Planning a vacation and traveling with your children can be stressful if you don’t plan correctly. Your kids are off from school and you’re off from work; you and your family should be enjoying your break and relaxing! In order to maximize your break and spend as much time as possible having fun with your family, here are a few tips to help make your spring vacation stress-free!
Keep your children’s ages in mind when planning your vacation
If you’re planning on going to, say, Disneyworld, make sure that your kids would enjoy their full experience here. If your kids are 5+, chances are they would have a lot of fun and you will find a lot for them to do there! However, if you have a child who is 2 years old, they would be too young to ride most of the rides and will most likely not appreciate/remember the experience. On the other end, make sure your vacation is kid-friendly. Sure, going on a week-long beach vacation sounds like a great, relaxing idea, but after about a day, your kids will probably be bored of playing in the water and sand.
Do your research
If you haven’t booked your vacation yet because you and your family are still discussing your destination, make sure you do your research! Hotels and resorts may sometimes have discounts for spring break vacations or packages, and it’s best to take advantage of those. If you find a vacation you like, book it ASAP! The prices will most likely go up as you near the date that you would like to go on vacation.
On another note, be sure to research each hotel in the area you would like to go to. Compare prices, rooms, what is included/excluded with your room, what is near your hotel, if there is free parking (if you are driving), etc. Make sure you read reviews for each hotel, as well! You might find a surprisingly cheap hotel that looks beautiful, but if you read the reviews, make sure that it’s not too good to be true (e.g. other guests may have had a bad experience with bed bugs or mold in their room).
Learn the location surrounding your hotel
After booking your hotel, make sure you study your surroundings so that you are aware of everything around you. This could mean restaurants, pharmacies, gas stations, Urgent Cares, etc. The more aware you are, the more likely you are to be prepared with any situation. Knowing the location of your hotel and its surroundings is also helpful in case you are walking around and happen to get lost without a map. If you learn the landmarks on a map, you’ll be more likely to find your way quicker (e.g. there’s a Starbucks across the street from the hotel, a Denny’s a few stores down, and a gift shop next to that).
Be proactive when packing
While it can be difficult to not pack your entire house in your suitcase, create a checklist and plan out everything you need and may potentially need (within reason) to bring with. You want to make sure you are prepared and not under-packed if a problem arises. If you are going on a beach vacation, be sure to pack sunscreen, aloe vera, and sunglasses. If you have younger children, make sure to pack games or coloring books for the way to your destination; not only will it keep them occupied, but they’ll most likely have fun doing them.
As for packing clothes, plan out your outfit for each day of the vacation so you are not packing your entire closet. Planning your outfits can not only reduce the amount of space used in your suitcase, but it can reduce a lot of stress when putting together an outfit each day. Don’t forget to pack plenty of snacks! If you are out all day long doing different activities the snacks will help both you and your family from getting “hangry”.
Make reservations for everything you want to do
It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially while on vacation. Plan out the things you want to do, then make reservations for each of them. You should have one major activity to do each day. It could be anything from jet skiing to going to a museum. This way you make sure you are doing something new each day, but you still have time to do something spontaneous. Make sure to make reservations ASAP, because if it’s a popular attraction, many other people are going to be booking that activity too!
Moral of the story? If you plan ahead, pack the essentials (plus a little extra), research your location, and reserve everything that you want to do, you’re golden. Don’t forget: While you want your family to have a great time, it’s your vacation too! Make sure you’re taking the time to enjoy yourself while you’re away. Have fun, and good luck!
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By R. Kubek