If you’re even considering taking your children on vacation this year, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing conflicting emotions right now.
On the one hand, you’re excited for the trip, and the opportunity to spend quality time as a family exploring new places. On the other, you’re slowly filling with dread, nervous of the logistical nightmare that lies ahead.
I’m here to tell you that traveling with children needn’t be a nightmare – as long as you’re prepared to put in a little planning.
Tips For Preparing for a Family Vacation
Preparing for Your Trip
Pre-children, there’s a chance that your best vacations were your most spontaneous; you’d wake-up with little idea what you’d be doing tomorrow, and spend long, lazy days exploring wherever your mood took you.
Nowadays, as I’m sure you’re aware, the best way to enjoy that getaway is to prepare, and to have a good idea of everything you’ll be up to ahead of time.
Preparation includes everything from writing out a packing checklist, to loading a tablet with age-appropriate games and activities. Trust us – this will save you!
Do Your Research
First thing’s first, it’s essential to conduct your research before you even think of heading on vacation. This will enable you to choose the right location, the best accommodation, and even the easiest form of transport to suit your family’s needs.
Take a good look at online reviews before booking a particular destination or activity. Does it have everything you’re looking for? Is it suitable for your children’s ages?
These days, it’s easier than ever to get a good idea of what you’re booking, thanks to online forums, social media, and reviews.
The best way to ensure you don’t forget a thing, is to create a vacation planner, with lists of the items you’re going to need, your itinerary, and other useful travel information.
Start your planning early, leaving plenty of time to add to your list and gather the items you’ve yet to buy. Familiarize yourself with the route, and the exact times you need to be places.
You’ll also want to factor in stops. If possible, plan your journey around your little ones’ naps and feed times, and take the time to consider how you can break up the journey if need be.
Search for Travel Essentials
The most astounding thing about traveling with young children is how much stuff they can accrue; from diaper bags, clothing, and strollers, to pacifiers and toys, your children could probably do with an entire airplane to themselves just to accommodate all of that luggage.
Since that’s not going to happen, it pays to pack sensibly. Start by looking at what’s new in the world of new baby products; is there anything likely to lighten your load?
Next, take into consideration the things you absolutely cannot travel without, such as your diaper bag, a stroller, clothing, medications, feeding accessories, and a few toys. Packing won’t feel half as daunting once you’ve wrapped your head around those essentials.
Start Packing Early
It’s usually wise to start your packing well ahead of time, particularly if there are items that you must buy. Take a look at your list; what could you afford to pack now? What will need to remain in use until you’re almost ready to depart?
Be sure to create a comprehensive packing plan so that nothing gets forgotten. A week prior to your trip, choose a room that you can keep off limits until you go away. That way you’ll be able to set out vacation essentials without ever being disrupted.
Related Post: Packing Tips for Family Holidays
A well-fed and entertained child is a happy child, so ensure you’ve got plenty of snacks, drinks, and travel-friendly toys for the trip ahead.
If you’re going by car, you’ll have a little more space to play with than if you’re flying, so choose a few of your children’s favorite toys to accompany you – making sure they’re not too noisy for the road ahead. A car backseat organizer can be a great way to keep everything in its place.
If you’ll be flying, consider loading a tablet with age-appropriate games and activities, and make sure you’ve got some chewy sweets for the descent. Treat this journey as an adventure, rather than a chore, and you’ll all have a far better time.
Related Post: Packing Food for Road Trips – Easy Ideas to Save Money!
Always have a Backup Plan
As a parent, you’ll know that it’s always best to have a backup plan, whether you’re heading on vacation, visiting the store, or simply planning an afternoon’s activity. Indeed, you no doubt live your life with a backup plan.
Weather, sickness, and childhood tantrums can alter plans at a moment’s notice, so make sure you’ve considered alternative activities you can do instead.
The Key is Getting Organized
Heading on a family vacation needn’t become the stressful endeavor you’d feared. In fact, you might well find that you actually enjoy yourselves!
The key to enjoying a family vacation is getting organized, and ensuring you have everything you need in advance of your trip. Embrace every moment; you’re going to have a blast.
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