If you are a family with children, it is very important to make plans to travel at least a couple times every year. I believe to have a least one trip every 6 months planned is crucial for the entire family. To both familiar and unexplored destinations. As a person who has traveled with my children, over the years there are a few things I would have done differently. One is that I wasn’t smart enough to always create a budget. I’m especially talking about the spontaneous trips that we took. Definitely a must when it comes to figuring out how you’re going to pay for your travel. One needs to do this before you leave home and not after you get home!
The second thing I would have done is create a daily itinerary. For example, I could have made plans to fly instead of driving so. Reason being, when driving to far locations, we sometimes had to eat at less than desirable food.
Creating a travel plan helps one control excessive spending. It never fails, when I’ve taken a family trip without a plan I end up spending money that I did not count on spending! It’s so easy to spend more than one should, don’t you agree? My family’s desire to experience all the fun we can, means saying yes to your kids even if that means getting them that Pepsi for $5 a can!
Another great reason to make travel plans before you leave is to be able to involve your children in the discussions about where to go and what all of you will be doing. Especially, when the children are in school, you need to plan around their days off or discuss with their teachers what would be the best time if they had to miss school days.
As you know already, nothing destroys a trip faster than hunger, fatigue or a lack of entertainment. I would even suggest to have a backup plan just in case something falls through. Having that will come in handy at some point, it definitely has for my family.
Another important aspect of planning a vacation is time management. Having a long-term travel plan gives you flexibility to be able to change the schedule just in case the weather or even illness takes place. Planning ahead lets you take advantage of the money-saving alerts on airfare, special hotel offers and even special website discounts.
Having a travel plan is crucial. I like to create an itinerary for each trip that contains what it is we might be doing each day, getting the scoop on local museums and attractions that we are going to and the dining options (as we know our food/dining is very important and can be so entertaining if we pick the right location).
The last thing I’ll say about having travel plans with a family is to remain flexible. Remember, your trip may not turn out exactly as planned. Some things change without knowing when, so we have to remain flexible to avoid irritation which could potentially ruin the day for the entire family. Any itinerary I created is merely a guideline, not written in stone. For example, taking my kids away from something they are enjoying just because my itinerary states we are to be at the next location! I would never do that to my kids and for that reason, it just means we will want to return to that destination at a later date to enjoy more fun.
If you consider all of these suggestions, I believe your vacation will go smoothly for you and your family. Always remember, don’t let the little things get to you. Enjoy this time with your family and make some beautiful memories.