1. Once you’ve decided on a destination, get everyone in the family involved in the planning
Several weeks before your trip, purchase your kids travel guides for where you’re going, and once everyone has done their research, have a family meeting to discuss what each person might enjoy doing. Having each family member take ownership of some part of the vacation will help keep everyone happy.
2. Consider renting an apartment instead of staying in a hotel
To help ease the costs, consider short-term apartment rentals. They’re often about the same price as a mid-range hotel, but since there's a kitchen, you can save on costs by buying groceries and preparing a couple of your own meals. Another bonus: There's no rush to get up and out in the early morning to get out of the hotel’s housekeeping's way. And finally, it’s nice for family members to have a separate room for retreating, if a bit of alone-time is needed.
3. Don’t disregard the charm of vacation picnics
We’re big fans of picnics since they’re cheap and tailored to everyone’s tastes. Plus, you can plan it anywhere you go: city parks, the beach, the mountains, etc. Make a stop at a grocery store, grab some breads, cheeses, cold cuts and fruits, along with some drinks and a portable picnic blanket, and you’re absolutely good to go — with smiles all around.
4. Get your kids some journals
Journaling is a great habit that kids can pick up early on. Having your kids keep a journal and some writing utensils in their daypacks every day can be invaluable when they’re bored or when they’re somewhere that doesn’t allow photography — they can simply sketch what they see. And once you’re back at home, they’ll have a little souvenir of the trip to flip through that that they created themselves.
5. Immortalize the memories
If you’re in the mood to splurge, purchase an instant camera and a few packs of film to use on holiday. There’s nothing more magical than watching the tangible image appear when your kids take their shots. You can also hand your camera phone or camera over to your kids occasionally for them to take a few shots. Having their own photography memories can make the trip feel so much more special to them, and having the images to add to their journals makes the excursion even more real once they return.
6. Do something meaningful as a family
Sometimes the best way to remind yourselves that you love each other is to make sure you do something particularly meaningful on your trip. It can be as simple as throwing coins in a fountain and making a wish together. Just doing something to create a special memory of your time together on holiday would be wonderful for your kids, and honestly, for you as well.
Most importantly, don’t forget to make sure all of your packed clothes are clean, soft and smelling great with Downy Valley Dew Concentrate Fabric Softener, reducing wrinkles and making ironing easier.
What did you think of these planning tips and are you taking your family on a summer vacation this year? Share with us your experience planning a vacation in the comments below.