8 Witty Tips for a Fun Family Vacation
If you want to have a fun, peaceful family vacation you’ll need to do some planning. Whether you are traveling together for the first or the hundredth time, these eight witty family vacation tips will help you relax and keep things under control at the same time.
Traveling and camping with your family is a precious experience, yet completely different than the vacations you’ve spent traveling alone or with a group of friends. Don’t get me wrong; it can be just as fun. However, it does include numerous additional responsibilities you don’t have to worry about when you are traveling without kids. Your vacation planning begins before you even leave the house.
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Family vacation tips to help you organize your trip:
1. You’ll need a lot of space
Traveling with family, especially with young children, means packing much more stuff than you would usually pack for an adult or a teenager. Let’s say you and your partner have two kids and a dog. Regular, four-person tent won’t do the trick.
You’ll need enough storage space for all of your bags and equipment. At the same time, kids will need some room to play, run around, trip, fall, get up, jump and be silly. Yes, they can do all of that outside the tent, but what if it rains. You cannot control the weather which means you’ll have to think at least one step ahead.
Before you head out to the woods, or wherever you plan to go, buy a spacious, high-quality cabin tent and learn how to put it up and tear it down. You may even want to consider buying more than one tent. If you have older and younger kids, you can put the adults in one tent and the kids in another. This way, the younger kids still have supervision with their older siblings and you won't have to worry about having enough space in just one tent! This will give you enough room for fun activities, plenty storage space, and even more comfort.
2. Don’t forget a portable potty
Whether you’ve decided to go camping or booked a room in a fancy hotel, unfamiliar bathrooms can still seem intimidating to your child. This may seem like an odd vacation tip, but toddlers who are in the middle of their potty training can dislike such change in their routine. So, if you can, pack a portable potty seat and don’t stress too much about potential setbacks. Portable potties can come in handy during your ride or flight, too. To make sure you're kids are comfortable with the portable seat, have them use it a few times at home first before taking it on the road!
On the other hand, if your children are old enough to use the toilet on their own, you should still take their needs into account. Always pack extra toilet paper or soft tissues, wet wipes and extra pants or undergarments' in case of an accident or emergency. Pay extra attention to hygiene and make frequent stops, so they use the restroom whenever nature calls.
3. Pick toys wisely
Whenever I traveled with my nieces, they wanted to bring their favorite toys. Usually, some Barbie dolls with their clothes, bags, makeup tools and so on. After one or two camping trips and hours of crying over lost Barbie’s purses, this is what I learned – leave toys with little pieces at home!
Toys and equipment to play sports and active games like a football, soccer, jump rope and hula hooping are great to take on a trip and keep your kids entertained.
Additionally, you can bring toys that are practical in the woods or on the beach. Any toy that is big enough, so it doesn’t get lost in the backseat of your car will be good enough. However, toys that will motivate your children to play in nature, like the tools for making a sand castle, for example, are perfect. We recommend this easy to clean Children's Storage Bag that's perfect for all trips.
4. Don’t hesitate to bring bags
Family vacation tip number 4 is a silly one: We all know plastic bags are not great for the environment. However, when you are traveling with your family, they can come in handy. First, if your child gets sick, plastic bags will save your life while on the road. On the other hand, if the rain catches you unprepared, gallon-size bags can serve a dozen purposes and protect your stuff from getting soaked.
If you aren't a fan of plastic bags, there are a variety of waterproofed cloth bags, recycled paper bags and silicone bags. Small silicone bags are perfect for snacks you bring on the road or any small pieces of items that get broken.
Now that you’ve packed everything you need, arrived at your destination, and took care of every detail that could endanger your peace of mind, it’s all about organization and keeping things fun.
You've Arrived at Your Destination – now what?
You have arrived at your destination, and you're ready to get in the chill and relax mode. To make the most of your time, these four family vacation tips will help you.
1. Pay Attention Sleep Schedules And Activity Levels
I often go camping with my family, which is multi-generational. We include my sister & her family, as well as our parents. We have grandparents, siblings and children – usually 5 to 6 adults and 2 kids. If I’m being honest with you, nothing can affect the general mood of the group like a whiny child and a grumpy teenager.
After a few days on our first camping trip together, we realized that kids get cranky when they are tired.
So, premature exhaustion in children is your number one enemy. What I’ve learned after some research is that young kids prefer mornings packed with fun activities and nap time after lunch, while teens seem to come to life in the afternoon or early evening hours.
Therefore, family vacation tip number 1 is: Plan your time accordingly. Pair early bird adults with the young children and slow starting adults with teens in the afternoon and evenings. Dinner time can be a moment when everyone is together and tells stories about their day. This way everyone can spend time with each other and gets to relax on a schedule that suits them!
2. Allow For Spontaneity In Your Vacation
Even though my advice so far might sound like I’m encouraging you to plan out every second of your vacation, that is not the case. Relax, you are here to calm your thoughts and enjoy quality time with your loved ones. Don’t over schedule. Leave room for spontaneity and listen to your children’s wishes. Unplanned moments often provide the best memories.
3. Linger over meals
During your everyday life, how often do you have a chance to sit down with all of your family members and enjoy your meal without any rush? Rarely, I believe. Use this time to talk with them and just enjoy their company. Reflect on your trip and life at home as well. Try to remember the dearest memories you had together and create some new ones. There is a reason food and meals are the social gathering times of the world. This is the perfect time and place to reconnect with one another. This is possibly the most important family vacation tip I can give you.
4. Wake your inner child up
Be playful. Not only do your children get to have fun on this trip, but you do too. Engage in various activities with them and don’t turn everything into a teaching opportunity. Fun for the sake of fun is just as useful for bonding. Consider these games and activities for you and your family.
- Our Moments Kids (100 Thought Provoking Questions)
- Magnetic Board Game Set (12 games in 1)
- Portable Bean Bag Toss
I hope these family vacation tips will help you plan a fantastic family vacation. However, this is just a summary of the things you should have in mind. No matter where you go, Booking Buddy is a great resource to check competitive rates!
Thorough planning can be helpful, but enjoying time with your family is far more critical. Don’t get lost in packing, scheduling, and worrying, just stay present and have a few days of pure relaxation, love, and fun, using the family vacation tips.
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Thanks to Melanie Campbell of Ardent Footsteps for sharing this article. Melanie is an outdoor and camping enthusiast behind Ardent Footsteps, enjoying this wonderful world since 2010. She shares expert advice when it comes to camping and outdoor trekking. With the main focus on making the most out of camping and outdoor adventures, Melanie will make you want to go out today!
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