Planning a family vacation can be a real drag, especially if you have small kids. This is a situation where the old “Failing to plan is planning to fail” can be applied best. The whole trip needs to be planned out to perfection – but you also have to be ready for unexpected events and accidents.
Planning a route
Whether you are going on a short trip to visit a family member for the weekend, or a two-week vacation to multiple destinations, you have to carefully plan out every step of the way. Open your map and find the best possible rout. Keep in mind things like border stops, traffic jams and curvy roads if your kids get carsick easily. If you are traveling by airplane, make sure you know exactly how you are going to get to and from the airport, and be prepared to take full responsibility for your children’s behavior. Try to keep them entertained with games and cartoons, and if they tend to be loud, be prepared to apologize and give out ear plugs.
If you manage to pack everything right, you are set to take on the world. But, if halfway through your trip you notice that you forgot to bring someone’s inhaler, a favorite toy or not enough warm clothes, you might have more than a few problems. If you didn’t have enough time to triple check if you packed everything your family might need, you should bring some extra money so that you can buy whatever you might have forgotten to bring.
When packing, you should make a special list for each person, and if they are old enough, have them look at it and tell you if there is something missing. Check the weather forecast and bring all the clothes you might need. Also, pack a couple of just-in-case pieces – bringing a sweater on a summer vacation is not crazy at all!
If you are bringing electronics, make sure you have all the chargers and enough memory on your memory cards, so you can save and cherish all of your family moments. Check the dates on all of your passports well in advance and fix any potential problems with paperwork. Also, notify the school if your kids are going to miss out on some classes.
When packing food, make sure you bring enough of it. Don’t make your meals with any ingredients that can go bad when not stored in the fridge, and don’t bring any food that you or your kids don’t like eating – that will just make you stop and get some junk food, anyway.
As far as accommodation goes, your options depend solely on your budget. If you are staying with friends or family, make sure you are not staying there for too long. If you are staying in a hotel, make sure that your kids are not alone in their room, and that the hotel is family-friendly. If you can afford it, your best option might just be renting out an entire apartment for your family. That way you don’t have to worry about your kids making a mess and you can organize your space the way it suits you best.
If you are traveling by car, make sure you take it to a mechanic to check if everything is working properly, because there’s nothing worse than having your car break down in the middle of the road while in a foreign place. Also make sure you have a good GPS system. Strathfield Car Radio GPS Navigation has you covered for all your locating needs, or if you don’t have the time or money to get a GPS system, at least print out enough maps to keep you on track.
Once you are all packed and ready, make sure you take a few moments to collect your thoughts. Get in a mental state where you are ready to take on the challenge of a family vacation and accept that not everything will go exactly according to plan, but that is what makes it so unforgettable.