Planning a Family Vacation – What You Need to Know
Family vacations give parents and kids alike a great opportunity to relax, recuperate from the stresses of school and work, and make lasting memories together. Planning a family vacation, however, can be time-consuming and stressful.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind while planning your family trip.
- Set a Budget
The first thing you should do is decide how much you want to spend on this trip. There are plenty of websites that can give you estimates for how much different locations costs for a family trip. Narrow it down to what you can afford to spend. You will be able to easily budget for “known” expenses like plane tickets, lodging, events, and other travel related expenses. However, you will also have to decide how much “free money” you will bring per day. This is for things like eating out or shopping for souvenirs. This is also what makes or breaks a trip budget usually. Don’t forget to have emergency money ready in case something happens during the trip (an unexpected expense or accident).
- Book Everything Early
Family vacations are usually centered around designated weeks off for the local school system. Sometimes you share these prime vacation dates with nearby cities, the whole country, or even multiple countries. This is why it’s wide to book flights, lodging and activities as far in advance as possible so that you aren’t fighting for space at the last minute. As soon as you receive the school year calendar, start thinking about when you want to travel and where you want to go.
- Pick Accommodations
Depending on where you are going and what your budget is, you may have plenty of accommodation options to choose from. You can get a villa or vacation home, a hotel/motel, stay at a resort, lodge on a cruise ship, Airbnb/VRBO a private space, rent or buy an RV, stay in a tent if camping is an option, and much more. You should pick your accommodation based on (A) Your budget, (B) How many rooms or beds you require, and (C) Where you are going.
- Make an Itinerary
What time do you need to leave for the airport? What airline are you taking? When will you arrive at your destination? Do you have any layovers? How are you getting to the hotel? Are you renting a car once you arrive? Building an itinerary of the basics will help you stay organized. Plus, you can print it off and distribute it to members of your family so that everyone stays on the same page through the trip. This will also help prevent any miscommunication, as all the details are written where everyone can see them.
- Plan Daily Activities
Depending on the type of trip, you will want to plan 1-2 activities for the family to do together per day. This might be something elaborate like going to an amusement park or it might be something simple like cooking dinner together. Family vacations should be about spending time together so it’s nice to have some activities around which to center that. Be sure to leave some space open every day for lounging, walking through town, or doing something spontaneous. Everyone will appreciate having some “them time” available here and there to read a book or take a nap by the pool.
If all of this sounds a bit much to take on, try using a travel agent. They can take care of the basics for your family vacation so you can focus on making each day special and unique.
Get planning your family summer getaway now, and check out our great selection of cottages!