How to Plan Family Vacation.
Planning a family vacation isn’t easy. If traveling with children you need to plan much more than if you are traveling solo. It’s not just to find a kids friendly travel destination of your journey but have to think about activities and attractions to keep busy (and happy) everyone.
f your destination is all inclusive resort, there is no need to plan for meals or activities. Same apply for cruise trips. Your task is to do packing for trip and arrive on time. All the other things are already taken care of - you or children just have to choose things from activities provided.
When making plans for your family trip, set a budget boundaries you can afford. If there are no vacation savings, don’t spend more than you can pay off within three months. That way you will not make a big hole in your budget and will not overload your credit cards.
Before the journey starts, prepare your children for the trip. If they are old enough to read, give them books about your travel destination or ask to find online some activities they would like to do there. If they are younger, read to them and show pictures about place you will go. Children 6-7 years of age can find where the place is, what's the flag or capital of destination country. During the preparation period you can point out some specific food to taste, music to listen. Children in that age are interested in languages - teach them some words like 'please', 'thank you', 'good morning'. This will help children to ease cultural shock upon arrival.
When booking a hotel, look for the ones that have courtesy breakfast and offer ‘children up to …stay free in parents’ room. Daily breakfast cereals, juice and fruits can be huge savings over eating out every morning. Better have some bigger meal of the day at lunch, than dinner. Dinner out tend to be more expensive. Local grocery store will have plenty of local breads, drinks and baked goods.
For a family of four, driving is cheaper option as flying. Depending on children’s age, check discounts for children tickets. Hardly will find one for domestic flights in US, but if traveling to Canada, Japan, China or Africa, there still is a chance find some.
Child under two, if sitting on the lap, can travel free. Thought there might be slightly different terms for each particular airline. Many parents are making big trips before kid’s turned two. On my resent flight from Chicago to Frankfurt, there was a child under 24 months almost in every few rows. Just make sure to return before kids’ birthday – otherwise you will have to pay for a child on a way back from holiday trip.
Well, if one of your kids as already a student, he might get some special discount.
Packing for whole family isn’t easy. Pick just necessary things that it would fit in one bag for each person. If traveling by air is involved, put few things of one person in suitcase of others’. That way, if some of the luggage gets lost, everybody still will have few belongings to wear. Let children to have one little toy bag as well.
Include some kid friendly activity every day of your vacation. Children want to have a good time as well, but their idea of fun is slightly different from adults’ point of view. Kids will be more patient to visit some museum, if they know that afterwards they will go to Aquarium, Zoo or amusement park.
It’s not so hard to do if you just look around from kids’ point of view. I was doing sightseeing of New York City Attractions with 4 years old kid. We went to Madame Tussauds wax museum (which kid was not found of), but was patient because in half an hour there was a Sponge Bob’s movie (he wanted that one). As result both of as got what we wanted – an exhibit and movie. And the movie time was good to relax a bit from all the walking.
During the trip, remember to keep a positive attitude. Whatever happens, your behavior will influence children’s behavior directly. Just accept that not everything will run smoothly – train or flights can be late, some luggage can get lost. Treat some inconveniences as an adventure and everyone will have a good time.
|New York City sightseeing with kids||Traveling in the car with kids||Family cruise vacation|