In the fast-paced world of today, work responsibilities, household chores, and general errands can get pretty overwhelming, leaving little to no time for you to spend with those you love. Because of this, it’s important to get away every now and then and head off on a family vacation. Family vacations offer you the opportunity to see something new, have some quality time with your kids and partner, and simply get away from the stresses of everyday life. Unfortunately, planning such a trip is often a stress itself, as there are just so many factors and people who you need to consider. To help you plan the perfect family vacation, here are fourteen essential steps to take.
Start Planning Early
As soon as you know that you want to go away, you need to start to plan. Family vacations can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to over a year to organize, so it’s important that you allow yourself enough time to get everything sorted, or you’ll end up stressing yourself out. It’s also vital to start planning early, as prices for transport and accommodation tend to be cheaper the earlier you book them. Considering how many people you have to pay for, it makes sense to do this and save as much money as you possibly can along the way.
Set A Rough Budget
When traveling by yourself or with friends, setting a budget is a pretty simple process. After all, you only have to pay for yourself, so, as long as you have the cash spare, you can spend it on whatever you want. However, this isn’t the case when planning a family trip; You also need to pay for your children’s’ food, accommodation, activities, and spending money, so you need to budget a little more carefully. You can’t choose a destination until you know what you can afford, so spend some time going through your finances and work out how much money you can save up.
Choose The Perfect Family Vacation Destination
Deciding where to go on holiday is one of the most fun and tricky parts of planning a vacation. Unless you and your family have already agreed on somewhere, it’s likely that you’ll spend quite some time trying to find somewhere that suits everyone. Make sure that you take your kids ages into account before choosing a place, as some age groups simply won’t enjoy certain types of trips. If you have been talking this through for a while and are no closer to deciding, then you should put several places in a hat and pick one randomly. This is a fun and fair way to choose.
Sort Out Your Documents
Once you’ve picked the perfect destination, you need to ensure that you’re legally allowed to visit there. Many places require you to have a visa before entering the country, so it’s important that you sort this out. It can sometimes take a while for visas to be approved, so you should complete applications for you and your family as soon as possible. You also need to go and check your passports and ensure that they are still valid. In many cases, your passport must have six months on it before it expires, so ensure that all of your family’s passports do.
Book Your Transportation
Now that you’ve got the documents necessary to travel, you can go ahead and book your flights. Regardless of where you’re going, you should try to book as early as possible. This way, you’re more likely to get a seat and get seats together, and you also often save money. Along with your flights, you should consider how you’re getting from your home to the airport. You may like the idea of driving yourself, but parking your car at an airport can get expensive. Instead, you may want to prebook a taxi or ask a friend or family member to drop you off.
Reserve Your Accommodation
Although hotels are the typical holiday accommodation, they’re not the be all and end all. In fact, in many cases, there are much better options available to you. As a family, you’re going to need space, so it often makes much more sense to rent a holiday home or apartment. In fact, you might even want to buy a house abroad, like the ones at https://www.rumah.com/rumah/dijual. If this is a little bit outside of your budget, then you should at least ensure that your hotel is family-friendly. You can usually figure this out for yourself within a few minutes on their website.
Research The Chosen Destination
You probably did some research on your destination before you decided to go there, but now that things are set in stone, you should take a bit more time on it. Look through tourist guides, read blogs, and watch YouTube videos and make a list of things you want to see and do while you’re away. You can get your kids to help you with this, and write a list of their own. You should also find some good places to eat where you’re going so that you don’t have to wing your meals and risk eating somewhere that isn’t up to scratch.
Plan A Flexible Itinerary
With your list of things to see and do, you need to go ahead and plan your itinerary. Of course, there could be times when things don’t go to plan, and activities have to move about a little, so ensure that you stay flexible and always have a plan B. For example, if the weather means that you can’t play on the beach, then ensure you have an indoor activity to keep everyone occupied. While you’re planning your schedule, you should also take your kids’ routines into account. Try to keep mealtimes and bedtimes roughly the same, or they’ll end up cranky and exhausted.
Keep Your Family Safe
Most people skip travel insurance because they’re healthy and think it will only be a waste of money. However, if you look at http://www.travelinsurancereview.net, you’ll see that there are so many more reasons than simply getting sick. Travel insurance covers you for a number of issues, so keep your family and finances safe and ensure you buy comprehensive cover. You also need to look up common illnesses and health issues in the country you’re visiting and check if you and your family need vaccinations or medication for while you’re away.
Ensure You Pack Smart
Packing for yourself is often a challenge, but adding just one child to the mix can make the process that much more complicated. After all, kids are messy creatures, so you’re going to want to take more clothes than necessary. Only pack what clothes you absolutely need, as you can always wash things if they get mucky, and keep certain things together, like towels and swimming costumes, as this will make life easier later. Your children will also want to bring all of their toys and games along for the ride, so it’s up to you to keep these additions to a minimum.
Sort Out Some Entertainment
Children get bored pretty quickly, and a bored child can easily lead to an incredibly loud temper tantrum. Because of this, it’s crucial that you pack a few things to keep your kids occupied at the airport and on the plane. A tablet is a great option, as it can be used to play games, read books, and watch films and television. You might also want to pack a set of playing cards or a travel board game if you have a few older children to entertain. Also, ensure that you have plenty of drinks and snacks to keep everyone happy.
Allow Everyone Enough Time
The day of your flight will likely be a stressful one. After all, you have to ensure that everyone is ready on time, that nothing gets left behind in the chaos, and that the house is locked up properly. Because of this, it’s important that you allow for everything to get done. With kids, things often take a lot longer than you expect, so ensure that you leave a cushion of time, just in case something goes wrong. Of course, things might go exactly to plan, in which case, you’ll have some time to relax, but, if they don’t, you’ll be glad you scheduled a spare half an hour.
Go And Have Fun!
Now that the stress and chaos of planning and preparing are over, all that is left to do is to go and enjoy your holiday. Granted, a few things will probably go wrong while you’re out there, but life rarely goes exactly to plan. If you want your vacation to be perfect, then you need to let the small issues wash over you and focus on relaxing and having fun instead. It’s not every day you get to spend so much quality time with those you love, so cherish and enjoy it while you can. You’ll only regret it later if you don’t.
Planning the perfect family vacation can be a confusing and stressful process, but, hopefully, with the steps above, you’ll find it a little easier to handle.