Step 1: Decide which airline to fly.
Step 2: If you are traveling with children make sure your vacation is "kid friendly."
Step 3: Most vacation destinations fill up early. Make hotel, car rental and activity reservations as soon as you know what your vacation schedule is.
Step 4: Have a family counsel before the trip and together plan activities that will be fun for everyone. Use a guide with local activities listed. Alternatively give every family member a "day" that is essential to their needs.
Step 5: A well planned trip is essential for a fun trip for everyone. Knowing in advance where you will be and what other sights and activities are close by will keep your schedule fluid and flexible to change.
Step 6: Keep a slot open to do something relaxing without the kids, whether it is soaking in the hot tub, taking a hike, going out for dinner, or taking a walk along the beach.
- Bring along a kit with heavy paper, scissors, and stickers. At the end of each day have the kids make themselves a page with memories collected from that day to put into a scrapbook at the end of the trip.
- If you find that the kids are getting restless don't hesitate to stop early and save whatever activity you missed for another time. Sometimes just getting to the hotel room and maybe taking a dip in the pool is all that is needed to get everyone in the mood for continued site-seeing the next day.
- When brainstorming and planning activities, each family member has to be honest in their opinions but also open-minded to the opinions of the rest of the group.
- If you are traveling with two or more families with children, you can "tag team" some activities so someone is not stuck with all of the children under age five. Usually, half of each couple stayed behind to help in the babysitting effort while the other half went off. Other times you can split the groups up differently so couples could go together.
- If you are staying in an accommodation with a kitchen, you can plan alternate eating meals out and in. After four or five days often people become tired of eating out all the time. Pre-planning when to eat out and what meals to prepare when eating in (and who will prepare them) will help you figure out before the trip which meals you can prepare quickly and what everyone wants to eat.
- If you are flying, it's important to know before you leave the total number of pieces of luggage you have. That includes check through, carry-on and unique sized (like car seats or strollers). You should also know the breakdown of numbers for pieces checking through, carry-on and extras like car seats. Luggage check-in can be crazy. Knowing how many and which pieces ahead of time keeps the chaos to a minimum.