Just because you’re going on vacation doesn’t mean everyone will automatically have a good time. The more family members you’re traveling with, the more likely at least one of them is going to hate the trip, but that’s only if you don’t plan your trip accordingly.
It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling with family members of multiple generations or if you’re traveling with a whole gaggle of kids, there are things you can do to ensure everyone enjoys themselves the next time you venture away from home.
Choose a Vacation That’s off the Beaten Path
When you are getting ready to plan a family vacation, what kind of vacation comes to mind? You probably think about hopping on a cruise ship or booking a trip to Disney World. It’s true that these kinds of vacations can be fun for the whole family, but don’t overlook less common vacation destinations.
There are a lot of fun things for your family to do all across the United States that will leave them with unique, lasting memories. A few ideas include:
- Vacation in Pigeon Forge and Visit Dollywood
- Leave vehicles behind and hop on a horse on Mackinac Island
- Explore The House on the Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin
- Visit the oldest continuously operated city in the United States in St. Augustine, Florida
Let Even the Youngest Family Members Pick Something to Do
Most vacation planning is left up to the adults. They’re the ones with the credit cards, after all! However, most kids don’t like to feel like they’re being told what to do, and planning the entire vacation without their input will make them feel that way.
Surprisingly, even very young children are capable of helping you plan your vacation. Because they are digital natives, they can help you do online research, and they can make suggestions for things they would like to do. Even the youngest members of the family can be given two different options to pick from.
If you let them help plan, they’ll have more ownership over the trip, and they’ll be more likely to enjoy it.
Pay Attention to How You Get There
Life is a journey—not a destination. The same can be said of a vacation!
Many of us focus our attention on being there without thinking about what is involved in getting there. That can spell disaster if you’re traveling with young children or elderly family members.
Make sure you’re fully prepared if you’re planning a road trip by learning a few new road games and bringing snacks, but it’s even more important to plan plenty of stops. That way, everyone has a chance to stretch their legs.
Preparing for the plane is extremely important too. Book a direct flight, if possible, especially if you’re traveling with very young ones.
Pay a little extra so you can pick your seats. That way, you can enjoy a little extra leg room if you’re traveling with a lap child, or you can pick the seats by the bathroom if you’re traveling with a toddler.
Don’t Plan Every Minute of Your Vacation
You want to make sure everyone in your family has the chance to do fun things while you’re on vacation, but less planning is actually better.
Without a rigid plan, your family can decide to spend a relaxing afternoon at the pool or catch up on a little sleep with a nap, without feeling guilty about not using those tickets that you already purchased online months ago.
Don’t Be Afraid to Split Up
If you’re planning a family vacation, you probably expect to spend as much time with your family as possible. That’s an admirable goal, but it’s not a good one if you want everyone to have fun.
Instead, don’t be afraid to split up. There are going to be some activities that some family members really want to do, and not others. By splitting up, everyone gets to spend the day doing something they want. Not to mention, it gives parents and older family members the chance to spend valuable one-on-one time with each individual child.
The idea of going on vacation will undoubtedly be exciting for everyone in your family, but that doesn’t mean everyone will be excited when you actually get there. Reduce the chances of a mutiny and make sure every family member, no matter what their age, enjoys your next vacation to the fullest with the tips on this list.