Planning a vacation is no small feat, and when you have young children, there are so many more details added in that it can become overwhelming pretty easily. Not only do you want to create a fun trip for the entire family, but it’s also important to consider safety and comfort for everyone.
In order to take the stress out of planning, it’s a good idea to stay organized and begin several weeks before the actual vacation so you’ll have time to save money, look for the best deals, and book hotel rooms, flights, and rental cars.
Preparing for a great vacation can help energize you and make you feel rejuvenated, allowing for increased productivity when you return home.
Read also: Best & Fun Vacation Ideas for Families
From packing smart to making sure you make plenty of stops to stretch and rest on road trips, there are tons of things to think about before you head out. Make a packing list for each member of the family and, if you’re driving, get the car ready to go by cleaning it out and having routine maintenance done, such as checking the tires, changing the oil, and making sure the windshield wipers are in good shape.
Before you leave
Check online for deals on hotel rooms and flights. Consider working your vacation dates around slower travel days when flights will be less full. Do some research on the area where you’ll be to decide where and when you’ll eat out, where you can go shopping and sightseeing, and what sorts of activities there are to do with the little ones.
Create a budget and, if booking a hotel, look for one that has a small kitchen area where you can prepare some meals and snacks for the kids. This will save you time and money, especially if you’re staying on the beach, where many local tourist spots become pricey.
If you’d like some help planning your itinerary and finding the best deals, you may want to consult with a travel specialist. You can find vacation-planning professionals on freelance job boards.
Read also: 3 Essential Areas You Can Save On Travel
The key to any successful trip is to pack well. Research the location so you’ll be prepared. Depending on where you’re headed, you may need sunscreen, bug spray, bathing suits, non-slip water shoes, and flotation devices. If the evenings get chilly where you’re going, everyone will need outerwear.
If you’re taking a road trip, you might need motion sickness medication, entertainment for the kids, and small baskets from the local dollar store that will hold fast-food meals should you need to eat in the car.
Don’t plan for every second
You may be tempted to plan for as much as possible during your trip, especially if you’re staying in a big city that offers lots to see. However, you can reduce stress if you leave some open time for everyone to relax and do their own thing. Bring along tablets, coloring books, and magazines so the kids can have downtime.
Stop and enjoy the atmosphere so you can prevent stress; after all, this is a vacation! Learn to adapt to a new schedule for the week to make things easier on yourself and your family–you’ll all stay well-rested and be able to make the most of your trip.
If you’re looking for ways to get the family to unwind at night after an eventful day of sightseeing and activities, consider making use of the hotel pool. Bring some age-appropriate movies to watch in the hotel room, or find a kids channel so the little ones can unwind.
You can take TV watching a step further if you pack a portable streaming stick TV device so your children can revisit some of their favorite programs. Simply connect it to the TV, then kick back and relax until it’s time for bed.
Read also: Road Trip Activities for Kids
On a final note…
Planning your vacation doesn’t have to be stressful. Make lists so you can stay organized, and talk to your loved ones about how they can help make things go more smoothly. Go over a safety plan for public outings–such as having all the children wear the same color T-shirt so they can be spotted easily–and make sure everyone is on the same page. With proper preparation, you can ensure your trip will be a success.
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Author's Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the company in question before planning your trip.
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