According to Skift, 45 percent of Americans planned to increase spending on their travel this year. However, the added stress, worry, and exhaustion of traveling with kids prevent some families from vacationing together — despite the many lifelong benefits of exposing children to new and unfamiliar experiences.
Whether you’re looking for simple ways to make your next family vacation a smashing success or you dread the thought of traveling with your kids until they get a bit older, there are a few different things you can do to make your trip easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved. Check out the following tips, courtesy of Pucker Mom.
Decide Where to Go
Your amount of vacation time, your budget and the age of your children will weigh heavily on where you plan to go. So careful decision-making is key. You don’t want to end up somewhere that’s fun for one member of the family and uncomfortable for everyone else. So try to keep everyone’s interests in mind.
If you have school-aged kids, heading to a seaside retreat can be a great choice. Particularly when there’s a lot to see and do. For example, your family can enjoy a variety of museums, sightseeing, hiking, boating and great dining. You can even save money by choosing a vacation rental over a hotel. Try looking for a rental that’s in close proximity to the activities you plan to enjoy. And even if you spend a little bit more, you can save on eating out by making emails in your rental’s kitchen. Wherever you go, by planning ahead for everyone’s needs as well as your pocketbook, you can have a great vacation in the works!
Before You Leave
When you’re getting ready to set off on a family vacation, much of the trip’s success will depend on the precautions you take before you leave. For instance, things like protecting your homeand purchasing travel insurance will help to keep you, your family, and your home safe while you’re away while also reducing any pre-trip jitters you may be experiencing. Additionally, it’s a good idea to notify your neighbors of your upcoming trip so they can contact you if they see anything suspicious while you’re away.
Consider also having any necessary car maintenance prior to your trip to ensure your vehicle is road-ready. This includes a transmission check, oil change, tire rotation or replacement and topping off fluids. Whether you’re traveling 150 or 500 miles away, these simple precautions will give you the peace of mind you need while you’re away from home.
As You Pack
Once you’ve taken steps to protect your family and home, it’s time to start packing for your upcoming trip. To simplify the process of traveling with kids and to make your family trip as enjoyable as possible, remember to pack the following:
Before you start packing, think about the specific types of items you’ll need for the vacation you’ll be taking. According to TripSavvy, your packing list will vary depending on whether you’ll be spending most of your time at the beach, on a cruise, at a ski lodge, or traveling by vehicle. Next, create a Google Doc that lists everything you and your family need for your trip. Be sure to share the list with your spouse or partner so that they can add any other items you may have missed.
During the Trip
After you’ve set off on your family vacation, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible. For example, Parents.com recommends allowing plenty of time for hanging out at the hotel pool — as this will give your kids a chance to release some pent-up energy while having fun at the same time. However, make sure the pool is fenced in and don’t leave your children unsupervised at any time. Instead, use this time at the pool to catch up on some reading while watching your kids play.
As you can see, the key to a fun and stress-free family vacation starts well before you arrive at your destination. By planning ahead of time and packing accordingly, you’ll set your family up for a memorable vacation that everyone will love.