family vacation

Planning the Perfect Family Vacation

Traveling with kids takes a great deal of planning. This is especially true now as people are just getting used to the idea of hitting the road again following the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is easy to see why many parents are tempted to skip a summer vacation this year and settle for a staycation. While this may seem like the easier path, it is important to remember that summer vacations are some of the fondest memories your family will make and are therefore worth the effort! 

If you decide to go for it this summer and hit the road, there are some practical ways to make your vacation less stressful and more fun.

  1. Have a plan. Planning ahead is essential this summer as the country opens back up. Reduced capacities or closed attractions can lead to disappointment and unexpected roadblocks. Make sure any plans you make are confirmed and re-confirmed.
  2. Pack only the necessities. There is nothing more tiring than dragging bags and suitcases through airports and in and out of hotels. While you don’t want to be unprepared, it is important that you don’t overpack. For example, if you have very young children, instead of packing a week’s worth of diapers, pick some up when you arrive at your destination. 
  3. Prepare for different time zones. If you need to adjust your clocks, your kids will need time to adjust, as well. Ease into things by letting kids relax and get acclimated before you hit the ground running. 
  4. Talk things up! Get your kids excited about the trip ahead of time by reading about the places you will visit. Kids thrive on knowing what to expect and when they are excited about what comes next.
  5. Safety first. Always have a plan in case of an emergency. Discuss what you will do if you get separated. Let your kids know how to ask an adult for help in an emergency.
  6. Don’t let kids get hangry. Make sure you always have snacks to keep energy levels up. Getting caught in long lines with hungry kids will take a toll on everyone.
  7. Remain flexible. The more flexible your plans are, the less disappointment will occur if sudden changes are required. Let kids know that they might not get to do everything they want to do, but they will still have fun. For example, if they’re going to swim, it might be at a waterpark or the hotel, but they will still get in the water.
  8. Manage expectations. If you expect the perfect trip, you are likely to be disappointed. Instead, try to go with the flow, remembering that sometimes the unexpected moments become the most memorable.

Finally, stay patient with yourself and your family and enjoy the ride. Traveling with kids is both exciting and tiring, but it is always worth it!