How Should I Plan a Family Vacation?

Planning the perfect family vacation takes a little bit of work, but with the right approach it can be fun rather than stressful. The key to success is to think about your family’s own style. While no family is always in agreement about the best type of vacation to take, you should give some thought as to the general approach you like to take.

For example, do you have an adventurous family that likes to explore, go on long day hikes  or overnight adventure trips? Or is your family the kind that likes to park it by the pool and soak up the sun while sipping on some cool drinks? Being honest about what your family prefers will go a long way towards the most important choice you’ll make: which are the best family vacation destinations for you.

Keep in mind that not everyone in the family may want to stick with the same program. This is especially true if you have teenagers or older kids who will want to go it alone at times. Picking a vacation destination for the family that provides several different activities and options will go a long way towards keeping everyone in your family relaxed, happy and enjoying themselves. If you’re traveling with young kids, you might want to select a hotel that offers babysitting, day care or similar options so that Mom and Dad can get away for a few hours. After all, sometimes you need a short vacation from your family.

After you’ve determined the general kind of destination you want, it’s time to start doing some research. A great place to start is any one of the many travel sites. At this stage, you’re not looking to lock in prices–you’re simply looking for ideas.

Check out the package deals that many travel sites offer to get a good sense of what you can expect in a particular price range. Some of the packages will also give you great ideas for activities to do while you and your entire family are on the vacation.

Don’t limit your research to just the travel sites, however. Once you’ve picked a general location, it’s time to look around for feedback from real travelers. A great place to start is YouTube, where searching for videos on your intended destination is a great way to get an honest sense of what it’s like–go beyond the polished photos you’ll find on the travel sites and find out the real deal. Now is also a great time to reach out to friends and co-workers to see if they have experiences visiting the places you’re considering.