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Are you in the process of planning your next family vacation? Are you excited about the trip, but concerned about overspending or choosing the wrong destination?

If you answered yes to these questions, there are some basic tips you can follow to avoid disaster.

Before we go any further here’s something to keep in mind, a family vacation is supposed to be an experience you remember for the rest of your life. For this reason, you don’t want to bog yourself down with silly details and stress that will take away from the fun.

So let’s examine five tips for planning your next family vacation.

5 Tips for Planning Your Next Family Vacation

Start with a Budget

You shouldn’t do anything until you have a budget in place. Without this, you won’t know which destinations to consider, where you can stay, or what you can do when you arrive.

There are many expenses associated with a family vacation, so make sure you take all of them into consideration.

For example, you can use Expedia to compare flights from Dublin to London. With this approach, it will only take a few minutes to get a clear idea of how much you’ll have to spend on airfare.

Once you have a budget in place, you can start to figure out exactly where you are going to stay on vacation.

Pexels Money

Compare a Few Destinations

Even if you have a dream trip in mind, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. After all, Cancun may not be the best trip to take your children on.

Narrow it down to a few different destinations and research those destinations by visiting their official websites, as well as using travel review sites like Tripadvisor to find vacation ideas for your family.

As a general rule of thumb, cut your list to a handful of destinations. From there, compare the details of each one. From the cost of flights to the availability of hotels, you’ll want to focus on all the most important details. This will help you make your final decision.

Talk to Your Family

You aren’t the only person going on the trip, so you need to speak with your family about what they’re looking for.

For example, you may be most interested in sightseeing, but your children are more excited about spending time at the pool.

Try this: ask each member of your family for a list of top destinations and the things they want to do on the trip. As you compare this information, you’ll begin to see which locations make the most sense.

Grandma & Grandad Family

Research Online

There are times when it makes sense to contact hotels, airlines, and other providers by phone. For instance, if you have a question about a particular hotel, you may want to call to speak with a customer service representative.

For the most part, you should be able to find all the information you need online. Even better is the fact that you can read customer reviews, paying close attention to both the good and the bad.

Once you devote your time to conducting online research, it becomes easier to narrow down what and where to go on your vacation.

Make a Final Decision

You spend a lot of time comparing destinations, talking to your family, and reviewing your budget. This all leads to a situation in which you have to make a final decision.

To make that decision, you have to weigh a few factors. The cost, the memories, and the adventure all come into play. That means after the numbers are all laid out, you still have to make the personal decision on where to go.

There is one thing to keep in mind about doing this process for multiple destinations at once. You will have other vacations planned out and roughly budgeted for the next two years.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the many things you can do to plan your next family vacation.

Tip: don’t hesitate to mix business with pleasure. For instance, if you own a digital marketing agency in Los Angeles you can set up meetings with a few clients or prospects during your trip. This allows you to kill two birds with one stone.

With the help of the internet, motion graphics and explainer videos, there is no shortage of information on how to pack for a family vacation that you’ll always remember.

When was the last time you took a family trip? Did you enjoy everything from the planning to the vacation itself? Share your top tips in the comment section below.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

If you enjoy getting social, you can follow their journey on FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest and Instagram.


  1. I have been planning family vacations for more than 40 years now. The input I get is more of the side interests we wish to encounter- and the NO, you can NOT book us into that hotel. The rest of the details are left to me, since I guess I am the logistics master (including the driver of the van/mobilehome/etc.- or the purchaser of airfare).

    • Haha definitely a juggling act to keep everyone happy when you’re planning for the whole family – when they’re kids it’s easier because they don’t care as much or have as much input, but the older they get it’s definitely more to consider :)

      Sounds like you’re all over the logistics of it though! Happy travels :)

  2. Probably the most important tip is talking with your family. Our children surprised us many times when we were planning family vacations. When we thought they would prefer a theme park like Disney World, they chose a road trip across the country instead. Other times they opted for camping close to home rather than a more elaborate trip.

    • Totally agree – I think assumptions are the worst way to plan out a trip, cool that your kids preferred a road trip over a trip to Disney – sounds like you have some proper explorers!

