Make your family vacation an occasion to remember with these tips.
Family vacations make for amazing memories, so you want to set yourself up for success. Whether you’re headed to your annual timeshare week, on a road trip or tripping around the globe, these travel tips will keep you and your kids happy on your next family vacation.
Keep Them Entertained
It would be awesome if you could beam yourselves Star Trek-style to your destination, but alas, the only way to get to there is to travel there. So, our advice is to make the journey as easy and fun as possible. And a great way to do that is to keep the kids entertained. Sure, the plane trip or car ride starts out fun, but after half an hour, the novelty wears off. That’s when books, activities, and devices come in handy. Make sure that tablets are charged and content is downloaded—Wi-fi is not guaranteed. And have back-up unplugged resources like books or travel games in case of technical difficulties. Keep everything easily accessible in bags and don’t forget the headphones!
The only thing worse than a hangry adult is a hangry 5-year-old. Reduce tantrums by keeping the kiddos well-fed and well-hydrated. (But not so well-hydrated that they need a bathroom break every five minutes.) You’ll want to choose travel-friendly snacks. If you’re flying, check the TSA guidelines to make sure everything gets through. Unless you have a cooler, choose shelf stable items that aren’t too messy and aren’t too stinky. When it comes to drinks, don’t rely on the drink service. The timing is unpredictable and those cups are so easy for kiddos to tip over. Instead, we recommend bringing empty no-spill water bottles that you can fill once you’ve passed security. Finally, be ready with gum if your little ones have ear trouble. It may not solve everything, but when the pressure is intense, just the idea of gum can sometimes distract them enough to make it through.
Set a Budget
Travel presents so many new and interesting things. So, it makes sense that kids will want those things. But the requests for snacks and souvenirs gets old by day two. Keep everyone happy by defining your guidelines in advance. Setting a budget for how much they can spend is one approach. This helps the little ones narrow down what’s most important to them. Budgeting is a valuable lesson, so why not make your family vacation an education? Another approach is giving them a set number of toys or goodies they can buy. Maybe two souvenirs for the week or one dessert a day. Planning in advance can keep the requests down, help you all stick to your vacation budget and keep the inevitable stuffed animals and fridge magnets to a minimum.
Travel makes for tired kids—and tired parents! Your family vacation will be so much better if you can all lay your heads on just the right pillow each night. Carefully research your lodgings to make sure they meet your needs. If your kids are small and/or noisy, a hotel that caters to families will be a good fit or maybe a townhouse or cottage would keep your neighbors happier.
Don’t forget that kids love hotels and hotel stuff. So, you can keep your budget in check and up the awesome factor by maximizing the included amenities. Some kids go crazy for the pool, and for others, it’s the breakfast buffet with a pancake printer. Still others just want to push the elevator buttons. Figure out what it is that sparks joy in your kiddos and find accommodations that provide that experience.
Make Your Family Vacation YOURS
No two families are exactly alike, so your family vacation should cater to your family. Consider what you all like to do and choose appropriate activities and destinations. If you have very young children, you may not want to schedule endless museum days or even long plane rides. If you have food requirements or food sensitivities, ensure that you can meet those at your destination. Whatever your needs, your vacation will be better if you’re realistic and plan for the inevitable.
Finally, allow your vacations to grow with you. Your Disney timeshare may work for you now, but as the kids get older, princess tea parties may be less appealing. Like so much in parenting, your family vacation should be flexible.
Outgrown your timeshare? Contact Primo today for a free consultation to see how we can help you reach your family vacation goals.