Taking a vacation with the whole family has a unique set of challenges. It can be tough meeting various needs and desires, especially when considering different age groups. Keeping a few handy tips in mind can make things easier and help everyone have more fun. Read on for important advice for making the most of those family getaways.

Choose Your Itinerary Wisely

According to some statistics, most families take their kids’ opinions into account when making vacation plans, and that can be a great way to ensure each family member has fun. When you’re exploring potential destinations, consider looking at areas that offer something each person is interested in doing. Depending on how much time you’re planning for the visit, you can dedicate a day to every family member’s special event or attraction.

For example, Cape Cod is a wonderful destination for families, as the area offers something that appeals to everyone. In addition to hundreds of miles of picturesque coastline, Cape Cod also serves as a destination for whale-watching enthusiasts and oyster fanatics, who frequently flock to the Wellfleet Oysterfest. The experts at Travel and Leisure have put together an exhaustive list of activities and destinations that the Cape Cod area has to offer.

Ensure Some Elbow Room

For most families, your itinerary isn’t the only place where you’re better off looking for a hotel that offers a little extra room. As Family Vacation Critic points out, having some space to spread out can be a relief to family members, as it can give everyone some much-needed privacy. On top of that, if you have access to a kitchen, you can save money by using your room for meals. It’s also important to look for a hotel that gives you access to a washing machine and dryer, as you never know when you might need to do a quick load of laundry on the road.

Getting There Is Half the Fun

Children naturally get excited about vacations, and with that anticipation comes a variety of emotions. As they go through the ups and downs of getting to your destination, providing some entertainment can help pave the way. Whether they’re sitting in an airport or in the back seat of the car, think about setting aside special toys or games to help them pass the time. You can even break things up with some traditional conversation games and travel songs, which will be a fun memory-maker for all of you. Don’t forget electronics as well, as there are apps they can enjoy. Make sure you take breaks so everyone can stretch their legs and eat periodically, and plan some handy snacks to avoid getting “hangry” if mealtimes should get a bit off-schedule.

Pack Your Bags

In addition to thoughtful goodies for fun road trips and flights, Money Crashers explains that it’s in your best interests to put some time, thought, and energy into careful packing. Rather than attempt a last-minute ordeal, start a full week before your trip. Trying to pack your family on the fly can mean overpacking and disorganization, as you attempt to cover all your bases without thinking about what those bases are. Check the long-range forecast for your destination, think about those activities your family decided on, and pack appropriate clothing for each family member. Purchase travel-size toiletries for everyone, and make sure you have enough medications or other special items anyone requires.

Many parents are daunted by the proposition of a family getaway, but with good planning, it can be fun for everyone. Give each family member a say in what you do, make sure schedules and spaces aren’t overloaded, enjoy the process of getting there, and pack carefully. Your vacation will not only be fun, but you’ll also have wonderful memories to treasure.


Written by: Daniel Sherwin