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Tips for Planning a Memorable Vacation

family travel & vacation May 15, 2020

How would you like to make your next vacation one that your whole family will remember for a lifetime? With a few simple strategies, you can create a vacation that gives all of you more recreation and less stress. All it takes is some advance planning and a few simple ideas.


Theme Parks


Is there a theme park a short drive away? If so, your whole family can find something they enjoy in one place without spending a great deal of money. Many theme parks provide attractions for smaller children as well as exciting rides for the thrill-seekers in your family.


If you plan ahead, you can make decisions that boost the entertainment value. For example, find out when the park is less crowded and go during those times. Often, theme parks offer lower rates during off-peak times or on weekdays. Rides will have shorter lines, and you can pack more fun into your day.


I have taken my five children to Walt Disney World and Universal in Orlando for years, always planning our stays during the slowest times.  Waiting in line for 2 hours is beyond my comprehension when you can just travel at the right time of year and wait 10 minutes.  I have never waited in line over 20 minutes for anything except Avatar when it first opened.  And that one hour wait was totally worth it.  Planning is the key!



When the weather warms up, a great way to beat the heat is at a water park.  However, some water parks are open all year round in Texas, Florida, and even Xel-ha, our family’s favorite, down in Tulum, Mexico.  Going in an offseason makes a huge difference in the amount of fun your kids will have because there is a lot less stress and you'll have way fewer meltdowns from the little ones, too.  Enjoy the thrilling waterslides, wave pools, and more in a family-friendly environment.  Move at a slower pace during slower times of the year or weekdays during busy seasons.


Take Weather into Account


Weather is an important factor in your plan. If the timing of your vacation is flexible, consider the type of weather that your family enjoys. Plan the timing of your vacation to avoid extremely hot or cold temperatures if possible. If you're planning a camping trip or outdoor adventure, try to find out when the area you're visiting gets the least amount of rain.


Plan a Playlist for the Trip


If your trip includes a long drive, create an MP3 or CD playlist for the drive. Incorporate music that every family member enjoys to keep children from becoming bored. If possible, keep most of the music upbeat to help the driver maintain a high energy level during the long drive.


Find Something for Everyone


When planning a trip, solicit input from the entire family. What activities will the kids enjoy? What does each member of the family like to do? What does your destination offer to satisfy the passions of each family member?


Give each child one full day or block of time to plan activities for everyone.  Little Suzi gets to take us on all her favorites in the morning and chooses breakfast.  Billy takes over at lunch, picking his favorite eats first and then the afternoon activities.  Everyone gets a chance to be in charge so, no one can complain.


When you travel for pleasure, variety is the key to creating lasting memories for everyone. If everyone's interests and feelings are considered, the travel time will go more smoothly because everyone is looking forward to the trip. Plus, you stand a better chance of receiving cooperation from the kids when they know that they'll have fun, too.


Read Online Reviews and Get Tips


If you search online for information about your destination, you'll find reviews from people who have been to the restaurants and attractions nearby. Many times, online reviews provide inside information that can't be found on an attraction's website or brochure.  Listening to Insider podcasts can be a tremendous help, too.


People who submit bad reviews online often point to places of interest that are better. You may get some great ideas for your trip that you wouldn't have otherwise considered.


Vacations are a great time for family bonding. Family trips can be less stressful and much more fulfilling with a little advance planning. If you think carefully about the trip ahead and welcome the input of each family member, you can make memories that all of you will cherish for a lifetime.


Don’t forget to designate a family photographer each day, then share all the photos in a shared account in the Cloud, so everyone can see them.  If you’re going to a theme park, like Universal or Disney, a photocard may seem expensive but one family account for your entire trip can get you hundreds of professional photos with cool extras like Characters and frames with the added bonus of getting everyone in the family inside the picture. 


Make great memories!



Combined authors with Michelle Russell  

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