The Best Family Vacation Ideas and Tips
No matter how much you have traveled in past, traveling with a family is a very different experience than couples or solo travel, especially if you travel with young kids. Finding the balance between lots of activities and plenty of rest time is the key to having a smooth family trip with little kids. Here are a few family vacation ideas and tips you need to bear in mind during the trips with your family.
Plan ahead, check availability
Even though there is a thrill that comes with not knowing what’s going to happen next, planning ahead ensures that everything you need is in place before you get there. Make sure that your choice of accommodation has child-friendly facilities – there’s nothing worse than being on holiday with very small children in a place that makes them uncomfortable. Check with the hotel or apartment beforehand to find out whether cots or high chairs are available for you; even if these facilities are listed on the hotel’s website, they may be getting used by someone else so it’s best to check to make sure everything is set out for you and your little ones.
Use your legs
Exploring your holiday location on foot is the best way to see everything. Cars and tour buses will only show you specified, popular destinations but you never know what you can find with a little bit of walking. This is where you’ll discover unique food places and one off stores that can really enhance the experience of your holiday and get you familiar with the place. If long walks aren’t the best option, hiring a bike is also a good way to explore a place and allow you to really get a feel for it.
Credit: David Mcdermott
Find rooms with separate
Speaking of vacation ideas for families related to accommodation, try to find an accommodation which has separate bedroom suites as opposed to having the whole family sleep in one hotel room. Children will generally sleep earlier than their parents and if you are in a room all together, you’ll find yourself having to have a really early night to accommodate your children’s needs. This may be fine after a high energy, activity filled day but if you like to wind down in the evening and fit in your holiday book reads, having an early bedtime will not suit the whole family. Opting for this particular type of accommodation might mean you have to spend a little extra, but it’ll be optimum if you want a harmonious holiday where everyone goes home happy.
Do your research
To ensure you get the most out of your holiday and enjoy the experience to the fullest, researching possible activities will make sure you don’t miss a thing. Having an insight to what excursions and activities are available at your holiday destination will give you the chance to get the best out of it. This doesn’t mean you have to have a rigid plan of what you’re doing on each day and every hour, but a general idea of what is available to you will only be beneficial. You can source this information on the Internet, with a travel leaflet or a good travel agent who will give you some family vacation tips.
Only take the essentials that you will really need as most things can be bought cheaply as you’re on holiday. Save suitcase space by tightly rolling your clothes up and putting your underwear and socks in your shoes. Pack what you will need first last, so that it will be on top of your luggage and easily reachable as soon as your vacation begins. It will also minimize mess created in your hotel room as you won’t have to unpack the whole suitcase looking for your swim costume or pajamas.
For kids, allow them to choose and pack their choice of clothes thus teaching them traveling skills and reducing the chance of holiday tantrums.
Get the children involved
Your children will have a different idea of what makes their perfect holiday location. Whilst you may be dreaming of luxurious relaxing beach locations, your kids may be more into fun-filled resorts. Here are a few family vacation ideas in this matter. Allow your children to have a say in deciding where you go. Let them plan with you and make sure that wherever you go will be realistic for everyone to enjoy. Don’t try to preplan too many activities as having some free time to roam and discover your temporary location is all part of the enjoyment of being on holiday and will be more satisfying for all.
Stock up on snacks before the airport
The shops which tend to be at airport locations are usually high-quality confectionery shops and pricey cafes so purchasing snacks before you reach the airport will save you some money. After all, these are cheap goods so you don’t want to be paying a high price for them.
Keep an eye on your pennies
Using all your money before the holiday ends is an easy thing to you. You get drawn in by tourist attractions, excursions and sampling local cuisine at restaurants and before you know it, all the money you converted is finished. Try to look out for discounts and special deals that may be available and if you’re celebrating a birthday or any other event, let someone know to increase your chance of gaining some kind of deal.
To make sure that each member of the family is pleased with the vacation, you need to pick out a suitable location. If you have no family vacation ideas, the following family vacation destinations offer reasonable rates and plenty of activities for the whole family.
Honolulu – Oahu
Honolulu offers a number of child-friendly beaches as well as various activities like swimming with dolphins, snorkeling, and amazing 25-acre Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park. The hotels are mostly located along the shore, so there is no need for a vehicle or public transportation during your stay. Oahu is one of the most popular Hawaiian islands, which blends breathtaking scenery and cosmopolitan. Nearby you will find a lot of historical and cultural sites, including ornate ‘Iolani Palace and austere Arizona Memorial.
Measuring about 277 miles in length, from 5 to 15 miles in width, and up to 6,000 feet in depth, this awesome gorge in northern Arizona is considered to be one of the best travel destinations in the United States. You will find lots to see and do here, including rafting, kayaking, hiking, and even riding through the famous Grand Canyon Railway. That’s why you need to include Grand Canyon into family vacation ideas.
Credit: Paul Funderburg
With pristine lakes and dramatic mountain peaks, Yellowstone National Park is a paradise for all enthusiasts. Green forests weave by wide meadows, colorful pools whirl around the hot mountain springs, and explosive geysers launch the steaming streams high in the air. Your kids will get amazed watching Old Faithful erupt. While you travel across the park’s 3,468 square miles of canyons, mountains, waterfalls and geysers, be prepared to encounter buffalos, elks, and other animals. Each year, Yellowstone attracts more than 3 million visitors from all over the world.
Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida
If you are planning to travel with the small kids, make sure to visit Orlando-Walt Disney World. This place is well known for its thrill rides, timeless appeal, and breathtaking performances. It is specifically engineered for families, offering numerous theme parks that excite the little ones. Among others, it boasts of Butterbeer in Hogsmeade (placed inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter), Epcot Center’s Spaceship Earth, and soaring heights of Shamu’s flips at SeaWorld. Aside from visiting theme parks in the Walt Disney World, there are other attractive landscapes to explore in downtown Orlando.
Credit: Chris Harrison
Along the 70 miles of magnificent sandy coast, San Diego has to offer a lot of fun for the families throughout the year and it is considered to be one of the best family vacation destinations in California, United States. When your children get bored with the waves, take them to the SeaWorld or San Diego Zoo (the country’s favorite zoo) to hold their interest. While staying in San Diego, you also need to visit the museums of Balboa Park, try the mouthwatering cuisine, and experience a thriving city nightlife.
Featured image credit: Rodreick Eime