As the saying goes: “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” And yes, planning a family vacation is a big part of the journey to a wonderful vacation. Going out on a holiday with the family is an amazing way to bond and make new memories with them. It’s also worth highlighting that the kids won’t stay young for long. So while they’re still kids, plan a vacation or two. Here’s a list of tips when planning a family vacation where everyone will enjoy:
- Go online and research all about your destination. Look for the best tourist locations, heritage sites, museums, and amusement parks. It’s also a good idea to book your lodging in advance, since early reservations tend to be cheaper as compared to making a reservation right before your scheduled arrival.
- Let kids join in on the planning. Assign them tasks they can handle such as searching for activities in the area, or mapping out your transportation options. With the help of the internet, it seems like kids can do significant research for your trip on their own. It’s good to get their input and make them feel that they’re not just being strong-armed to join the vacation.
- Give specific tasks to each member of the family. If one of your children loves taking photos, assign them to document your trip and take candid photos. If there is someone who’s good at reading maps and at navigation, let them. Don’t leave anybody behind, both physically and figuratively. Make it a point that everyone is making their own contribution. It’s a team effort.
- Encourage your kids to list down all the stuff they need, and let them gather, if not pack, their own things. This also saves you the hassle of having to gather their clothes and stuff. Just make sure to double-check their stuff before packing. They might miss some essentials such as their medicine, or bring too much clothes.
- In an effort to keep everyone involved, encourage them to name at least one place or location they want to go to. If the kids can’t think of a place, ask them where to eat instead. Try to lead them to pointing to a place they are not familiar with, so you can discover something new together. When my family goes on a vacation, my daughters take charge on where our taste buds will rejoice. Jameelah usually gets to pick during lunch, while Julienne picks for dinner.
- Keep your budget in mind. A memorable vacation does not need to be expensive and extravagant. Think of how much you might spend in advance, and bring just enough money. In case of emergency, it’s best to have credit cards ready.
- Lastly, don’t bring extra baggage. Leave your worries behind. If you have a plate full of work-related tasks before leaving for your vacation, don’t even think of bringing work along with you. Chances are you won’t get them done anyway. Also, don’t let anything not family-related get in the way. This is a special moment for you, your husband, and kids. Your vacation with the family should be spent to its fullest potential.
With a desire to make life easier for mums in UAE, Joanna – with the help of her husband -started Afterschool.ae, the first platform dedicated in listing all UAE kids’ activities for parents and children alike. She is an entrepreneur mum blessed with 3 lovely children.