It is common for parents to take it upon themselves to make family vacation plans. Where to go, what to do, where to say, etc. And then mom and dad will inform their kids about it once the planning stage is over.

But have you ever thought of involving the whole family in planning your next trip? We are talking about a family vacation here, after all.

If you want to give it a try, here are some great tips that you can take into action:

Get the family involved

Getting the whole family, especially your kids, involved in planning your next vacation can make the little ones feel that their opinions matter. And as for the moms and dads, doing so is a great opportunity to discover your children’s interests.

You might be surprised to know that your kids would want to go places other than Disney.

Sure, there is the budget, time restraints, the best carry-on bags to bring, and more to take into consideration. If that is the case, you can get the kids involved by asking which of your pre-approved travel activities would they want to do the most.

Pre-book as much as you can

If you are traveling solo and would opt to book transportation and accommodations by chance then, by all means, go for it. However, booking things in advance also comes with some perks ‒ especially if you are having a family vacation.

  • Ensure availability. When you book in advance, you are sure to find available transportation services and accommodations that are within your budget.
  • Make the most of promos. Another cool thing about pre-booking is that you can take advantage of special offers and discounts. Say, you can book a plane ticket now for a discount which you can use during your preferred vacation date.
  • Plenty of time to prepare. Since you pre-book some of your activities in advance, you are giving the entire family a lot of time to plan what to bring during the trip. You even have plenty of time to save enough money for it.

Get travel vaccinations

First thing first, the need to get vaccinated will depend on your destination. But there is a big chance that the whole family will need to get one if you intend to travel internationally.

As Michelle P. Tolledo, MD would point out, “Different countries have different health risks and may require specific vaccines.”

She also advised that you should schedule a visit to your family doctor 4 – 6 weeks before your trip, as most immunizations should be given at least one month before travel.

But before that, feel free to ask your doctor if you need to get vaccinated and which vaccines your family needs. You can also refer to CDC’s traveler’s health section for more information.

Sort travel entertainment

A family vacation is always exciting. However, the long drive, hours and hours of flight, and the waiting can bore your children.

That said, you and your partner need to sort out your kids’ travel entertainment. This may include storybooks, some snacks, their own travel journal, or gaming gadgets. You can even bring board games or card games, so you do not have to rely too much on gadgets to entertain your kids while traveling.

Pack smart

For Wendy Perrin, it is a misconception that you need to carry a ton of luggage when traveling with your kids. Here are some quick tips on how you can pack for a family of five:

  1. Use packing cubes. It allows you to organize your stuff, and it keeps your outfit for five days compact.
  2. Take clothes that mix and match. It is one way to pack smart. Just make sure that you can either wash your clothes in hotel sinks or have access to laundromats.
  3. Bring practical footwear. Toss out the high heels! All you need is a pair of walking shoes, flip-flops, and nice shoes for dressing up.
  4. Bring a linen blanket. You can use it as a sleeping blanket, picnic blanket, a towel if you are going to the beach, or as a sarong for occasional church visits.
  5. Don’t forget the medications. This applies to everyone in the family who needs to take their medicines regularly, your kids’ vitamins, and some sunscreens.

Set a downtime schedule

Kids are like a ball of energy. However, that does not mean that they do not get tired.

Having a get-go attitude allows you to do a lot of things in a day. However, it is not relaxing for the entire family. Hence, it is important to have a downtime schedule.

Aside from having time to rest, downtime allows you to re-assess your vacation. Not to mention that it lets you savor the moment you spend with your family. Which is why you are having this trip in the first place.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

You may have planned the family vacation from beginning to end, but hiccups here and there can be inevitable. Nonetheless, do not sweat the small stuff.

You have to cancel a dinner reservation because your kids start snoozing? Then go back to your hotel room and take the opportunity to sleep. Or, you and your spouse can have an impromptu romantic dinner.

You might be surprised to realize how much you miss date nights with your significant other.

Capture your family travel memories

Some say that taking photos robs off from their travel experience. However, Gary Arndt opines that taking photos enhanced his travel experience.

According to him, it allows you to be more aware of your surroundings. That’s because you ought to notice more when you are taking photos during your trip. Not to mention that it allows you to remember those happy moments you spend with your family.

And of course, there are some people who would say “Pictures or it didn’t happen!”

Traveling with your family does not have to be stressful, and it does not have to be grand either. What’s important is that you get to spend and enjoy your time with your partner and your kids. So, how do you plan an amazing trip with your family? Let us know in the comments!

8 Best Tips for an Amazing Family Vacation