7 Travel Tips for an Unforgettable Family Vacation ...


Let's face it, family vacations are as stressful as they are fun. Guest contributor Kirsti Callen shares a few tips on how you can have an unforgettable (for the right reasons) family vacation!

Family vacations can drive one crazy. Lugging heavy luggage around airports with bawling kids in tow can soon transform your vacation into an exhausting and emotionally draining exercise. Vacations are a nightmare to plan and execute, especially if you are planning a long one with your family. Kids can torture you into depression on a bad day and you really need to be a woman of steel to steer your ship through the troubled waters! Here are a few tips you need to keep in mind for a fabulous family holiday.

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Let the Kids Join the Party

An ideal vacation may mean different things to you and your kids. So make them stakeholders in the whole process. Take their opinion on where they want to go as well as the kind of activities they want to indulge in. There are loads of family-friendly vacation spots here as well as abroad which you can pick your brains about.

But do make sure there is a consensus in the family about where you want to go. This early involvement will ensure your kids put in an effort as well to make the holiday a success.


Pack Light and Right

Heavy baggage can be a real pain to tow around, so pack with care. Whether you are travelling with your baby, toddler or tween, there is one rule which works for all, including you: take stuff that you can layer.

There are several tropical climates that experience a sudden cold wave, and temperatures do soar during holidays when all you have in your suitcase is your sweater and fur. Keep options to dress up or down. Don’t pack your most expensive dress and your kids’ best outfits, however. It’s easier on your nerves to see old clothes, rather than precious new ones, get torn or lost.

Having the essentials in a handbag will save you much trouble in case your luggage gets delayed after your flight or in the worst-case scenario, gets lost. Carry less clothes than you think are needed. You can save some space in your suitcase for the lovely souvenirs and knick knacks you are going to pick up on your holiday. Also pack in a comprehensive first aid kit.


Do Your Homework

Most travel destinations have several unique places for you to visit. Make a list of all the activities you can enjoy with your family. If it’s a beach town, you will definitely want to hit the water. But make sure you fit in other fun outings as well into your itinerary. There may be aquariums, national parks, and zoos to visit as well as museums and historical sites to explore. You can also speak to your travel-agent and take his suggestions.

Make sure you include some quality time for yourself as well. If you book into a resort which has activities and programs for your kids’ age groups it will give you much-needed time to relax, unwind and enjoy romantic moments with your special someone.

Also research and decide on the hospital or pediatrician you will approach in case of an emergency. Look up the contact information and check their working hours.


Plan Your Budget

Vacations more often than not tend to go over-budget. {{Plan your expenses ps://www.mint.com/blog/how-to/how-to-plan-your-family-vacation-on-a-budget-0413/}} and book your hotels in advance. Also speak to a tour operator and find the most economic and reasonable airfares. It makes sense to decide your flight network and book the tickets in advance because prices shoot up during the holiday season. Hotels in tourist destinations are expensive, especially during the holiday period when most families travel. Do check out budget hotels, vacation rental homes, and hostels. The last option may not sound appealing, but many hostels now offer clean and convenient facilities.


Let There Be No Hard and Fast Rules

Be flexible with the schedule. Your children may want some me-time, too. They may want to go for a movie, catch a nap in the comfort of their hotel room, or simply lounge by the pool. Do let them have fun on their own. You can accompany them if they are too young to be left alone. This ploy is sure to keep them content for some time and you can be saved from incessant whining.

Young adults have their own preferences for dressing and dining, and are maybe more interested in enjoying the nightlife and waking late into the day. So set a comfortable pace, allow space for private moments, and build your schedule accordingly.


Buck the Trend

Holiday season tends to be crowded and super-expensive. But you can use the first day or two to delve deeper into your destination. Most people park themselves and their family at the ‘Top 10 Things to Do’ list suggested by Lonely Planet for your holiday spot. Surf the web and you’re sure to find several interesting and enjoyable alternatives.

You can hire a car and go on a discovery trip of your own. What you experience could very well give you the best memories ever. Leave the hustle and bustle behind and set out on your adventure. There are inexpensive and delicious local restaurants and quaint historical sites to delve into. Your kids will enjoy the time away from the suffocating rush as well.


Attitude Matters

Be ready to face your holiday with a smile. There are going to be many hiccups, glitches, and of course your terrible teenagers and cranky toddlers. Be flexible, stay positive, and go with the flow. Your kids are going to learn a lesson or two from you in dealing with adversities. A cool and calm mom will definitely win their admiration, which does make life easy for you in more ways than one.

Family vacations can throw up several surprises. You discover a new side to the most important people in your life. The moments and memories you have are going to stay with you for the rest of your life. So pick, choose and build them with care and love. Tell us about your family vacations in the comments section below!

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