Summer is the perfect time to get away with the whole family, but sometimes that sounds easier than it actually is. There are so many different things that go into organizing a vacation for one, never mind a group of people with various interests at different stages in their lives. On top of that, traveling can be expensive and stressful if you don’t plan well.
One of the most common complaints about family travel comes from those with new babies. Often times flying can be hard on an infant, upsetting them and everyone around them. Gone are the days when airlines have the time to pay special attention to families traveling with young ones. Planes are often overcrowded and fellow passengers may not think your child is as cute when they are screaming at the top of their lungs during take-off. You can try to avoid this by protecting your baby’s ears. Allowing your child to suck on something to relieve ear-pressure can make all the difference. Choosing a seat closer to the front of the plane can also reduce the amount of noise and vibration as well as allow for faster deplaning once you land.
When you are trying to pack for multiple people and hoping to return home with all the items you left with, a check list can be a big help. Checklists will save you time and worry at both the beginning and end of your vacation. Start by creating a list for each member of your family, including yourself. Include any items you know you need for sure. Once you have packed those items you may want to include a few more things. Add these to your checklist and take a photo of it once you are finished. That way, if you lose the scrap of paper with your list, you will always have a copy.
Choosing the right hotel can be a daunting task, especially if you have a child or a teenager who may be picturing this vacation slightly different than you are. Additionally, even when traveling with children you may want to find time to enjoy on your own or in the company of your partner. There are so many hotels these days with services that allow you to embrace this idea. Whether you need one on one attention and supervision for your child, or want to make sure your teenage daughter is entertained by more than her cell phone, many hotels offer kids clubs or teen lounges with orchestrated activities to engage all ages. Some hotels even offer onsite babysitting or can recommend a local service.
The last thing you want on vacation is money stress. The best way to avoid this is to create a budget in advance. Look at all your options and review costs before committing to anything. Do some research to figure out how much money you are likely to spend on meals and local transportation, then factor in a little extra for shopping or last minute excursions. If you can book your flight, hotel, and rental car all together using a service like Hotwire, you are likely to save a good chunk of money.
Finally, remember that this is the time for your family to bond and share experiences. Don’t get too caught up in the idea of having a perfect summer getaway, because anyone with kids knows something will always go wrong, it’s how you react to it that will be memorable.