Planning a stress-free family vacation takes forethought and effort to avoid frustration. Without proper preparation, tensions can boil between parents and children, potentially shortening the trip. To help families properly prepare, global travel advisor Gennady Podolsky outlines his top 5 tips for a smooth, harmonious family getaway.
Involve the Whole Family in Planning
Though parents typically decide on the destination and bookings, children of all ages should participate in planning. They are leaving kids’ preferences out and risk later resentment. Podolsky recommends a fun trip-planning session with the whole family’s favorite snacks. Every member can share their ideal activities and those they’d rather skip. Getting all perspectives prevents assumptions about interests.
Select a Unifying Trip Objective
With the location set, the family should agree on a central focus around which to structure activities. If spending a week at the beach, beach-themed pursuits like sandcastle contests, seashell gatherings, and sampling boardwalk treats can fill the days for a week exploring family-friendly Sweden, wildly creative playgrounds, nature preserves, zoos and winter activities provide options.
Book Early for the Best Availability and Savings
Booking flights, hotels, and attractions far in advance grants two key perks. First, families gain better seat and room availability by reserving early. Attractions also tend to have more capacity further out. Second, early commitment can yield exclusive discounts not offered closer to travel dates. Off-peak seasons and lesser-known destinations provide additional money-saving avenues worth exploring.
Prepare Kids for What to Expect
Young children facing new situations may react anxiously or test limits. Avoid this by walking kids through what to expect at the airport, hotel, and destination ahead of time. Clearly explain parental expectations for good behavior, too. Familiarity and firm guidance prevent shock and confusion.
Match Activities to Kids’ Needs and Interests
When traveling with children, reasonably-paced activities in a single daily event help prevent overwhelmed kids. After an activity, snacks and naps recharge little ones for the next round while parents decompress. Podolsky advises booking top kids’ attractions first, adding bonus activities if the budget allows later. Beyond main attractions, excellent kid-oriented options exist, like cooking classes in France/Italy, beachcombing, and picnics in nature.
The above summarizes Podolsky’s top family vacation tips focused on preparation for smooth travels with kids. Key elements include early wide-ranging trip planning, unified objectives, advanced bookings/budgeting, preparing children, and activity pacing tailored to youngsters’ needs. Podolsky’s advice intends to maximize quality family time exploring new places.