Vacation and Spring Break planning is well underway for some households. However, if you’re among the many Americans who have yet to plan your getaway, you’re not alone.
While a select few may pride themselves on their itinerary-making abilities, the vast majority of us cringe at the thought of planning a vacation. Of course, this is understandable, especially with children involved. Not only must you consider how to get your children to your destination physically, but what about once you get there?
Yes, planning a family vacation can make you need an entirely separate vacation, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Follow a few simple steps to ensure this spring break is your most relaxing yet.
Determine Your Budget
Creating a realistic budget is the first and most important step towards planning an enjoyable vacation. It’s never a good idea to spend so much money getting to your destination that you can’t enjoy it once you’re there.
Travelers should always leave room in the budget for unexpected expenses like a flat tire or an impromptu night out on the town. Ensuring that you don’t spend your entire budget on travel and accommodation alone can afford you some flexibility for fun-filled leisure activities. Of course, budgeting can be challenging and some expenses just can’t be predicted, so it’s important to be realistic. The first step towards taking your dream vacation is to stop and ask yourself; “How much money can I afford to spend?
Select a Location
Once a realistic budget is set, look at some of the most popular destinations and a few alternatives. Consider what your family likes to do; are you outdoorsy and like to hike? Do the kids love swimming? Are you and your spouse into spa days and complimentary childcare? Think about the ages of your children. Teenagers and elementary school-aged kids are at completely different stages of life. Make sure to account for everyone.
Plan The Logistics
When will you leave? How will you get there? Where will you stay? These are all questions that should be answered during the logistics phase of planning. While it can be tempting to book the most convenient flights and accommodation, a little bit of research can make sure you get the most for your money. Utilize one of the easy to use comparison websites to ensure that you get the best deal on your flights and accommodation. An important thing to remember is that the comparison websites often take a percentage of the booking as a fee. So, it’s always a good idea to call the hotel and ask if they can price match or offer you a better deal, if you book directly with them.
Do Your Research
In order to make everyone in your family happy you may want to do a bit of research regarding activities in the area. A simple Google search will get you far. Determine whether or not there’s a Starbucks nearby for your teenage daughter, or a waterpark for your seven-year-old son. Although we may fantasize about a perfect vacation where everyone is simply happy to be there, the reality is far from perfect. Making sure that everyone in the family has something they’ll enjoy doing before you go – and offers a bit of creature comfort – will go a long way towards creating a relaxing vacation once you get there.
Pack With A Check List
Once everything is booked, there is only one thing left to do, pack! But, before you grab your suitcases out of the garage sit down and make a list of everything you’ll need or try something like TripList to make it easy and accessible from anywhere. Most importantly, include any medications or items that you won’t be able to buy once you’ve left. A pre-made packing list takes the guess work out of packing and reduces stress levels, especially if you pack a few days early rather than the night before.
Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy
Once all the prep work is done and you’re on the plane or in the car, sit back, relax, and enjoy. Too often we focus on our rush to get to our destination and are unable enjoy the ride there. Take a deep breath, count your children, and relax, you’re officially on vacation!
Kali Muir is an ambitious freelance writer with a BA in Communications. She was born in Canada but has since lived in Norway, Denmark, and England. Her work experience is as diverse as her past addresses, including roles in technical communication, corporate communication, marketing, and article writing. She has experience working in varied business sectors: Oil & Gas, Engineering & Technology, Clothing & Equipment Retail, and Creative Writing. Follow Kali’s professional and personal journey at www.kalimuir.com, or connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.