Preparing for a family vacation is the easy part; actually getting on the road or traveling by train or plane is where the fun part can become a bit murky. Family vacations, while they can have their ups and downs, can still be enjoyed by utilizing a couple of pre-vacation tips and ideas to make the road less bumpy.
Ready, set, go! If you are traveling by plane, ensure everyone in your family has passports. With the new rules and regulations for plane travel in place, you can make the experience more palpable by making sure the entire family gets a good night’s sleep before the eventful day. Also, have a good breakfast and prepare to arrive at the airport at least three hours prior to flight time. You can check on line with the airline carrier to determine what can and cannot be taken on board the flight.
Bring some games for the kids to play with, along with coloring books and crayons for the younger children. This will keep them busy while waiting to board the flight. If the kids are flying for the first time, bring some candies or gum which will help alleviate any ear problems due to pressurized cabin. Check to see what amenities the airline has to offer. If they don’t, ask if you can bring along certain games for the kids to enjoy on the flight. Certain electronic games may be prohibited.
If you plan on a family vacation by car, there are several tips which can make the driving experience for the entire family a pleasure. Have the car checked to determine if the tires have enough air (including the spare), the oil and filter need changing, the windshield wipers are working and there is enough windshield wiper fluid, and the air conditioner is also working properly for the trip. Ensure the car seats are appropriate for the smaller children and they are comfortable and secure.
Bring along games for the kids to play with, specifically magnetic or electronic games which will hold their attention. Stop frequently at rest stops and lunch as well. If you are taking the scenic route, there are always places to stop and stretch your legs while the family enjoys the view. Pack some snacks in a cooler and keep it in the back seat. Add water, juices, and fruits as well. A blanket and first aid kit, along with a roadside kit in case of an emergency, is also recommended. These items can be kept in the trunk.
It’s also a good idea to have the trip mapped out, either through AAA or online via MapQuest.
Planning a vacation by train can be a bit more exciting for the kids, and a lot more relaxing for the adults. Trains have plenty of space for the kids to move about, and the sleeping arrangements are quite suitable for families as well. While the high end trains, such as the Orient Express or similar lines offer three meals a day, check to see what your particular line is offering. You may have to bring your own food.
By the way if you plan on an ocean cruise, passports must also be updated. Choose a fun cruise which has activities for kids such as Disney World Cruise or Carnival Cruise Line. This is probably the most relaxing and enjoyable mode of transportation for any family vacation.
Family travel can not only be a fun time, but even if something goes array, you can always look back in laughter at the mishaps and problems which seemed insurmountable then but which are hysterically funny now. Bon Voyage!