A Family Vacation Planning Checklist

Family vacations can be fun but also stressful. They require careful planning and communication among family members. While many factors come into play when planning a vacation, this list should help get you started.

Involve the Whole Family

Before deciding on a destination or specific plans for the trip, gather the whole family to talk about it. Ask everyone what types of activities they would enjoy or what kind of attractions they would like to see. One family member might enjoy vacationing in Hawaii, while others might want to go to a cabin in the mountains. It can be difficult to make everyone happy.

Be sure everyone understands that the vacation probably won’t include all of the suggestions but could include as many as possible. Keep in mind that the vacation needs to appeal to both parents and children. Even if the chosen destination doesn’t please everyone, try to pick an activity during the vacation that each person will enjoy.

Calculate the Cost

Once you decide on a destination, figure out how much the trip will cost. Remember to include travel, accommodations, meals, and activities. Add some additional money to the budget for miscellaneous expenses, as they always come up. Make sure everyone knows how the family will spend money while on vacation. 

Find Child-Friendly and Pet-Friendly Accommodations

Whether you choose a hotel, resort, or vacation home, make sure it is friendly for children. Choosing an accommodation with a pool can be extra fun for kids while vacationing. Some hotels offer free or reduced-cost dining for children, so consider this when calculating a budget. If bringing a pet, make sure the accommodations allow pets. Keeping the whole family together for a vacation can be a fun experience as long as you are prepared. 

Hotels can be a good options for families because they offer many amenities, such as pools, exercise rooms, and hot tubs. House rentals, on the other hand, can provide much more space for a family during their vacation. House rentals provide more common living space, including a kitchen, living room, and sometimes a rec room. 

Renting a home can also be more economical since families can meal plan and bring groceries from home. Large families especially enjoy renting homes in areas like the beach or the mountains. 

Plan and Make a List

If there is going to be a long trip in a plane or a car, be sure to bring snacks, activities, games, and books to keep children busy. A first aid kit is another essential. Remember to pack all of the clothes that everyone will need while on vacation. This includes swimsuits, sweatshirts, and shoes appropriate for all planned activities. 

Be Flexible

Plan an itinerary, but be flexible. If it rains one day, substitute an indoor activity. If everyone happens to be very tired from a full day at the beach, don’t attempt to visit a museum that night and hope everyone will be happy and quiet. Sometimes kids enjoy staying at the rental house, or staying at the hotel to swim and rest. Take advantage of the time to spend together as a family and rest. That is the point of a vacation. 

Whether planning a vacation to the mountains or Disney, plan to make your vacation run smoothly and be a relaxing time for all. 

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