Best Tips for Planning your Family Summer Vacation

family vacation, summer planning, summer fun, play, vacation

With summer right around the corner, now is the time to start planning your summer vacation! Summer provides the perfect time to get away as a family and create memories to last a life time, but if not properly thought out a family trip can turn into family stress…very quickly. I’ve been there, so I want to share with you the best tips I know of.

Consider your audience. Family travel is not a one size fits all. Ages, temperaments, and interests all come into play when considering which destination is the best fit for you and your tribe. While some families enjoy the outdoors and spending time in the trees others might find a theme park or a beach front more preferable.

Make the decision a family affair. Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Have a special family dinner where you talk about wish lists of favorite destinations or things they would like to do. You could set out some options if you have concern about budget/location as a trip across the world would be fun to talk about but maybe not feasible at the time. This is a great opportunity to talk about bucket lists or places they’ve wanted to discover. Older children can be especially involved in the planning and researching of locations and travel options.

Pick a theme. A fun idea could be to create a theme for travel for you trip each year. My son is especially into rocks and loves to hunt for them and look up the regions that they are most likely to be found. We have a small, young family so we are considering taking small road trips and hunting for rocks in different locations along the way. This trip will also include yummy, local food and local outdoor attractions.

Maybe your theme could revolve around a time period, a culture, a book, or family history. You could make it as easy or as complex as you’d like.

Don’t forget the countdown. One of the best things about traveling somewhere new is the anticipation of the trip itself. You could do a paper chain countdown, a mobile app countdown, or make a list of the things you are looking forward to doing as a family.

Scholastic has an awesome resource of announcing to your kids where you are traveling if you want to make the trip a surprise!

Mix in the educational. Travel and education go so well hand in hand. Consider the topics your child is interested in and see if you can find local museums, exhibits, cultural events, or historic locations to enhance your child’s learning. You may even want to look into what the curriculum might be for the coming school year and see if you can wrap that into the trip somehow. Hands on learning always leaves more of an impression and what a fun thing to learn it all together. Here is a fun list of the best Disney educational locations around the world.

Make a travel hub. Now that you’ve picked your location, keep a space dedicated solely to your travel plans. You will want to keep all of your ticket information, passports, frequent flyer miles, route plans, and lists all in one place. Use a checklist to help you mark things off as you pack and prepare to leave.

Pack it right. Pack it light. One of my favorite tips is to pack a gallon size zip-lock bag for each child, each day of the week. When the day is done you can simply add it back to the bag or create a “laundry bag” for you return.

Also consider creating a special sanitation bag for each person with toiletries, bandages, small sun screen, chap stick, and anything else you may need. Another interesting tip is to consider packing some of your worst socks/underwear for the trip so that if you want to make room for souvenirs you have no qualms with throwing them out. This would definitely apply to a trip spent outdoors as socks and other things can get a little trashed!

Avoid the souvenir trap. Decide ahead of time what the souvenir policy is for your family. Do you have a budget or limit on the amount of items you can bring back from the trip? Do you have a collection that could add to your memories rather than clutter in the home? Some ideas are a picture album, journal, ornaments for a tree, charm for a special bracelet, spoons, or memory box. I always try to help my child pick something that I know they can use rather than just look at.

Looking for more travel tips? Check out Scholastic’s can’t wait for school break  site that will give you more ideas and help you plan the perfect vacation for your family.

camille walker, mymommystyle.com

You might also like:

traveling with kids, travel tips, travelingtravel tips, disney world, traveling with kids, mymommystyle, traveling with a preschooler

family vacation, summer planning, summer fun, play, vacation

With summer right around the corner, now is the time to start planning your summer vacation! Summer provides the perfect time to get away as a family and create memories to last a life time, but if not properly thought out a family trip can turn into family stress…very quickly. I’ve been there, so I want to share with you the best tips I know of.

Consider your audience. Family travel is not a one size fits all. Ages, temperaments, and interests all come into play when considering which destination is the best fit for you and your tribe. While some families enjoy the outdoors and spending time in the trees others might find a theme park or a beach front more preferable.

Make the decision a family affair. Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Have a special family dinner where you talk about wish lists of favorite destinations or things they would like to do. You could set out some options if you have concern about budget/location as a trip across the world would be fun to talk about but maybe not feasible at the time. This is a great opportunity to talk about bucket lists or places they’ve wanted to discover. Older children can be especially involved in the planning and researching of locations and travel options.

Pick a theme. A fun idea could be to create a theme for travel for you trip each year. My son is especially into rocks and loves to hunt for them and look up the regions that they are most likely to be found. We have a small, young family so we are considering taking small road trips and hunting for rocks in different locations along the way. This trip will also include yummy, local food and local outdoor attractions.

Maybe your theme could revolve around a time period, a culture, a book, or family history. You could make it as easy or as complex as you’d like.

Don’t forget the countdown. One of the best things about traveling somewhere new is the anticipation of the trip itself. You could do a paper chain countdown, a mobile app countdown, or make a list of the things you are looking forward to doing as a family.

Scholastic has an awesome resource of announcing to your kids where you are traveling if you want to make the trip a surprise!

Mix in the educational. Travel and education go so well hand in hand. Consider the topics your child is interested in and see if you can find local museums, exhibits, cultural events, or historic locations to enhance your child’s learning. You may even want to look into what the curriculum might be for the coming school year and see if you can wrap that into the trip somehow. Hands on learning always leaves more of an impression and what a fun thing to learn it all together. Here is a fun list of the best Disney educational locations around the world.

Make a travel hub. Now that you’ve picked your location, keep a space dedicated solely to your travel plans. You will want to keep all of your ticket information, passports, frequent flyer miles, route plans, and lists all in one place. Use a checklist to help you mark things off as you pack and prepare to leave.

Pack it right. Pack it light. One of my favorite tips is to pack a gallon size zip-lock bag for each child, each day of the week. When the day is done you can simply add it back to the bag or create a “laundry bag” for you return.

Also consider creating a special sanitation bag for each person with toiletries, bandages, small sun screen, chap stick, and anything else you may need. Another interesting tip is to consider packing some of your worst socks/underwear for the trip so that if you want to make room for souvenirs you have no qualms with throwing them out. This would definitely apply to a trip spent outdoors as socks and other things can get a little trashed!

Avoid the souvenir trap. Decide ahead of time what the souvenir policy is for your family. Do you have a budget or limit on the amount of items you can bring back from the trip? Do you have a collection that could add to your memories rather than clutter in the home? Some ideas are a picture album, journal, ornaments for a tree, charm for a special bracelet, spoons, or memory box. I always try to help my child pick something that I know they can use rather than just look at.

camille walker, mymommystyle.com

You might also like:

traveling with kids, travel tips, travelingtravel tips, disney world, traveling with kids, mymommystyle, traveling with a preschooler

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Disney. The opinions and text are all mine.

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