As you’ve grown up and started your own family, you’ve learned that things aren’t as easy or effortless as they may have seemed when you were a child. You used to take things for granted and may not have realized how much planning went into your daily schedule. This is especially true when it comes to family vacations. If you were like most children, you were just happy to be going somewhere. However, behind that trip, there was probably a lot of planning on your parents’ part.
Now that you have your own family, you finally understand the burden of planning fun, stress-free vacations. After all, if you’re going to use precious vacation days, spend money on travel and accommodations, and bring the kids with you, it’d better be worth it.
Four Stress-Free Vacation Planning Tips
In an effort to help you plan a stress-free family vacation this summer, let’s take a look at some of the best tips and tricks:
Start with accommodations. After figuring out travel arrangements, your first step is to get accommodations squared away. This is the single biggest (and probably most expensive) task, and it can lift much of the burden from your shoulders. If your budget allows, consider staying at unique and memorable hotels. For example, did you know that there’s a Titanic themed hotel in Liverpool? Actually, there are lots of themed hotels around the world, so splurge a bit, and stay somewhere that the kids will actually enjoy. By knowing that the kids are happy and occupied, you can relax more.
Keep everything organized. Any and every travel-related document should be saved and organized. This includes passports, airline tickets, hotel reservations, emergency contact information, maps, and more. Keeping a designated folder for these items can allow you to quickly access information as you need it.
Have a loose plan. Depending on your personal preference, you may be the kind of person who needs every day planned out – or you could enjoy the thrill of making decisions on the fly. The best strategy is to land somewhere in the middle. Don’t plan out every minute of every day, but do have a basic idea of what you’ll do while on vacation. This happy medium provides structure, but it also gives your family opportunity to be spontaneous.
Save some time to recover. It’s never a good idea to come back from vacation the day before you have to return to work. Go ahead and plan for one or two buffer days between your vacation and returning to work. This will help you to recover from jet lag and rest up before reality hits. It also gives you a chance to unpack, go grocery shopping, upload pictures, do laundry, pick up the dog, and catch up on errands.
While you can’t do anything about fighting children, moody teenagers, bad weather, or other uncontrollable circumstances, you can plan for the best by using these helpful tips and tricks. And, if you’re lucky, you just may be able to increase your chances of having an enjoyable family vacation this summer.