Family vacations are fun for everybody except the one who plans them. Between the planning, the packing, and the traveling, it can be exhausting for the one in charge. But it doesn’t have to be. With a few simple tips, you can take the worrying stress out of the planning process.
Here are 10 tips for planning your next vacation
1. Start early
The earlier you start planning your vacation, the better. This will give you more time to research different destinations and find the best deals on flights and hotels. We also suggest getting the family’s input early on. Getting them excited about the choices and finding out what options are most exciting to each member of the family.
2. Set a budget
Family vacations can be expensive so it’s important to set a budget before you start planning. This will help you determine how much you can afford to spend on airfare, lodging, activities, and more. Knowing what you can spend can help you avoid the stress of worrying about money. Staying within the budget is one of the easiest ways to set boundaries for yourself and your family.
3. Choose a destination
Once you have a budget in mind, it’s time to start choosing a destination for your family vacation. Consider everyone’s interests when making your decision. If you have young children, a beach destination may be ideal. For older kids or teens, a city with lots of activities may be more appealing. But don’t forget that you count too. And because you are the one who will be working on vacation, be sure you include plenty of fun activities for yourself as well.
4. Book your flights and lodging
Once you’ve chosen a destination, it’s time to book your travel arrangements. Look for deals on airfare and hotels to save money on your family vacation. Booking early will ensure you get what you want and it may save you money as well. But be sure to look for refundable options. Easy cancellation matters when you are planning a vacation for several people.
5. Plan activities
No family vacation is complete without some fun activities planned. Whether you’re visiting a theme park, going on a nature hike, or exploring a new city, be sure to include some family-friendly activities in your itinerary. If you are looking in a bigger city you may find that a City Pass is a good option. The one in Philadelphia offers 2, 3, or 4-day options with museums and attractions all over the city included.
6. Pack wisely
When packing for your family vacation, be sure to pack essentials like clothes, toiletries, medications, and any other items you may need while away from home. It’s also a good idea to pack snacks and drinks for the trip. Although you may want to check behind the children, consider letting them pack for themselves as well. Use a checklist to help them. You don’t have to take on every task. Accept the help where you can get it.
7. Travel insurance
Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before your family vacation. This will protect you in case of any unforeseen circumstances, such as lost luggage, medical emergencies, or cancelations. Consider what just happened with the pandemic and you will realize that we never know what might cause our plans to fall through.
8. Do your research
Be sure to do your research before traveling to your family vacation destination. This includes reading up on the local culture, customs, and laws. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the area’s map so you know where you’re going. One of our friends was stuck in Dubai for two days on her way to New Zealand because she didn’t realize she would need a Visa to enter New Zealand. Knowing these things ahead of time could have saved her time and aggravation. This is a good time to mention that using a travel agent will not cost you extra and it could save you time and money because their job is to know these things.
9. Stay safe
The most important thing to remember when on vacation is to stay safe. This means being aware of your surroundings, following safety guidelines, and not taking any unnecessary risks.
10. Have fun
Last but not least, make sure to have fun on your family vacation! This is a time to relax, bond with loved ones, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Keep in mind we said have fun. Yes, you want your family to have fun but you deserve to have fun as well. Don’t let the whole vacation be about the family. Make sure you arrange some time for yourself as well.
As always, we have to remind you that the iStratus app can come in handy when planning. When you put the flights in the calendar, you can insert your tickets and boarding passes right on the appointment so you aren’t hunting around for them each day. Having a copy of your passports encrypted on your phone might help you in case you were to lose your passports. Also, having each of your activities with reservation numbers right in your calendar can relieve a lot of the stress of your trip.