Tips To Planning A Family Trip

It’s that time of year! The family vacations and reunions are in full swing. If you are the main coordinator of the family vacation this year, then take a deep breath. Planning a family trip is not as hard as you might think. The main thing is keeping the trip relaxed and open communication. Use these tips as you plan your next vacation. 

  1.     Include the kids in the discussion of what they like to do: Get everyone together and make a list of everything that they like to do. Even the kids. Kids have little opinions and personalities too, and they shouldn’t be left out. Sometimes, depending on their age, you may need to help guide them towards fun, and realistic excursions you can do on the vacation. If everyone on the trip has something to look forward to, then it’ll be a much more enjoyable time for everyone.
  2.     Set a budget: Before you start booking things, look at your bank account, and see what you have available to spend on the entire vacation. Consider everything from gas, to flights, food, and everything in between. Often times, there are unexpected expenses on vacations, and so you should have a reserve of about $300-$500 depending on where you are going and how many people are going with you. Those extra funds could be used for a last minute fun outing, or it can save the day if you have a travel emergency.
  3.     Plan and Communicate about the trip: Keep everyone in the loop about where and when all of the plans are being made. Stay in constant contact with everyone who is on the trip so that there’s no hiccups along the way. People need to know when to ask off for work and school. As well as planning other essentials, like doctor visits, and what to pack. Have a group email or message board so that you can update everyone all at once. The planning can be stressful, so don’t get overwhelmed. Take a breath and have patience when someone doesn’t understand. Break down the most important things in a bullet point style, so that no one skims over any details.
  4.     Do activities that everyone likes: Bond together with family activities. You can make a fun time out of the car ride, as well as the big adventures that you’ll go on with the trip. Be mindful of what people like and don’t like. Make accommodations for the group, to help everyone have a good time. If someone isn’t into what everyone else is doing, that’s ok. Don’t be upset if everyone doesn’t want to do the same thing all the time. Let it go, and remember that different people relax in different ways. Let them put in the headphones and zone out, or go on a walk outside. As long as it’s not dangerous, people can do separate activities.
  5.     Have a loose schedule: Have flexible schedule for each day of the trip. You’ll want to have an idea of 3 things that you want to accomplish or do that day, and a general time to do it in. It shouldn’t be planned out to the hour, though. You’ll want room for sleeping in, or other things like having a casual breakfast. The last thing that you want on your trip is to be stressed out because you’re not following the itinerary. No one wants their vacation planned out to the minute. It’s good to allow for some wiggle room.

The main cause for frustration on the trip is miscommunication and unmet expectations. The best way to combat that is to constantly discuss plans to everyone on the trip. Leave room for the things that people want to do, and don’t have a tight schedule. Talk to one another about what you want out of your vacation, and it’ll all work out nicely!

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