How to Have a Great Family Vacation

Family vacations are a fun way to make memories and bond with the ones you love. And though they can sometimes be stressful, planning ahead and having a sense of humor can help you have a stress-free, enjoyable trip. No matter what size your family is, there’s a family vacation to match your budget and lifestyle, whether it’s Disney World, an all-inclusive resort in Hawaii or a hike in a national park in Australia. The key is to create a great experience for everyone and include your kids in the process, so they have the desire to return and continue to build fond memories together as they grow older.

The first step is to decide where you want to go. Once you have an idea, look up things to do in that area and make a list of attractions your family wants to see or do. Next, make sure you have a budget that will cover all your expenses, including food. This is an excellent opportunity to teach your kids about money and how to plan for a big trip. You could help them fill a piggy bank over the year or have them host a garage sale to raise money for their adventure. You could also use it to show them the importance of saving and how to use credit wisely.

Once you know where you are going and what you want to do, start researching and putting together your itinerary. Check websites and local guides for discounted tickets, special days and other deals to keep your costs low. Also, consider staying in a hotel that provides a kitchen or has an accessible stove so you can save money by cooking some meals at home and avoid overspending on restaurant meals.

On your trip, be prepared to change plans if the weather is bad or something goes wrong. Stay flexible and have a backup plan. For example, if the line at the museum is too long, try visiting a nearby attraction that might be less crowded or has something else to offer. Or if the kids don’t enjoy a particular activity, try another one. You may find that your family loves something different than expected, or you’ll end up with new memories that you’ll treasure forever.

If you have grandparents close by, a road trip to visit them is a low-key family vacation option. Not only will your kids be spoiled by their grandparents, but you’ll get some quality time to relax. You could even hire an honorary babysitter so you can have a romantic dinner or spa day without the kids interrupting your time away.

If you don’t have family within driving distance, a plane ride to the Cook Islands is a quick and easy way to get a taste of paradise. This is a tropical destination that is perfect for families with little ones who need to cool off. It’s also a great choice for active families who want to hike and explore the island.