As summer draws near, many families start thinking about how they’d like to spend it. The warm weather gets mom, dad, and the kids itching to go outside and soak up the sun. This summer, consider breaking away from the beach or backyard and take a family vacation! Family trips are essential for strengthening bonds and creating memories, not to mention having a ton of fun. Whether you go for a week or weekend, there are a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind as you plan your vacation. We’ve laid them out below to help you make the most out of your meaningful time with each other.
Choose Your Location Wisely
Do you head to the water, the mountains, or the city? While your decision will be mostly subjective, there are some objective factors you’ll want to keep in mind. Things worth your consideration include proximity to medical care, access to clean drinking water (especially for mothers who are formula feeding) and childcare options (so that you and your partner can have a bit of alone time).
Set Your Accommodations
If you’re going camping, it won’t be difficult to select your tent, but you might want to consider renting a motorhome or RV if you’d like a more comfortable experience. Other vacations, however, will require a bit of deliberation regarding accommodations. Will you choose a hotel, resort, or vacation rental home? What you decide on will likely be swayed by how much room is in your budget. Vacationing with an infant poses additional challenges, so be sure to bring along a travel bassinet no matter which lodging you settle on.
Arrange Your Travel
How are you getting to your location: car, train, or plane? When travelling with kids, we recommend using whatever method will get you to your destination as fast as possible. Children can only remain cooped up and contained for so long without having melt down, so save the road trip until their a bit older in favor of getting from A to B quicker. Be sure to pack plenty of entertainment to occupy their attention and prevent them from getting bored. Your child may love his or her tablet, but remember these devices have a finite battery and you’ll need to pack a back-up power supply. A great way to keep the kids entertained without a screen is by picking up a pack of Mad Libs; not only are these fun to fill out with each other, but they also promote learning and language development.
You always need to prioritize safety—even on vacation. If your hotel offers babysitting services, make sure they are credentialed and provide constant supervision of your kids. Letting your kids run down to the pool? Double check that there is a lifeguard on deck at all times. Pack any medications or first aid necessities that might arise; traveling to new places with different food and water than you’re used to at home can cause upset tummies, so it’s a good idea to bring along an antidiarrheal so you don’t wind up spending your entire trip in the hotel room.
While you’re planning your vacation, make sure there are plenty of kid-friendly options your family can partake in. Kid’s Clubs can be a fantastic option, but be sure to research the cost and age requirements beforehand. Is there a nearby theme park you can visit or a museum to tour? Campers should seek out education centers or nature reserves. Although spontaneous fun is great to have, you’ll want to make sure there are plenty of options to pursue.
Look for Discounts
Your family vacation doesn’t have to break the bank. All sorts of travel companies exist online that offer discounts and massive savings. Use those credit card points you’ve racked up to assist with airfare or rental cars. If your accommodations include a kitchenette, fully stock it the day you arrive to avoid constantly spending money on eating out. You can save a lot of money by travelling in the offseason, so see if you can push your family vacation to winter break instead of summer.
Keep these tops tips in mind and get your bag packed and ready to go! Memories are waiting to be made.