Family vacations are a great way to treat your family and yourself. They’re also a good way to create lasting memories with your kids. However, planning a trip with the whole family can be quite daunting. You may think there are too many boxes to check off your list and too many things to keep in mind. But don’t fret; we’re sharing some of the common family vacation mistakes you should avoid on your next trip to help you ease your mind and enjoy your well-deserved family trip.
Let’s dive in…
- Waiting to Book Things at the Last Minute
You have to take into account everyone’s preferences and personal schedules. And when you do decide on a date, it may be too late. While a little spontaneity never hurts a trip, booking things at the last minute can cost you a bit more money at best. At worst, you may not even get to reserve those tickets to a must-see show your kids might want to watch. You don’t need to schedule every minute detail of your travel days, but planning a rough outline in advance can save you time, money, and stress. Planning ahead can also help you make the right travel decisions for your family, such as booking direct flights instead of having layovers, getting better hotel rooms, etc. Make sure to give yourself enough lead time to book flights and reserve tickets for famous attractions; your bank account will thank you for it.
- Packing Way Too Much
If you’re the type of packer who brings things “just in case,” you’re not alone. But these “just in case” things can add up, especially when you’re trying to pack for a family. Lugging around too many things that you don’t necessarily need for the trip can be exhausting, which is not a word anyone would want to use when describing any type of vacation. You might also find it a challenge to find what you really need in a suitcase packed with too many things. Additionally, unpacking when you get home can also be a hassle, so try and have a checklist of the basics instead of packing everything but the kitchen sink.
- Forgetting the Essentials for Your Family
On the other hand, there’s also such a thing as packing way too little or at least forgetting the essentials. Make sure to know your family’s dietary and medical needs so you can prepare them ahead of time. And no matter where you’re going, bring sunscreen! Not only can it save you from uneven skin tone, you’ll also protect your family’s skin from the sun’s UV rays. Long-haul flights can be a challenge for families. Make sure to pack the essentials, like their favorite shows saved on a tablet or offline activities to prevent the little ones from getting bored and, for the adults, eye drops to prevent dry eyes. Packing the essentials in one “go-bag” can give you the peace of mind that the necessities are covered.
- Always Staying in the Tourist-y Areas
When going to new places, it’s easy to just go to the tourist spots you see when you search online or on social media. But try and make the most of your trip by taking the time to see what’s beyond the tourist-y area, while, of course, keeping it safe. Nowadays, there are guided walking tours or even bike tours in different parts of the world that can bring you to where the locals go. You’ll get to know more about the location’s history while sight-seeing and sampling the local cuisine. If guided tours are not your cup of tea, visiting the local markets can allow you to sample local produce. You’ll be exposed to new flavors while learning more about the local culture. Going off the beaten track can make your trip that much more memorable and meaningful, so make sure to try it on your next family vacation.
- Over-scheduling Your Trip to the Brim
Another common mistake that parents make when planning a family vacation is overscheduling. Doing so can leave you and your kids feeling exhausted instead of ecstatic. Keeping your schedule too packed can make the trip feel rushed, and you’ll miss those downtimes that are essential for just sitting down and connecting with your kids. Make sure you have enough time to rest after a long drive and account for jet lag when flying overseas, so you have enough energy to actually enjoy your trip.
Make Your Trip Count
Family vacations can be one of your kids’ favorite childhood memories. As a parent, putting in the time and resources into planning the trip can be challenging, but it will be worth it. Just make sure you have your main goals in mind: making meaningful memories and strengthening family bonds.