Family vacations

Family vacations and how to avoid the headaches

by Catherine Banes

Planning family vacations can be one big headache, especially with large families. Finding the perfect holiday spot that is great for not just your yourself as a parent but for the smallest child in your home can be a chore.

In general, the first headache is getting a great place, however, apart from the financial strain taking a family on a vacation brings, the ultimate hope that the vacation goes according to plan is the biggest stress of the experience. Many families avoid taking vacations mainly to avoid the problems that could possibly arise from travelling with a large group of kids. Anything could go wrong. A child might have to be taken to hospital or the reservations might just not be available.

However, with enough practice and creativity, any parent can turn a vacation freak show into a pretty enjoyable holiday away from home.

Family holiday planning ideas

Of course, the best thing to do is to put structures in place to make sure that nothing can possibly go wrong during a vacation. Prior planning is of the utmost importance, including checking and double checking all reservations and making sure they are child-friendly and fun. Checking for safety is also paramount when dealing with vacations with children. The best family vacation is usually one that is uneventful and when things go according to plan. Here are some ideas you might want to make use of…

Plan ahead and get the children involved

If you are wondering where to take the kids on vacation, and you want a place place you are sure the kids will love, you might want to try getting their opinions first. While having children make such decisions can take long, you can assured that they will pick a place they are most interested in. Early planning gives them enough time to scan through all the possibilities before choosing the places they want to go to. As a parent, you could go through their options and pick the one most suitable for the entire family.

Buy tickets and make reservations ahead of time

To avoid costs, for trips taken during the holiday season, you might want to buy tickets, especially if the trip involves flying, ahead of time. Best way to relieve the stress of planning a last minute trip. Buying tickets well ahead of time drastically reduces the cost and gives you the opportunity to save more.

Pack ahead of time and get to the venue on time

To avoid those last minute stresses, pack a week or two to the vacation date instead of the night before. Making a list of all the things the children might need is essential in planning a family vacation, especially if you have small children. When such lists are made well ahead of time, packing becomes easy you can be less stressed and better prepared to handle all the possible mishaps of the vacation.

How to survive a family holiday disaster

Always have backup

From backup hotels to back up food. Always carry an extra. Things could go horribly wrong and you do not want to be stranded with a large group of children during such a period. In case you get to the venue and the place does not look like it did online, your back up might actually work and the vacation will be saved. Some people have had issues with their reservations and so having a backup house can suffice so that no one gets tired on the first night of your arrival.

Get a doctor on call.

The worst thing that could happen in a vacation is a sick child. As parents, getting the nearest hospital and a doctor or call can save you some of the worst experiences like walking around for hours with an ill child. Getting a doctor on call means you could easily have your children checked if anything does go wrong. It is always good to inform your family doctor before you make trips that could trigger any ill health states in young children. Having them on call will definitely make a vacation with an ill child better.

Prepare for all kinds of weather

You might have planned an outdoor summer vacation, but the weather does not always listen to your plans. Pack up a good stash of board games to prepare you for whatever bad weather that might come. This way, the family will get to spend time together indoors and still have a great time together even though the weather tries to ruin the vacation. Preparation goes with clothing as well. Apart from packing for the weather, it’s best to pack for the climate as well. Carry a jacket or two for those summer trips in places that are known for a good amount of rain. Don’t forget your umbrellas and a few rain boots!

Get a first aid kit

First aid kits are very important because children get hurt all the time. Be sure to add a sweet or two to treat any hypoglycemic spells you might encounter.

Just wing it

There are many things you cannot see ahead of time, like a broken down vehicle. Try to be in the best of spirits if such things do happen. Get all the necessary information you can get beforehand, but if you do find yourself in a fix, just wing it. Most spontaneous decisions have proved to indeed be interesting vacations for both parents and children.

If you want to have a good vacation, you might want to try any of these tips to survive whatever could go wrong in a family vacation. The best family vacations are the ones where the family is together, regardless of the weather, and having a great time.

AUTHOR BIO: Catherine Banes is a blogger, writer and entrepreneur at When she is not writing or blogging, she is traveling all over the world and sharing her experience with readers.