Everything you need to know to plan a family vacation
Planning a family vacation can be exhausting for a number of reasons. For one, you have to account for preferences of multiple people. Even if you’re just going as a couple, you have to make dizzying amount of choices about everything – from flights and transportation to hotels and spots you want to see. It can all be very exhausting. Fortunately, we are here to give you tips to simplify this process, so you can enjoy your family vacation like it should be enjoyed.
These tips apply regardless of whether you are staying a local national park in the US, or going international.
Choose a destination
The most difficult part is choosing a destination that every member of the family agrees on. This is especially hard when you have a family with large gaps in age. Your small children might want to go to Disneyland, while your parents might want to go on a nice relaxing beach vacation, or explore cultural spots in Europe. Your teenagers might want to go on a cruise and get cruise t-shirts for friend group, so you can all enjoy your time on the deck.
Start by finding out everyone’s priorities, and whether other family members’ options are acceptable to them. Also, based on your past experiences, consider what type of activities you would enjoy doing together. If, in the past, you enjoyed going on hikes together, then paying a visit to one of the many beautiful national parks might be a good idea. If your family enjoys swimming, snorkeling, surfing, or other activities near water, then you should consider going to the beach.
If you’ll be going on a trip with family members who don’t live in immediate vicinity, then send out an e-mail or a text. You can even create a group chat to discuss travel options and decide on a destination together.
A good way to settle on a place everyone likes is to ask family members to rank their preferred destinations, and choose one that is preferable to most. Also make a list of possible activities and attractions for each destination, so individuals can make informed decisions about what they’d like to see.
Once you have the list, try filtering it based on budget and time constraints. Deciding on dates is another difficult point of planning a family vacation. It’s best to start with a fixed dates so everyone can take a vacation from work. Once you have chosen dates and have multiple options for where to go, check available flights to ensure they are not excessively expensive.
Choosing time of the year to travel
When you travel is just as important as where you travel. Time of the year can greatly affect your experience when you’ve landed in remote location. Depending on your destination, consider factors like favorable weather, crowds, and prices, to settle on time of the year when you have weather that allows you to fully appreciate the place and explore all the activities it has to offer.
For example, if you decided to go on a cruise to the Caribbean, we recommend going in the summer, as it is less crowded and you will get a good deal. It’s also convenient because children don’t have to go to school, and adult members of your family are likely to get a vacation without too much trouble. Depending on your destination, winter, spring and fall can be great options as well. For example, I was in Amalfi Coast in May and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The waking up of beautiful nature and blossoming of lemons was a thing to behold. Of course, beaches and cultural heritage sites were amazing as well.
If you do decide to go cruise route, you might want to get yourself a cruise t-shirts for couples, so you can vacation with style.
Think about your budget
Of course you need to consider money constraints right from the start. After all, you can not go somewhere for X amount of days if you can not afford it. Once you have settled on destination and dates, it’s time to weigh how much everything Is going to cost. Lay out your plan for what you’re going to spend on accommodation and local attractions. Once landed, you can enjoy any destination for as much or as little as you’d like.
Transportation is usually the most expensive part of the trip. This includes not only flights to get to the destination, but internal navigation as well. Renting a car is often quite affordable, especially as a family. Buying bus tickets for the entire family is often even more expensive than renting a car. But, in some destinations, driving everywhere is simply not an option. For example, in Amalfi coast where I visited this May, I could barely believe my eyes watching experienced bus drivers navigate narrow streets at the edge of cliffs. I would not want to be in a driver’s seat there, and would recommend to everyone else to take the bus as well.
Dining and drinks is another expense that can spiral out of control. If you’re going on a cruise, you can simply buy a drink package or special offer that includes dinners and other activities as well. But when going on a normal trip, you have to be careful to not get carried away in restaurants and run up a significant tab. Best option is to stay in an all-inclusive hotel that caters food, so you only have to occasionally spend on romantic dinners, if you do decide to have them.
Consider every member of the family
Learn of medical or diet requirements for every family members to make sure you are not caught off guard in a foreign country. You can always get travel insurance to avoid excessive costs in case of emergency.