Every globetrotter out there knows that all successful traveling adventures start with a well-thought plan and some detailed research and organizing. When kids come into play, it’s even more important to know how to plan a trip, so you don’t have to deal with constant meltdowns and a ruined holiday experience.
It’s pretty obvious that a family holiday will look quite different from your solo backpacking travels. If you’ve got the travel bug and you’ve passed it on to your kids, you will have to learn how to adjust and adapt to the new situation, so you can enjoy amazing adventures with the whole gang. It might be a little daunting in the beginning, but you’ll get the hang of it in the end. Here are some tips to help you plan hassle free trips with your family and make the most out of the time spent together.
Make reservations in advance
If you’re used to throwing a few things in your bag and hitting the road with no prior planning, you must change your wild ways. While leaving it all to chance can be fun when you travel alone or with your friends, things don’t work like that when kids are involved. Reaching your destination and not having a plan to guide you can spell disaster for your family vacation.
The easy solution to avoid unnecessary crises is to make reservations in advance. It’s better to spend a few hours in front of your laptop, searching for the best accommodation and making hotel and transportation reservations than to spend a few hours wandering the streets, searching for a place to stay or waiting for the bus to arrive, while your kids get crankier by the minute. Make sure that your hotel is equipped for accommodating families before booking. A little research can save you a lot of stress.
Pack smart and travel light
Since there’s more of you now, you might think you need a lot more luggage, even for a short trip. You might be tempted to pack the whole house and take it along with you, but you should definitely resist this urge. In fact, carrying more items with you can become a burden, both physically and mentally. Your efforts to be as cautious as possible and foresee every potential situation can create more chaos.
You definitely don’t have to take all your kids’ favorite toys or clothes. You don’t even have to take all the equipment with you, as you can find renting services in most popular tourist destinations. So put a little extra money aside for renting strollers, cribs or car seats for your kids and leave the ones you have at home. If you don’t know how to find such services or if they’re available in the location you’ve chosen, just ask the hotel or the owner of the place you’ve rented. Or you can take matters into your own hands and do some research online.
Choose your ride wisely
If your family is keen on road trips, it makes sense to invest in a car that will enhance your travel experiences. You can’t expect your family to enjoy a road trip if they’re crammed together in a small car. Of course, you don’t have to run and buy a new one right now, just because at some point in the future you plan on going on a road trip. But if you’re thinking about changing your vehicle and you know that your holidays usually involve hitting the road with your loved ones, then it’s wise to choose a car that will become a reliable traveling companion.
For example, a reliable SUV like Ford Explorer for long travel will offer you all the space and comfort you need to make sure you only bring back good memories from your traveling adventures. So, you should focus on finding a car that is safe, sturdy, spacious, rides well on long drives and of course is within your price range. It might look like an impossible wish list, but if you do your research well, you’ll definitely find a car that will suit your needs.
Book the right accommodation
Booking separate rooms is not an option if you have small children and they’re not ideal even if your kids are older because you won’t be able to supervise them. But you must make sure that you get a good night’s sleep during your trip if you want to be completely functional and maintain your sanity. If everyone is crammed together into just one room, you can forget about having a peaceful moment for yourself for the rest of the trip.
So, what can you do then? The answer is to book a suite with one or more bedrooms or rent an apartment so you can get all the comfort you desire without worrying about bothering someone or about being bothered. Obviously, you’ll pay a little extra for these advantages, but can you really put a price on mental health?
Choose a destination everyone will love
When you chose the location for your trip you must take into consideration everybody’s needs and desires. It can be a bit complicated, especially if everyone’s tastes are different. That’s why it’s important to sit down and talk with your family members about their interests and expectations and choose something that will work for everyone. It might involve more than a few compromises, but in the end, what matters the most is that everyone gets to have a good time.
When researching for a destination, make sure to look for activities and attractions that will keep your kids entertained, such as amusement parks, but don’t forget to search for things that will interest you as well. Also, try to find locations that have direct flights and don’t involve changing two planes and three buses, because the little ones can’t handle long journeys as well as you can.