5 simple tips to planning the perfect family vacation

Family vacations are the rite of passage for American during the summer. Do they always go right? Nope, but they can get to the levels of perfection by just following a few simple guidelines.

family vacation

1. Location, location, location

family vacation

The flight or car drive can go great, but that won’t mean a thing if the vacation destination doesn’t make everyone happy. Make sure you to get input from everyone in the family planning your trip. Yes, the kids get a say too. Find a place that’s going to have something for everyone in the group. You don’t want see your kids kicking dirt while you sample merlot during a wine tasting, do you?

2. Pack light and smart


We all want to be prepared for anything when it comes to our vacations, but do you really need to bring the entire house with you? This is the age of 24-hour Wal-Mart, so you can probably afford to not take some things from home. Try to limit things to three or four outfits for everyone, then just do a load of laundry when needed.

3. Keep a routine for the kids


We want the little ones to have a great time on vacation, but all in moderation. Make sure to keep the kids on a routine that’s as close to what they get at home, so meals and bedtime should be around the same time each day. This one isn’t so much for the trip, but making sure the transition back to daily life is a smooth one for all involved.

4. Keep those kids happy


You’re keeping the kids on a vacation schedule, so you’ve got to find a way to keep them from tearing things apart. Let each child bring a bag with their favorite things – toys, books, tablet – so they have something to keep them entertained during the car ride or flight. 

5. You’ve got to be flexible


Your daily life is slave to a schedule, so why do that during a vacation? There will be times when scheduling things is necessary, like if you’re going to a Broadway show or on a tour. The rest of the time can be set up by just asking everyone what they’d like to do on a particular day, making it a point to have one or two goals for that day. And don’t worry if you can’t complete a certain goal for a day – that’s why you have two.