February 4, 2013

5 Tips For Planning A Family Getaway

With proper planning, a family vacation can be the highlight of your year. It’s a perfect opportunity to share quality time together, without the external pressures of work and school. Here are a few tips to make your next family getaway truly memorable.

1. Save Up As A Family

As early in the year as possible, make a vacation savings plan that the whole family can participate in. This can be as simple as collecting loose change in a jar, or holding garage sales and selling outgrown toys or clothes on eBay.

These small amounts really add up, especially with the whole family participating. Extra savings can end up covering the cost of one person’s flight, or an upgrade to that special family villa rental you’ve been eyeballing. As an added benefit, children will receive a valuable life lesson about the effectiveness of saving money.

Family villa rental

The Ali’I Villa Townhouse

2. Have Everyone Research And Choose An Activity

With so much travel information available, it’s easy to fully research any destination. Learning about your trip builds anticipation and excitement, which can only enhance the experience for everyone.

Allow each family member to choose one sightseeing trip or activity that they’re really interested in, and plan your trip around these choices. This especially helps children with patience, as they can comfortably enjoy other activities knowing their turn is coming.

3. Know Your Options To Maintain Flexibility

Of course, things seldom go exactly as planned while traveling. Weather, transportation issues, and random closures can lead to frustration if not properly accounted for.

Your best bet here is to have several back-up plans in place. For every activity your family has scheduled, try and come up with a plan B and plan C. This will prevent some of the disappointment and frustration that can arise when you find out that special dinosaur exhibit is unexpectedly closed for renovation.

4. Talk About What To Expect

Certain parts of the travel experience can be frustrating, especially for young children. Waiting in lines at security check-ins, layovers and delays can get to the best of us, so it’s best to sit down and explain these possibilities beforehand.

Also, if it’s their first time flying, talk to your kids about ear pressure, turbulence, and take-off/landing so they’ll be mentally prepared.

If you’re traveling to a foreign country, be sure to discuss language or cultural issues to increase comfort and overall enjoyment. You can even turn this into a fun activity, i.e. learning and practicing a few new foreign language phrases together.

5. Private Time Is Important!

Finally, remember that a family vacation doesn’t have to mean spending every waking hour together. Parents will certainly treasure the chance to enjoy some alone time, as will teens and young adults. Where appropriate, try to schedule this into your travel plans.

Certain resorts, for example, have programs and activities specifically designed for kids. Allowing everyone to have his/her own unique experience is a valuable part of family travel.