19.2.21

Planning a Family Vacation – A Comprehensive Guide with Checklist and Tips


Before Leaving
When you have a family vacation where the children are involved, it is advisable to start the preparation months away before the vacation date. This can help you avoid missing out on critical details which can inconvenience your vacation. Here is what to consider before leaving.


Do You Have a Budget Yet?
One thing is clear – you cannot wake up now and board a plane to a given destination without having factored in your overall expenses. Before even thinking of the destination, bookings, or travel documents, you should create a working budget.

Decide the amount of money you are willing to spend during the entire period. Having a checklist of all the items to buy and activities to engage in should help you create a comprehensive budget.

Do You Have A Destination?
Looking for a family vacation's best place should be your number one factor to consider when planning a family vacation. Usually, so many factors, including your tastes and preferences, budget, and child and family friendliness, can influence your preferred choice.

Before you choose any destination, it is advisable to evaluate its suitability for the entire family. The simplest way to do this is to have a list of your most preferred destinations and eliminate them one by one depending on what they offer and their alignment with everybody's tastes and preferences.

The reason for such considerations is to have a destination that favors every member of your family, so it would help if you can get a few suggestions from your family members.

Does Everyone Has a Valid Passport
A passport is one of the critical documents that you must have when going on an international vacation. Imagine packing everything ready for your trip, and you are at the airport ready to board the plane when you find out that your kids' passports are expired – it can be so painful for everyone because it would mean postponing the vacation.

Given that it is supposed to be a family adventure, nobody should go if one person doesn't qualify to go. To avoid such disappointments, get the passports ready when you decide you are taking the family for a vacation.

Make Early Bookings
By now, you know where you are going for the family vacation; the next step should be to book as early as possible. Planning your trip early is critical, especially if you are going with the kids. The time for those impromptu road trips and vacations you could have when you were single is long gone.

Booking very early ensures that you secure a slot. Imagine how airports and beach hotels get crowded during holidays and school breaks. Over 60 million families clamor for activities, accommodations, and airfare during peak travel times, so you had better start planning the vacation some months in advance.

On the Way
As the date of the vacation nears, everyone gets so excited. Such anxiety can be dangerous because it is easy to forget an essential aspect of your trip. However, taking enough time to get everything ready can help you have a smooth vacation.

You don't just stack in clothes, and off you go. There is a lot that goes into packing for a vacation.

Here are critical stuff to set the mood right for a good trip:

Pack All the Necessary Stuff in Advance
There are so many things that you need for a successful trip – from clothes to skincare products, so it is advisable to take as much time as possible when packing. The best way to ensure you have everything you need for the trip is by creating a checklist.

For instance, if you plan to engage in various activities during the trip, have a detailed list of anything you will need for that particular activity.

Suppose you will be hiking; what will you need for the hiking? This question should help you find the right gear for your hiking activity. The idea here is to pack on piecemeal such that you have everything captured.

When packing, it is advisable to stick to legal things. The TSA website should help you avoid packing anything illegal. Also, you should start packing as early as possible to avoid a last-minute rush that can make you leave essential items behind.

However, things that you will be using the days towards your travel date can and should remain within reach.

Activities and Snacks
Your kids are looking forward to that moment when they can run around, scream and laugh, but not until you get them to the destination. Given that international flights involve long flights, you must prepare well to ensure the children don’t get bored.

Snacks and a few exciting activities will get them hooked; this will help them maintain their cool and they won’t realise it until you get to your destination.

Don't shy off from carrying a few games and children's toys along; they will be instrumental in calming the kids and ensuring that they remain preoccupied throughout the journey.

However, as you plan all these things, don't miss the most important activity of all-time – conversation.

If you want to kick off the vacation right, engage the family members in conversations – catch up with kids and let them tell you how their life has been over the years.

Sanitisers and Wipes
You will touch a lot of surfaces while on the plane. For instance, you will need to keep the snack table clean before and after taking the snacks, so sanitisers and wipes would come in handy here. Additionally, given the rise in cases of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary to use sanitisers to avoid spreading or contracting the virus.

Sunscreen
Best family vacations happen by the beach, where everybody can have some fun basking in the sun. Whereas beaches are great for family vacations, you need to have the right gear and products for such areas.

Where the sun is too hot, you will need sunscreen. Despite this, there are thousands of sunscreen products around, so you should be careful enough to choose the most appropriate sunscreen. And make sure to apply the product well for it to be effective.

On Arrival
Arriving at your destination is the bulk of everything – having got everyone there, it is time to kick of the fun. Here are a few items that you will need to have maximum fun while on your vacation.

Have Your Camera Ready
Do you have a camera with you? In this digital era, taking and sharing photos on social media platforms is a culture that isn’t dying any time soon. To satisfy this culture – you need to have your camera ready to take as many photos of your entire family. After all, images can be a great reminder of the vacation.

If you have a DSLR camera or any other model that you won't want the kids to play with, you can provide them with another camera. They will have much fun capturing moments that they can share much later.

The lizard they spied, the seashells they collected, and the photos taken are necessary for building a scrapbook that you will give them when they grow.

Carry Enough Chargers
Having the right electronics while on vacation is good. Whereas it is advisable to carry your best electronics, you should ensure that they have enough charge to use them whenever necessary.

Ensure you have chargers for all your devices, including phones, cameras, and laptops, among others.

Travel Journal and Related Supplies
No one is too young to record memories, so yes, you will need enough journals and related supplies for this task. Giving your children a travel journal is considered a great way to help the young ones continue practising how to write well.

Make the journal recording tasks as fun as possible for everybody – throw in a couple of tasks requiring all of you to make sketches.

In case you have any outstanding candy wrappers, ticket stubs, or postcards, you can stash them in your journals. You will have a lot of fun doing this!

The thought of having a family vacation is exciting in itself, but getting ready for the trip isn't all rosy. If you start a family vacation on the wrong footing, it can be hard to change its outcome, which is why it is necessary to prepare adequately and in advance.

Prepare as early as possible and be keen on what you carry for the trip – you don't want to be disappointed once you get to your destination because you left a critical item. Besides, it can save you time and money.

Coordinating the three phases of trip preparation - before leaving, on the way, and arrival should help you have a successful and fun-filled family vacation. Additionally, to make the best out of a family vacation, you need to be ready to have fun. Forget everything about your work or business and bring your sense of wonder into the holiday, and have fun as a unit!

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