  3. I never have to worry about budgets with solo travel; the things that will change once I start a family.

    • Definitely start prioritizing different things and adapting the way we travel when you make that evolution from solo – couple and couple – family :)

  4. This post has made me remember it has been too long since our family went on a vacation all together. Now that the kids are grown, it is just me and the hubs, and I often travel solo so I’m used to planning everything around what I like. It is such an important thing to pick a place that has a little bit for everyone and one that everyone’s budget can handle. Great post!

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Lara – maybe a family vacation can be on the cards for you at some point soon! :)

  5. Nice ideas. I wish my family had asked more about what we wanted to do with our vacation time but still, I learned to love traveling. Our last big multi-generational trip was to an all-inclusive resort – not usually my thing – but it was perfect as each person could choose what they wanted to do and we met over dinner to make a plan. Before that it was all budgets and planning.

    • Thanks Elaine :) All inclusive resorts are surprisingly a really good setting for multi generational trips – we’ve been to a couple in the past, and independent travelers can do their own thing, explore the surrounds, take day trips, while the older generations can chill out if they want to, or vice versa! And then everyone meets up for group activities or meals. It’s a really great way to keep everyone happy :)

  6. We just spent a month on Fuerteventura with our 9-month old. I actually did exactly what you suggest about the budget – planning for a month is quite a challenge but luckily it worked out all as planned… once the little one can give his opinion, I will ask him too, that’s a really good point! For now, he’ll just have to come along lol

    • Congrats on sticking to a budget for a month, it’s always more difficult the longer you’re away, so you did a fab job! Fuerteventura is such a beautiful spot – I would love to spend a full month! Happy travels :)

  7. Really there is a LOT to think when planning a family trip, I am setting off to Sri Lanka with my family and planning a 9 people trip to Tokyo with a bunch of childhood friends in June; and I would say, communication is key and I won’t push as “hectic” as I do when I am travelling by myself or with my usual travel buddies. Take a slow pace, and enjoy the time that we spent with each other is the main goal :) Thanks for the tips and I will keep that in mind! @ knycx.journeying

    • Absolutely Knycx – Sri Lanka sounds like it will be an incredible trip for you – what a fabulous country to create memories in as a family :) And it’s so cool that you keep in touch with your childhood friends! What a great way to organize a reunion!

      Glad to hear that you’re prioritizing the time spent with everyone as the most important goals of these trips – sounds like you’re on top of it! Happy travels :)

  8. This happens every year when we choose a site for our family reunion. This year, we chose because of one criterion: distance from each of my daughters’ homes: Calgary, San Francisco, and Melbourne. So we chose Hawaii around Christmas and New Year which means $$$. But I guess that was starting with the budget, too because otherwise, airfare costs would have been astronomical for families of 5, 5, 3, and 2. Guess what is for next year? Greece!

    • So fabulous to hear that you have a family reunion once a year Carol, what a wonderful way to stay in touch with everyone when you live in different parts of the world.

      Enjoy Hawaii this Christmas! We used the same location criteria in choosing Hawaii for our wedding – Mike’s family lived in the States, mine in Australia, so we figured Hawaii was the perfect inbetween :D Keeping it budget friendly for everyone is a big thing too. Greece sounds amazing – can I join your family lol!

  9. Totally love your tips. I always set aside certain budget for every of my trip. So I just bring along that amount of money to avoid over spending. Of course I bring along my credit card along for emergency. But most of the times, I refrain from using them!

    • Thanks Chloe – glad they were helpful! Clever idea to only bring the amount of budget your family needs for a trip. Definitely a good idea to have that emergency credit card just in case, and it’s excellent that you’re able to not be tempted to dip into it for extra budget :)

  10. Well put… Starting with the budget is essential in family trips as things may go easy out of control. Different ages in families have different needs, so yes, needs good planning.

    • Absolutely – if everyone in the family starts spending more than their limit, or you don’t even set one, costs can really start to add up. Credit card bills are never a fun surprise to return home to when you haven’t kept control of your spending. Glad you enjoyed the post Chris :)

  11. It really can help to take the article’s advice and make sure that you start planning your family vacation with a budget. After all, you do not want to accidentally spend too much on your vacation. Of course, when you are deciding on the budget you will also need to keep a few things in mind like travel expanses, food, entertainment, and anything else your family might need.

    • Absolutely Duncan, so glad you found the advice here valuable :) Going over budget is probably one of the worst things to do on vacation – makes coming home so much more stressful, especially when the bills arrive!

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