Planning a Family Vacation Everyone Will Enjoy
If you haven't begun planning this year's getaway, here are surefire tips and ideas for a trip the whole family can enjoy.
- Plan Ahead. The more time you give yourself to plan, the more money you'll save and the less stressed you'll be. Put a reminder on your calendar to plan your vacation and don't delay!
- Be Democratic. Let your kids get in on the decision-making process. Let them know where you are headed, and let them choose what you see. They'll be more excited about vacation if they're active participants in planning it.
- Plan for Downtime. Don't schedule every day so busy that you can't relax together as a family. Plus, you never know what can come up - things rarely go as planned. Build in a little leeway for your itinerary in case you are running late, someone gets sick, or you decide to take a detour and try a different activity/see a different sight.
- Play to Your Family's Interests. Is your son a budding zoologist? Make sure the zoo is on your list of places to see. If your daughter is obsessed with swimming, add in the beach, or try to find hotels with pools. Split up in to groups - you and your daughter can go swimming while mom and the boys check out the zoo - if everyone needs a break and interests are too different.
- Be Age Appropriate. Your toddler will have much less tolerance for that cross-country trek in the backseat than your eight year old. Make sure to pack snacks and make playground pitstops for young children if you're going on a long car ride. Long flights will need ample games, DVDs, and books to keep kids quiet and entertained.
If you're traveling with a baby, you may need to babyproof your hotel room(s), and you might want to look at resorts that offer childcare.
The secret to planning a perfect vacation is knowing ahead of time that it won't be perfect. And it's those moments where things go wrong that can make the best memories and spark the stories you'll tell over and over again. So kick back, relax, and get ready for some fun family memories.