How to Choose The Best Vacation for Your Family
We are just about back to the best time of year – SUMMER! And summer means vacation of course! But all too often, planning a vacation can elicit stress and trepidation. So much goes into planning; where do you even begin? Well, we’re here to help – just read on below!
Where do you want to go?
As silly as it sounds, asking yourself this question is the best place to start. Think of any places that you’ve been considering, and don’t rule anywhere out just off the bat. Some places may seem unsuitable when traveling with children, but almost any place can be an amazing family vacation. Just recently, a friend was telling me how she really wanted to go to Paris with her husband and four- and six-year-old daughters. In the same breath, she said that it was too long a way to travel with young kids, and she wasn’t sure that they’d appreciate it. She decided to take the plunge, and to her surprise, the girls proved to be great travelers and loved taking in the sights and sounds of a new city. The key is research and planning. My friend did her due diligence in preparation for this trip and figured out what would and would not work for her family. Eiffel Tower – check! A full day at The Louvre – best saved for the future! Point being, any destination can be family-friendly if you’re willing to put in some leg work!
Is it safe?
Of course, safety is paramount to any other consideration on this list. There are tons of great resources that allow travelers to research different locations. Check out the US Bureau of Consular Affairs website, and start Googling family-friendly destinations around the world. The web is chock full of great advice from family travel bloggers as are community groups on different social media sites. You’ll gain valuable firsthand knowledge directly from other parents who have “been there, done that.” And it goes without saying that speaking with friends and family to get travel advice and recommendations is the best resource of all!
What is the length of your stay?
It’s important to consider how much time you have to travel and if it aligns with the amount of time you need for your destination. The travel process alone can eat up valuable time, especially when long car rides or flights are involved. Also, be sure to take into account the fact that travel is more complicated when children are involved. Long journeys and time changes are tiring, especially for the smaller set!
What can you afford?
While we all dream about money being no object, that’s simply not the reality for most people. It is important to look at your budget and see what is actually feasible. Be sure to think through the details, and be specific about costs. It might be helpful to make a list in advance of what you’ll need to pay for, i.e. hotels, airfare, food, luggage fees, rental cars, additional clothing or supplies needed. This is certainly not the most fun part of the vacation planning process, but it is a very important one nonetheless. When you get everything down on paper, you may actually find yourself pleasantly surprised or realize that you may need to save for a bit longer.
Any time you’re on the hunt for a vacation, we hope you’ll come back to this list and find it helpful in the planning process!