So, you've decided to go on a family vacation. Now, what? That may include just your immediate family, or multiple generations on one trip, or even a group of your friends who all have kids around the same ages. Whatever your "family vacation" may be, you definitely don't want it to be stressful. Here are 7 quick tips to keep your vacation as stress-free as possible, starting with the planning phase:
Agree on a vacation goal. Before you start planning your vacation, it's important to know what you want to do and what you want to get out of your trip. Are you looking to relax on the sand, explore ancient ruins, or explore the city? Making sure that everyone in the family has the same expectations before you even start planning will help the vacation go smoothly. Still can't agree? Give me a call and let us help you!
Roll with the changes. Your vacation will inevitably have bumps in the road, but it's the way you handle them that will shape your vacation. Don't sweat the small stuff, and ENJOY the fact that you're on vacation. Your attitude will help shape your children's view of the vacation as well - help them make positive memories!
Don't over pack. It's hard to decide how much you need to bring when traveling with kids, but it's so much easier to travel with as few bags as possible. Don't waste suitcase space with things you can buy when you get there – like diapers and wipes. You can also ship yourself a box before you get there, or splurge and use a luggage shipping service to take all the stress off when you're at the airport.
Have an emergency plan. I always pack a small first aid kit when we travel with fever reducer, pain reliever, a thermometer, bandages, and allergy medications. No one expects to need a doctor or a hospital on vacation, but it's always a good idea to know your options. If anyone in your group needs to see a doctor while traveling, the front desk at the hotel should be able to help you find appropriate care. I like to look up ERs ahead of time to know where they are so that if an emergency happens we can get the care we need quickly and with less stress. Don't forget regular medication as well - including 'sometimes inhalers' (trust me on this one!)
Get insurance. Travel insurance is always a good idea and will give you peace of mind that your vacation will be protected in case an emergency arises before or even during travel. Also, make sure that your health insurance will cover you out of the state or country, and if it won't – find an alternative before you leave. Each insurance plan is different so make sure that you know what your coverage is before you purchase your policy.
Pick a great destination. Know what you want and then pick the right destination for your family. Each hotel has different pros and cons for your family and to have a stress free vacation, it's important to pick the right place to vacation. If you are looking for larger rooms, all-inclusive, babysitting services, a kids club, great pools, museums to explore, or great adventure – the right vacation is out there for you.
Use a travel agent. Seriously, if you want a stress-free vacation stop DIYing your vacation. Using a travel agent can save you time and stress when planning your vacation. A travel agent is there from the early planning stages, to making sure you have everything you need before you go, helping with anything that arises while you're traveling, to checking in after you get back. When we plan your vacation together, the process will be easy and stress-free, allowing you more time to enjoy your vacation and relax.