Family vacation is one of those terms that can cause excitement or strike fear in equal measure. On the one hand, it gives you a chance to kill two flies with one stroke: enjoy the bonding time with your family and see new and exciting locales. However, if not planned to a T, a vacation can turn into an endless nightmare sooner than you can hear “Are we there yet?”. If you want to avoid such a plight, here are 5 ways to plan the perfect family vacation.

Pick the right destination

Most traveling destinations have some aspects that are family friendly. Activities geared towards children are especially numerous in beachside locales and in larger national parks, not to mention the cruise liners which are essentially playgrounds on water. Even historical cities tend to have appropriate hotels and hotspots for children. Therefore, when you are picking the right destination for you and your family, it’s hard to get into a tough spot. The most important thing is to ask everyone for their opinion – as long as everybody’s on board with the destination, you are increasing your chances of organizing an amazing vacation.

Don’t be afraid to rent

Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll probably have an opportunity to rent out a smaller vehicle you can use to drive around. Such vehicles are usually a matter of convenience – for example, if you’ve arrived at your hotel in a minivan, and you are situated just outside a town that has very narrow streets, rentals like mini-hybrid cars, mopeds and smaller terrain vehicles are usually there to offer more manageable ways to reach landmarks and hotspots. Therefore, always check what sort of “topography” you are getting into before you embark on your trip. Since rental might be the only reasonable option once you arrive, you should put aside some money for them. The same goes for other types of rentals – like beach chairs, booths, parasols, etc. Remember, in order to have a perfectly comfortable vacation with your family, you have to take rentals into consideration and plan them ahead.

Cruises are an excellent solution

child on a cruise deck

If you are having a hard time picking the right location and concocting a fun experience, you can always rely on maritime adventure. Cruise lines are a popular choice because they are built to be hedonistic cities on water which offer countless features which are geared towards wholesome family fun. All you’ve got to do is book, show up and drop the proverbial mic. You can let go of all the daily minutiae that turn vacations into hell – like cooking, cleaning, pre-packing and unpacking – and giddily enjoy indulgent afternoons with your family in the deck pool. The best part of cruises also lies in the fact that you will not waste energy on driving around the country – you are practically being carried to the most interesting ports and destinations imaginable. It hardly gets better than that.

Create opportunity for some alone time

One of the most important aspects of your family vacation is separation time between you and your kids. You have to plan ahead for such opportunities so they could blend seamlessly with the rest of your adventure. For example, a nice dinner in the restaurant by the lakeside or seaside gives you an excellent opportunity to have some alone time with your loved one. After the meal is done, you just have to send your kids to play at the beach as the sun sets. The impeccable timing will leave you and your better half in romantic circumstances, and your kids will have their fun at the beach just within your view.

Activities are everything

father and son on a beach
However, apart from these few moments of one-on-one comfort, you should be prepared for a constant barrage of adrenaline-fueled activities and situations with your kids. It’s important to plan some extra games and activities ahead so you wouldn’t leave them with enough breathing space to get bored. Children who get to have some time alone with their thoughts are usually a recipe for inconvenience. Now, this doesn’t mean you should hog your children throughout the vacation – as a matter of fact, it is good if they have some solo time, but always at least try to be involved in the organization of the activity they are about to tackle by themselves. However, if your kids are older teenagers, it’s a whole different game of survival.

Family vacations are a rite of passage that every family needs to go through. It puts you all together in the realm of the unknown, somewhere you can all get out of your comfort zones and bond over a variety of activities – some planned, some not all that much. Because of this, vacations are treasured experiences for every member of your family, as long as you get out of it in good health and mood.

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