How to Plan a Family Vacation

How to Plan a Family Vacation
Taking into account today's economy, planning a family vacation makes a lot of sense. Consider the interests of the family, how to accommodate special needs and how many days you will be away from home. Set a strict budget and then shop for venues that work. This is a fun project that can take several weeks to work out but the results will be a controlled vacation that pleases everyone.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Your family Computer Chambers of Commerce in target stay areas AAA vacation planning services Travel agencies
  • Your family
  • Computer
  • Chambers of Commerce in target stay areas
  • AAA vacation planning services
  • Travel agencies
Step 1
Bring out your bank book and see what you can set aside for a vacation. Decide how much you can spend per day. This includes gas from place to place, food, hotel or campground accommodations, fees for park or event entrance and 20% on top of that for miscellaneous expenses.
Step 2
With a target spending budget in hand, poll your family members. Ask for their five top ideas for a vacation. While the trip to the Egyptian pyramids may not work this year, a trip to the Luxor in Las Vegas might be affordable. Discuss the results of the poll and come to a consensus.There is a budget for everything from backyard camping and trips around your own town's special sites to cruises.
Step 3
Contact AAA or a travel agency for advice. Go onto the Internet and look for airfare and car rental prices. Check the Internet to see if there are timeshare rentals in your target areas. Camping is acceptable if your family isn't allergic to air mattresses and dirt. You can rent campers. Above all, check many different sources.
Step 4
Narrow down your destination spot and make sure that there are lots of options for every member of your family. Small children do well with a swingset in a park for a short diversion, but may not be able to handle a full day at Disneyland. Try to plan rest periods between outings so that the group stays healthy, hydrated and comfortable.
Step 5
Pack in color schemes that mix and match. Red, white and blue can be worn over and over without boredom. Each kid gets a different scheme. Everyone gets a hat, two bathing suits, two pairs of comfortable walking shoes and a light jacket just in case. Toss in a collapsible umbrella. Don't forget sunscreen, bee sting kit, and a small first-aid kit. Leave room in everyone's suitcase for souvenirs.
Step 6
Generate excitement by having your kids do a vacation hunt. Have them write to the Chambers of Commerce in your destination spot and go online to discover hidden treasures and interesting sites. Go to the library and take out books that will educate them to more than just the local amusement parks.
Step 7
Make a daily itinerary and give it to each family member. Leave some unassigned time to kick back or just hang out in the motel swimming pool. Plan meals out and meals in -- supermarkets sell the same bread and lunch meat that the market at home, but for much less than a drive-through meal. Makepicnics in the park next to the slides and swings a vacation treat.

Tips & Warnings

Take pictures, collect sea shells, laugh a lot and cherish every single moment.
Make sure everyone drinks lots of water and uses sunglasses and a hat. If someone has a meltdown, declare a trip to the local library for some storytime.

Article Written By Pat Olsen

Pat Olsen has over 35 years of experience as a professional journalist in California. She attended San Francisco State and Pacific College. Olsen has several published books, is a staff writer for Mill Creek Living Magazine, and currently writes for Demand Studio. She is a retired educator who still teaches twice a week.

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