Let the kids have their say
Remember it’s a family vacation. That includes often the pickiest ones – your children! You must make sure that they have enough activities lined up to keep them engaged. You cannot ignore their whims and fancies. Everybody wants to have a good time. Especially the kids since they can ruin it for everyone else if they don’t.
Most times, as parents – you need these family vacations as much as the kids. Sometimes you only plan for yourself. You forget that your children might have varied interests.
What you need to do is plan activities based on your kids’ suggestions too. Maybe you want to visit the local museum or check out the art galleries. Perhaps, to unravel the food & drink mysteries of the place. But ask yourself a few questions. Just how much time will all this take? And if your kids will be patient enough to wait till you are done being an adult.
Packing: Under and over
Packing and repacking luggage can be the most stressful part of travel. It is tough enough packing solo. Imagine overseeing it for the entire family! The key is to not panic and start thinking about it on a need-basis. For instance, when packing your kids’ clothes, make sure you only include their favourites.
This way you will make sure the space it would take won’t go to waste. Airlines charge you the kitchen sink even when you are a little over the baggage limit. Hence it is a huge money saver to be diligent about packing. As strong as the urge may be to include extra stuff as part of your “just in case” rationale, you just have to resist it. Be strong!
Playing the budget blues
You know what’s more difficult than packing for a family vacation? Preparing a suitable budget for one! But how does one go about doing that? Well you neither overspend nor under-spend. Yes, it’s easier said than done.
But for starters, never forget to include the nickel and dime expenses. The ATM extra fees, hotel service charges, taxi rental fees and the likes, they can hurt your wallet more than you expect. Make sure you have calculated roughly the sum total of such innocuous expenditure. On the flip side, don’t go for a family vacation with your wallets and purses loaded to the max. You will invariably spend whatever you have already planned for. Even if it means a busload of unnecessary expenses that you can do without.
Search for the hallowed middle-ground. Come back richer in experiences and none the poorer in your bank account.
Memories can get cramps too
When you are vacationing with family members, it’s not about how much you get to see or do. It’s the way you experience whatever you do. Many book their flights / accommodation based on the volume of sightseeing activities in store. They end up with a jam-packed schedule without any time to stop and smell the roses. And then they run hell for leather when even the minor of matters goes wrong.
Here’s what you can do – never cram in as much as you can in your travel itinerary. There can be unforeseen happenings. Missed flights, medical situations and weather woes are a few. These can put a serious dent into your plans. So it is important to leave room for the unexpected. Plan your vacations in such a way that you have the time, energy and space to enjoy every new experience to the fullest.