5 Tips for a Great Family Vacation

Family vacations, whether they’re spent at a campground, a hotel, in the mountains or on a beach, are a great way to spend quality time away from home relaxing with your loved ones. If you’ll be spending your much-needed vacation with your immediate family or even with extended family for a larger, intergenerational event, having a creative, organized plan will make your trip a memorable success.

Use the following five helpful tips to have a vacation that the whole family will talk about for years to come.

Make a List, Check it Thrice
While over packing can have its own host of problems, not packing enough or forgetting some of the essentials can be much worse. Consider making a list and following it closely to be your best defense against forgetting something important. With all the hustle and bustle that often comes along with preparing for a vacation, without that list it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll forget something.

You can certainly have more than one list to make things even easier, one for items to pack, one for things to buy, and one for the actual vacation complete with itineraries and things that are an absolute must to remember like medications.

Stay Close to Your Regular Schedule
Children, especially younger ones, can be greatly affected by changes in their routine. Whether it’s their sleeping schedules or eating habits, they’ll feel more secure, and also be more likely to behave, if the regularity of home still applies on the road. If possible, try to keep bedtime relatively close to the normal time for youngsters, within reason, of course, after all it is vacation!

Creatively Capture Memories
While nearly everyone brings a camera along on their vacation (check your list), there are several other ways of capturing your special memories. The prices of camcorders have dropped greatly as of late as technology continues to reinvent itself, but if they’re not an option, consider renting one or borrowing from a friend.

It’s also fun to give the kids their own disposable cameras so they can capture favorite parts of their vacation. Voice activated tape recorders make great gadgets to take along on a family vacation to record candid moments that can be saved for generations to come.

Another keepsake to treasure from your time together would be artwork done by the kids. Give each child their own set of ‘art supplies’ so that they can convey their thoughts or memories of the vacation. They could draw something they saw at the beach, or a certain ride in an amusement park, or a picture of a new friend they met on the trip. Whatever it may be, imagine what fun it will be years later get them out and reminisce about your times together.

Play the Waiting Game
Unfortunately when traveling using just about any mode of transportation, chances are you’ll be doing some waiting and will be delayed at some point for one reason or another. By staying positive and having a sense of humor you’ll realize that getting there really is half the fun!

For each child, or vacationer, prepare a personalized vacation survival kit to pass the time. These can include snacks, books, comic books, coloring books and crayons, hand-held video games, and pens and notebooks as travel journals for the older kids.

Music to Soothe the Savage Beast(s)
The chances that everyone in the family enjoys the same music are usually very slim. If they don’t already have one, consider buying the kids their own portable CD players with headphones. Most kids will be satisfied with a ten dollar set that will serve a great purpose and get a lot of use. In the months prior to your vacation have your children compile a list of their favorite songs or groups to make personalized CDs to go along with their new players.

Adrian Adams