Vacations are a break from your daily monotonous routine and what better way to unwind than with the company of your loved ones? Family vacations are a great time to relax and spend some quality time with your loved ones. These vacations are important and special, especially for the kids as they make a lot of cherished memories which last for a lifetime. Here are some easy tips to remember while planning a vacation with your kids.
When To Go?
This is the first question that needs to be addressed whenever planning a vacation with family because when going solo, the only needs to be taken care of are yours but with kids, their studies, exams, the total number of holidays to apply for and n number of other factors have to be taken into account. Best times to plan vacations are definitely are the seasonal school breaks –spring, summer and winter.
There is no need to worry about missing out on classes and other school activities. You can also go to places during their off-peak season and save some extra money. For example, places in the northern hemisphere are more expensive during summers than in winters, so you can take advantage and plan your perfectly economical trip during this time.
Where To Go?
This is another crucial question that pops up as soon as planning for a vacation starts. More the number of travelers more will be the interests and suggestions for places to go. To address this, keep in mind that continuous long journeys can be very exhaustive and that places with extreme climatic conditions should be avoided when travelling with kids, especially when they are small. Try to accommodate everybody’s interests when deciding where to go.
The developing countries are relatively cheaper than the developed countries. Their economic prosperity has no correlation to their touristic value. Countries like Bhutan, Nepal, and India etc. are known for their natural beauty, rich culture, heritage and other attractions.
Create a Budget
It is easier to lose track of the expenditure incurred on a trip so it is important to have an estimate beforehand about how much you will be spending depending upon the number of days, where you are going to stay etc.
Make Early Arrangements
When travelling with kids, it is prudent to make early arrangements like booking early traveling tickets and hotel rooms to avail great deals, save money and avoid last minute rush. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly while Fridays and Sundays are the most expensive to book flight tickets for.
Where to stay?
Vacation rentals like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO are a great way to get the local feel of the place you are visiting at an economically viable price and also can have the option of self-cooking if your children are not comfortable with eating outside food. Do check for online reviews and testimonials before booking your hotel/stay.
Packing All the Essentials
When travelling with family and kids, planned packing is never enough. You also have to try and prepare for the unplanned. For example visiting a place like Leh-Ladakh in India where the weather is highly unpredictable, carrying warm woollen clothes is a must. Similarly carrying common medicines for headaches, stomach aches, nausea and the common cold is advised.
Also if you are going for a trekking expedition away from the city, then you also need to pack other essentials like mosquito repellents, raincoats, torch, batteries, power bank, dry packaged food, nuts and energy drinks for quick energy refill.
It is best to hire a local travel guide or extract information from local travel agencies about the best places to visit locally. They have accurate information that even famous search engines don’t have. Also when visiting a new land with a different language, try learning a few useful phrases like saying ‘hello’, ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘thank you’, asking directions for the washroom and ‘goodbye’. This will help you get around without any hassle.
Planning Activities with Your Kids
Along with local sightseeing, you can plan a set of activities that will enhance the overall experience of your vacation. These activities can include local bike rides, visiting museums, art galleries and theme/adventure parks. Try the local cuisine with your kids to get them to try something new and know about the diversity in food across regions.
Capture the Trip
Click lots of pictures- not only of the big highlighting moments but also the small fleeting ones. Months and even years after the trip these photographs will bring a smile to you and your family’s face. Buy small souvenirs like fridge magnets, cups, local handicraft etc. which symbolizes the places you go to bring them back with you when you return. Enjoy, relax and be present in the present.
Last but not least, don’t forget that the core of any vacation is to relax and unwind. Try not to cram too much onto your ‘to-do’ list and leave out the relaxing time. Be present in the present with whom you are travelling, your mobile phone, calls, messages and social media can wait and will be for you even once you return.
So make your family the number one priority on your list and be present with them. These small moments together will make all the big differences and will bring you all closer as a family. So open your calendar, pick out the suitable dates and take a beat from the chaos of life and start planning a vacation with your family today.