Bringing kids on vacation may seem like a crazy idea, especially if you are eyeing a relaxing getaway. While it may be true that they can often be a bit of a pain in the ass, letting them join your trip is an experience that can indeed be one for the books.
If you think that traveling with the whole family is more stressful than it should be, then you are probably planning it the wrong way. Challenges are sure to join your trip as well, but that doesn’t mean that you let them take the wheel and dictate the mood of your entire vacation.
To avoid any of the stress hazards that alarm you just by thinking about getting on a plane with the fam, here are some eight secret recipes to a great family vacation.
Set goals and expectations
Learning what you want and what you want everyone in the brood to experience will help you set the theme for your trip.
Do you want to spend a couple of days at the beach? Or do you want to go on a little adventure and hit the mountains (that are kid-friendly, of course) instead? You may also want to explore a new city and hop around museums and galleries.
Whatever you feel like doing with the rest of the family, make sure that you have set your expectations for the entire trip. You may want to ask your kids some suggestions on what they want to see so you can plan accordingly.
Decide where to go
Now that you know what the family wants and what feels convenient for everyone, this is the perfect time to pick which destination you are heading to.
Take note that you have to consider kid-friendly destinations. Just because some tourist destinations look good in photos doesn’t always mean they are perfect for children. You don’t want to ruin the trip by choosing the wrong place to visit, and you end up being more stressed than relaxed.
You might also want to consider the dates of your trip. Research what the weather is going to be like when you’re there. Ask yourself whether you are ready to take the kids into such a particular weather situation.
Find the right accommodations
Finding the right accommodation means you have figured out what works best when you have your kids around. What you need to understand is that although hotels may seem like the best option for a family trip, renting homestays is ideal just because you have plenty of space to move freely.
Find unique things to see and do
When you take on a trip with the family, it’s a great opportunity to make lasting memories—something that the kids can keep in their treasure trove of happy days until they grow old.
Traveling doesn’t always mean you have to go where the rest of the crowd is heading to. Finding new stuff to do and new places to explore other than the usual touristy stuff that we’re so used to should always be on your itinerary. As you may know by now, kids can get bored quickly, so to set a day of discovery for them can heighten their excitement.
Create your travel itinerary
If you’re the organized mom who loves to make lists of everything up to the smallest detail, creating itineraries is your jam.
Find a way to break your day’s activity into morning, afternoon, and evening. This is to ensure that you don’t exhaust your kids by putting in so many activities in one day that you forgot to take a break and rest.
Build your travel budget
You don’t want to go over budget, so setting your travel expenses right before you board the plane is a good way to manage the matter.
It’s time to bring that good old calculator out and see how much you are willing to spend for the entire trip, including emergency purchases when your kid is throwing a tantrum.
While you’re at it, don’t be too stingy to a point where you don’t enjoy much of the local delicacies around or not wanting to spend on a museum entrance fee just because you are on a tight budget. Make sure that you still have room for some enjoyment despite budget constraints. That’s what a travel budget planning is for.
You may have mastered to pack your own suitcase for a trip, but since this time you are about to bring your kids with you, it’s time to up your packing game and do it wisely!
I’m sure you already know what essentials to bring and what types of distractions to leave behind. Apart from what suitcase to use to maximize space, you also need to identify the best carry-on luggage to bring with you, especially when you are traveling with a baby or a toddler. That’s how your packing skills will be tested. It’s like solving a puzzle where you ask yourself, should this item be in the suitcase or inside my carry-on?
Don’t stress out – you’re on vacation!
And the topmost secret to having the best vacation is just to chill and don’t stress too much. After all, you took this trip to enjoy and bond with the family.
Some situations may frustrate. That’s a given, but don’t let it consume you. There are some things that are inevitable, and to stress yourself out for a matter that you don’t have control over is pointless. Just try to see the silver lining in everything, and you’re off to a great adventure!
No matter how many problems you have encountered or any situation that has tested your patience, if you’re happy and the rest of the family is happy, then there’s nothing to worry about.