowing more about the local culture or language helps you navigate a foreign destination a lot easier.
When you place yourself in a local’s shoes instead of relying on tourist spots, you get to save from overcharged prices and crowded spots. Not to mention that you’ll be rewarded with a more authentic and genuine experience that the rest of the family will remember for years to come.
Hopefully, these suggestions will help you plan a trip of a lifetime with your loved ones. Also, don’t hesitate to follow your intuition and experiment with what works (and what doesn’t) for your family. After all, it’s you who knows them the best.