Taking a trip for the family requires planning. Whether this is your first vacation with the family or your fiftieth, here are some important tips to consider when planning your best family-friendly vacation. Here are 5 Tips for Stress-Free Family-Friendly Vacations!
Stress-Free Family-Friendly Vacations By The Numbers
1. Choose Your Vacation Destination Wisely
When it comes to toting little ones around, choosing the right destination can make or break your vacation. If your main goal is keeping young kids occupied, add these vacation ideas to your list:
The Beach – An obvious choice, but make sure your beach destination has more than just sand and surf–you’ll need some family attractions and services as well. A few family-friendly beachside locations to consider are Atlantis, Bahamas, Coronado Beach, San Diego, Ca, and Luquillo Beach, Puerto Rico.
Note: Often times family friendly hotels will provide beach toys for the little one, but if not you can always stop by the local convenient store and pick up buckets and shovels for the little ones!
Camping and Hiking at a National Park – If your children are a little older, this could be a great option to keep the family up and moving all day long. Not to mention, off of their devices–except to send some snaps of the incredible landscapes. A few places to consider camping and hiking might be Yosemite National Park, Grand Canyon National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Remember to pack comfortable sneaker that you don’t mind ruining in mud or water!
Water Sports and Marine Life – If your kids are active and would love to see some of the local wildlife, think about a resort with a focus on watersports and other water related activities. A couple to add to your list might be Anthony’s Key Resort in Honduras, Frangipani Beach Resort, Anguilla, and The Four Seasons, Maui, Hawaii. (Or, my personal favorite, Marriott Harbor Beach in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida!)
When you choose a destination around activities for the kids, you’ll be sure to have some time to yourself to relax and chill out as well.
2. Pack smart
Packing for the whole family is a hassle–unless you plan ahead, make a checklist and stick to it. Here are some tips to live by when packing for a family vacation:
Use Ziplock Bags for organization.
The gallon zip lock bags will save you so much time locating what is needed for each day’s outfit. For the kids, simply place a t-shirt, pants, socks, underwear, etc., into a one-gallon ziplock bag. This grab and go method will keep that day’s outfit together which means less time spend shuffling through your luggage and more time exploring your vacation destination.
Print out your itinerary and information for each bag.
There’s always a chance your bag could get lost while traveling. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Print out multiple copies and put one in each. Even if you’re using your smartphone for travel information, it’s smart to have a print out in case something happens to your device
Bring a collapsible hamper.
The last thing you want to be doing on your last night of vacation is sorting through all the clothes to figure out what is clean and what isn’t. Having a collapsible hamper on hand can help keep your organized.
Organize clothes by day instead of by person.
An effortless organization tip if you’re away multiple days (as long as you have enough bags) would be to put each family member’s outfit for the day into one suitcase and organize your luggage by day vs. by person. This way, if you’re at a different hotel each night, you’ll only have to bring in one bag from your car.
3. Consider Something All Inclusive
When planning a family vacation, nothing says “relax” like “all-inclusive.” This takes away the need to continually plan and adhere to a budget for food and activities. A couple of the best all-inclusive resorts for families are:
A Club Med Resort. Club med offers children’s clubs which are separated by age group so activities are fun for everyone.
A Cruise. Cruises are always chock-full of kids activities. Sign your child up for an adventure day while you relax by the pool.
A Beaches Resort. Like Club Med, Beaches offers age-range specific activities for everyone from infants and toddlers to tweens, teens, and most importantly, parents.
4. Do Free Stuff
No matter where you’re vacationing, there are most-likely some free, family-friendly activities to do. Whether it’s taking a walk down the boardwalk, swimming at the hotel or heading to the park, adding in some free activities can really help you stick to your budget.
5. Have fun!
Traveling as a family can be stressful, especially if you don’t do it often. There are going to be obstacles but remember to live in the moment. Whether you’ve planned everything down to the last pair of socks or you’re just going to wing-it, remember that this is supposed to be fun and it’s important to roll with the punches!
If you’re interested in having one of our expert travel agents help you plan your dream family vacation, contact us.