Traveling as a family for the first time is an exciting endeavor that will be sure to create lasting memories. However, without proper planning, your relaxing vacation could turn chaotic quickly. Here are just a few of the steps you can take beforehand to ensure your first family vacation is a success!
1. Plan your finances accordingly
A family vacation can be a lot more costly compared to a vacation with your spouse, so you’ll want to be sure you’ve allocated enough money to cover the costs for your entire family. Start out by writing all of the costs necessary to make your trip possible, such as airfare and hotel accommodations. This will help you determine exactly how much you will need to set aside for the trip.
If you’re finding that you are still going through more money than expected during your trip, implement a backup plan that can cover your expenses and make sure you’re only spending money on purchases you’ll need. To ensure you’re staying on track with how you’re using your vacation funds, utilize your smartphone to download resources that can help you manage family costs while on the go. There are online financial service options that can help you receive balance notifications in real-time, and avoid those secret costs that add up through using a debit card. This will allow you to stay organized during the duration of your travels and remain confident that you’ll have enough money coming in to fully cover the cost of your trip.
2. Try to avoid overpacking
Packing ahead of time and only bringing just what you need (especially with kids) will be essential. To make organizing your suitcases easy, utilize packing cubes or compression bags to create more space in your bags. This will allow you to separate certain items and keep you from overfilling your luggage. You may also want to check your checked baggage guidelines with your airline in order to make sure you’re adhering to their weight and luggage size restrictions.
When helping your children pack, it’ll be important to encourage your child to only bring one or two toys with them and help them find outfits they’ll be comfortable wearing during the trip. This will help them feel more involved in the process and more self-sufficient for future vacations!
3. Pick the right destination
Picking the perfect family-friendly destination for your first family vacation is no easy task, but it’s important your kids are having fun and making positive memories to look back on! Ask your children where they would like to travel and give them a few viable and affordable options to choose from. If you’re unsure of where to start, check out these family-friendly destinations. From there, you can narrow your list based on budget and preferences before asking your children which place they’d rather visit. Doing this will get the entire family involved and help make the vacation one they won’t forget.
4. Get travel insurance
Travel insurance is something you’ll hopefully not have to use, but be glad you had handy if you do. Make sure to check your airline and hotel policy before buying their travel insurance, as some policies may not cover your cost for travel bans or restrictions due to COVID-19. However, it can save you thousands of dollars in the long-run if there’s an unexpected medical emergency on your trip! Purchasing travel insurance is sure to take some weight off your shoulders and have you feeling protected and prepared for the unexpected.
5. Find family discounts wherever you can
While traveling with kids can be expensive, there are a lot of discounts available to you that can help ease the potential financial burdens of your vacation. From restaurant discounts to budget-friendly resorts for families, there are many options available to help ease your mind and wallet too! Looking up the best restaurants and accommodation options for you and your family will be sure to facilitate a joyous and successful vacation.
6. Be flexible with your itinerary
Lastly, it’s important to remember to remain flexible with your vacation plans. Having a tight schedule could spell disaster when traveling with young children. That’s why having backup plans for your day can be a lifesaver. Not only will flexibility be useful when there are unexpected delays, but it will also help you and your family have a more relaxed vacation overall without worrying about being ready at a certain time or taking day trips.
Traveling as a family for the first time can be an exciting, but a stressful experience at times. By taking the proper precautions and steps beforehand, you’re ensuring your trip will be as stress-free as possible. Now it’s time to start planning your vacation!