May 24, 2017

Top Tips for a Successful Family Summer Vacation

Written by:
Maureen McKamey

Summer is almost here! And as the kids wrap up the school year, many families are starting to look forward to an upcoming summer trip. But while family vacations are a great way to make memories to last a lifetime, they are also prone to some hiccups. The good news is, it’s possible to avoid the constant chorus of “are we there yet?” It just takes a little planning. So before you pack your bags and head somewhere fun with the whole clan, read my top tips for a successful family vacation!

  1. Compromise. Of course you all love each other, but you’re also probably not all the same. Maybe one kid is an     adventurer, and the other wants to shop. Sometimes even mom and dad have a different idea of how they’d like to spend vacation. One of you wants to check out the art museum, while the other would much rather lounge on the beach. Instead of spending the entire trip according to one family member’s travel style, why not mix it up? Chances are you have time to check out the museum in the morning, head to the beach for some afternoon sun, go zip-lining the next day, and still make sure you hit the outlet mall. Consider letting each person plan one day of the vacation!
  2. Don’t be afraid to slow down. It’s natural to want to try to fit in absolutely everything while you’re on a family trip. But the smallest travelers may not always be able to keep up. Pushing little ones to do too much can lead to upset kiddos and stressed out parents. And the same goes for multi-generational travel. Grandpa and grandma love spending time with the whole family, but try to be cognizant of their needs, and change up the pace if necessary.
  3. Get some “me-time” in. Yes, this is a family vacation, but you don’t spend every waking minute together when you’re at home, either. Sometimes, for the sake of everyone’s sanity, everyone just needs some time to themselves. Take a walk in the morning while the kids are eating breakfast. Take advantage of the kids club at the resort and go out for a nice, kid-free dinner with your spouse. If your teenager is sitting in the hotel room with their headphones on instead of going to the pool, don’t panic! You’ll still get plenty of time together, but it’s OK if it’s not 24/7.
  4. Pack snacks. It’s not just toddlers. Everyone gets “hangry” every once in awhile! Curb the potential for a late-afternoon meltdown by throwing some granola bars or string cheese in your bag. A beach picnic or a mid-hike snack time can help keep a smile on everyone’s face.
  5. Pick a hotel room with enough space. If the whole family is well-rested, it’s going to be easier to keep the peace. We know sharing a hotel room can be a challenge, but it’s easier if     everyone has enough space to get a good night’s sleep. If you have older kids, consider getting two rooms. Have little ones, or three or four (or more) kids? We can help you find a hotel room designed for big families! (In fact, if you’re heading to Cancun or the Riviera Maya, check out our favorite resorts for families of 5 or more here.)

 

The moral of the story? With a little planning ahead, you can make sure your family trip is full of great experiences instead of snafus. Now, who’s ready to take a great summer vacation? We’d love to help your family discover new destinations!