Tips for Smoother Family Vacations

No matter the length or distance of your family vacation, you might be anxious about making it as painless of a process as you can. Here are some tips for smoother family vacations.

Prepare as much as possible in advance

Getting to and from your final destination can often be the most stressful part of a family vacation. However, you can help things go a little smoother by doing as much as possible before you leave. For example, printing out boarding passes at home, packing games and travel snacks, and bringing extra clothes in your carry-on bag can help you have an easier journey. To help your child feel more comfortable, encourage them to bring some familiar and fun items from home—but don’t bring anything that’s irreplaceable to them.

For some trips, visiting your child’s doctor is recommended at least two months before you leave. This way, you can be sure that any vaccinations or medication needs will be sorted out well before you need to worry about it.

Look for child-friendly accommodation

If you’re not staying with family or friends, child-friendly accommodation can go a long way in a smooth family vacation. Look for family-friendly amenities like a pool or games room, laundry facilities, or in-room kitchens. Additionally, look for accommodation in a neighborhood within walking or easy transit distance to interesting attractions like parks, playgrounds, and restaurants.

Set expectations

Often, parents relax some family rules while traveling to help make the journey run smoother. If you opt to do this, let your child know what rules are still in place. For example, remind them that their quiet indoor voice is to be used in an airplane, and help them to understand why they must stay in their seat when the seatbelt sign is lit.

Be flexible with your schedule and activities

Large crowds and long lineups can cause stress for everyone, but there are options for less-complicated family vacation. If you can move your schedule by a few days, you may be able to miss the rush, and save some money too. Consider visiting attractions at off-peak hours, if possible. Be sure to leave extra room for things like naps or longer meals to help ensure everyone is as relaxed and refreshed as possible.

Try and remain calm

Parents know that vacationing with children is unpredictable. Make contingency plans in the event of illness or travel delays, and remain calm and optimistic if these things do happen. Remain flexible and open-minded, and you’ll be better able to enjoy this time together.