Planning a family vacation should be the appetizer to your trip.
I remember when I was young, it was a family project to select the destination and plan the vacation.
When I was in high school, I would go to the library and research destinations and contact the airlines, hotels, car rentals and work on all the booking. Back then, the internet was not as advanced as it is today with the numerous resources available at your fingertips.
Here are some tips for planning your next family vacation:
Make it a family project: Sometimes the place we think would be best for a family trip, is not the same as the rest of the family. Getting input from the family can bring up new ideas you had not thought of. It also helps get them excited about the trip.
Start a family travel map: As a kid, I remember we had a map where we marked the places we had visited. By the age of 16, we had visited 34 states. We also had a map where we marked places we wanted to visit. Any time anyone hears of a new place they want to go see, add it to the map. Bring that out when it’s time to plan the trip and see if you can visit a few on the same vacation.
Choose a destination that would interest every member of your party: Being a family trip, it is important that everyone is able to enjoy it. This does not mean everyone will lie everything, but it’s a game of give and take. If your son likes baseball, hit a major league ball game, but if your daughter likes shopping, go to a great shopping spot too. If everyone has something to look forward to, everyone will make enjoy it.
Find fun places to eat: Eating is commonly not planned into many trips. However, on a family vacation, finding “cool” restaurants will make meals an extra activity for the whole family. Themed restaurants are popping up all over, and finding one they will enjoy can make you a hero with your kids.
Make” adult” activities fun: Typically a visit to a museum or a tour of the town may not be a fun activity for children. You can make it fun. Make a list of things you will see in the museum or on the tour and have every member of the family write something they observed about it. Then share it later on as a family. If everyone has a phone or camera, have everyone take a picture of their favorite sites and/or items and then share them over dinner.
Have a backup plan: When you are on a family vacation, there are always things you cannot plan for, for this reason you should know your destination. Weather is never predictable, so if you plan a vacation with a lot of outdoor activities, be sure to have a backup plan with indoor activities as well.
Go start on your appetizer and plan your family vacation!