Tips for Planning a Family Vacation

Planning a trip takes work and careful attention to detail. When it is for your family, even more so! Ideally, you should start thinking and planning well ahead of when you want to go so that you have plenty of time to get ready and don’t feel rushed.

Review what to think about as you plan a family getaway to ensure you go about it in the right way and feel comfortable and prepared when the time comes to depart. Put in the effort now so that you can sit back and truly enjoy yourselves once you reach your destination.

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family at beach

Brainstorm Possible Destinations

Begin by brainstorming possible destinations for where you can travel to and visit. Loop in your kids so that they feel like they have a say and you can come up with the best location as a group. Consider the age of your children and your interests as well.

It will help if you take the time to read reviews from other travelers before selecting a location. You want to have a good idea of what to expect and if it’ll be a family-friendly environment for you and your loved ones (including your pets). You’ll also want to figure out how long you want to be gone and what will be feasible given your timeframe.

Define Your Budget

Another aspect to think about as you plan a family getaway is your budget. If you start planning early then you may also have some additional time to save up a little extra cash to use on your trip. Have a good idea of how much you want to spend and try to avoid going above and beyond this number so that you don’t have regrets.

mom and daughter budget

Setting a budget will help you plan where to go, what to see and do, and where to stay. Remember that you’ll not only need money for making reservations and flights but you’ll also want to have enough spending money once you arrive for meals, souvenirs, and activities.

Here are more resources for saving money:

Decide on Activities & Excursions

It’s also wise to think ahead about what types of activities and excursions you’re going to want to do as a family or by yourself. There are a variety of options depending on where you go things like tours on scooter or whale watching if you head out east, hiking or checking out a national park out west, or trying parasailing if you end up near a body of water.

man on scooter

Determine what you may be in the mood for and what might interest you the most before you leave so you can research the idea further and make a reservation in advance if need be. While it’ll be fun to keep busy it’s wise to also plan some downtime and rest into your schedule and itinerary.

Book the Right Accommodations

As you plan your next family getaway you will want to think about booking the right accommodations for your group. Make sure your hotel is kid-friendly and offers the amenities you want such as a workout room and swimming pool. While staying in a hotel will be comfortable, there are other options out there depending on what’s feasible and that you believe will be best.

family with feet in pool water

For example, if you want to cook most of your meals then you may want to rent a home or condo that has a kitchen. If you’re going camping with your family then you may want to rent a large camper or RV and reserve a campground to stay at.

Where to Eat

When planning a family trip you should also map out and think about where you might want to eat. Eating out is always fun on vacation since you get to try new cuisines and restaurants. However, you might also want to stay in some nights or just grab something quick and easy.

family at restaurant

If you’ll be dining out at a fancy restaurant or a popular spot then you should call and make reservations ahead of time to ensure you have a table at the hour you prefer. Be prepared to try a variety of foods and expand your palette a bit which is all part of traveling and visiting new places.

Getting Around

You’ll need to know how you’re going to get around while on your family vacation. You shouldn’t assume that you need to rent a car or that getting a taxi will be easy. Instead, do your homework and figure out a plan for what type of transportation is ideal.

family in car

There may be times you want to walk to certain places if they are close by or maybe you decide that you want to try taking a train or bus if that’s the best way to get to your next location. If you do decide to rent a car then make sure it’s the right size for your family and belongings.

Packing Light

Make lists in advance of what you want to bring and what you need to buy yet. Get organized and only pack the items you need and that you will wear. Figure out what the weather will be like and dress in layers so that you can stay comfortable throughout the day.

family packing car

Try to only bring carry-on luggage if possible if you’ll be doing a lot of moving around from one place to another. You also won’t have to check a bag this way if you fly and worry about it getting lost or being delayed. You might also want to have room in your suitcases for items you want to bring home with you that you buy on your trip and other souvenirs.

Family travel packing can be overwhelming so make sure you gather some tips and tricks in advance.

Have fun!

Planning a family getaway doesn’t have to be stressful or seen as a chore. Make it easier on yourself by starting early and applying these tips. This advice will help you know what to focus your time and energy on and how to ensure you’re all set to go when it’s time to take off.

family sitting on couch

There’s a lot to think about but if you stay organized and positive about the planning experience you’re sure to have a more successful outcome with it all.

More Family Vacation Resources:

How about you? Have any additional tips or tricks for planning a family vacation? Do share!

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family with feet in pool watergirl sitting in back of carfamily sitting on couch

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  1. I hate the planning aspect of a vacation. I want to just go! I do know how important it really is though.

  2. Amber Myers says:

    You have some awesome advice here. We always make sure we find something within budget. And find a hotel in a good part of town.

  3. So much planning goes into a family vacation, especially if you add dogs to the mix.

  4. Hannah Bures says:

    Planning for a vacation can be so stressful, thanks for these tips. Having a positive attitude and mind set does make it better.

  5. My must haves for a family vacation is a hotel with a pool and free breakfast. I also map out places to eat as I have food allergies.

  6. These are wonderful tips. It’s not always easy planning a family vacation. One of the hardest parts can be actually figuring out where to go that everyone wants to. It’s always nice to plan ahead so you have things figured out because it definitely could get stressful if not.

  7. Finding where to eat ahead of time while on vacation is our number 1. Depending on where we’re going it may be best to set reservations in advance.

  8. I can’t wait to be able to plan a family vacation with my son. I’ve been wanting to take him to Disney. And hopefully, I can make that dream come true before he graduates.

  9. Richelle Milar says:

    Planning a vacation with the whole fam makes the vacation more exciting! I really enjoy reading this post!

  10. Melanie E says:

    I always try to pack light. Now my daughters are older they have other ideas lol.

  11. This looks like great steps to planning a family vacation, budgeting has probably always been the most important step for us, helps narrow down options lol.

  12. It’s very easy to travel with my family. They are agree with any destination and we have a lot of fun!

  13. I’m thinking of going on a vacation, and that is why I’ve decided to look for a condo where I can stay for a month. Well, you made a pretty good point that there must be a realistic budget for the said plan because this will prevent me from overspending. Thank you for sharing the importance of checking the property’s amenities first.