It’s a travel season. Summer vacation is here, and everyone is itching to go to places they’ve never gone before. According to TripAdvisor, an American travel website, more than 44% travellers from India would increase their travel budget in 2016.
A Family that Travels Together Stays Together!
Indeed, summer vacation is both the best and worst of times. Though a break from the tiring routine of the year is refreshing, scorching and hot summer days make you restless. So whether you are planning a trip with just your spouse and kids or it involves your cousins, in-laws, uncles, and aunts, here are some tips to make your family vacation easy and exciting. Though these are only basic details, some planning will avoid trouble on what is supposed to be a fun-filling time off from the hectic daily life.
- Set a budget: You don’t want to spend your holiday worrying about money. Before you finalize destinations, lay out a budget. With the help of a clear budget, you will be able to pick places that are reasonable. Also, while deciding the budget, allow for a cushion to accommodate unexpected things.
- Choose a holiday destination: Now that you have a budget in place, it becomes easy to narrow down the vacation spots. There are innumerable summer vacation options for families. You can also ask your family members to share their ideas. Write them down and then discuss as a group which ones could be well enjoyed by all family members. While choosing the destination, make sure to accommodate the needs of every family member. Places with harsh weather conditions and limited amenities might pose difficulties, especially if you are travelling with kids and older family members. Similarly, it is hard to travel on long flights with children.
- Choose fun activities and sightseeing options: Once you have decided the place, the next step is to choose fun activities and sightseeing options. It is not easy to bring everyone on the same page when travelling in a group. Younger kids might not be interested in activities suggested by teenagers. Similarly, elder family members might have some other plans in their mind. To cut frustration, work with each family member to get their outing ideas for the vacation. Pick one activity from each member’s wish list as per your time and budget. Though, it is good if the entire family spends their time together, sometimes it becomes important to let some family members enjoy their activities and still feel connected.
- Review your passport in advance: Are you planning to travel out of the nation? Is your passport ready? More importantly, are your kid’s passports up-to-date? There is no feeling worse than being turned away from the airport due to an expired passport. A simple way to avoid this situation is to ensure that your passport is in order.
- Make the timely booking: Being spontaneous is good when you are a solo traveller, but preparation is key when travelling with children. Flights for the entire family will be the major cost of the trip. During summer, planes will be full and therefore, book your flights early, at least three weeks or more, to get seats at reasonable rates. Some other handy tips to bag discounted airfare are:
- Fly on weekdays, like Tuesday and Thursday, instead of weekend
- Fly on holidays, like on Diwali, Christmas, Holi, etc.
- Instead of non-stop flights, go for layover
- Schedule your flight to alternate airports instead of the main airport
Next, is to book your accommodation. You can also rent an apartment and guest house instead of a hotel room. Not only it will give you the flexibility to live & enjoy in your style, but it will also prove to be cheaper as compared to a hotel room.
- Pack it light and pack it right: Once you have finalized the destination, make a list of all the items you’ll need ahead of time. There’s nothing worse than scrambling the day before a tour trying to find the important items. As it is said, “less is more,” for each family member, lay out all clothing and personal items which they may need. You should pack those garments which you can easily wash and wear again. If travelling with kids, use large zipper bags to pack their entire outfit for a day. You can use the same bag to tuck dirty clothing at the end of the day.
- Keep something handy to snack on: This is the time when you can let your kids enjoy junk food. Long journeys are tiring and boring, and therefore, having the food of their choice can keep them happy. If your travelling group includes senior citizens, their eating and medication may clash with travelling and therefore, it is important to carry some snacks.
- Carry something to entertain your children: While; it is always good to carry comic books, games or any other item to entertain kids, making them in charge of clicking photos is also one of the other good options. Kids these days have a better understanding of technology and therefore, they will enjoy clicking pictures, which will also make them know more about the beautiful scenarios and landscapes they come across.
- Rely on local people: To see the hidden beauty of the place, one should rely on local people as they know the best. Get the insider scoop on the best places to eat and visit and don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations.
- Set a separate souvenir budget: The vacation time gives children the freedom to make their wishes fulfilled. But don’t let this trip saddle your home with more clutter. Before going out, give an envelope to each child and deposit a small amount earmarked for souvenirs. Each kid can spend the money in the envelope in the way he or she wants to.
- Pack a travel insurance plan: Before you finally close your packing; don’t forget to pack your travel insurance policy. The policy offers coverage for many things that may otherwise go wrong while travelling. If you or your child gets hurt, the policy can cover medical expenses. If your trip gets cancelled or interrupted due to any reason, travel insurance plan covers all the unforeseen circumstances. A comprehensive travel insurance policy makes sure that you have a memorable and enjoyable trip, away from all hassles.
Source: http://visual.ly/ and NationalPositions
A Quick Look
Are you ready to go on a family trip? Travelling with a family can be an enthralling experience, but it comes with lots of double-checks. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for a family trip.
|Arrive early at the airport||Don’t leave packing until the last minute|
|Keep travelling distance as short as possible||Don’t spend the entire day in posting pictures and updating status on social media platforms|
|Use a GPS app to navigate your journey||Don’t carry a large amount of cash|
|Pack only things which you ‘need’ and not which you ‘want’||Don’t forget to carry hats, sunscreen, and shades|
|Try to keep kids on their usual schedule as much as possible||Don’t wear expensive or flashy jewellery|
|Wear sturdy shoes while exploring the outdoors||Don’t feel guilty. Take a rest|
|Ask for family discounts||Don’t feel you are responsible for everyone’s happiness|
|Take regular water breaks to avoid dehydration and sunstrokes||Don’t expect perfection as sometimes things may go wrong|
My ideal travel companions are my family: Pharrell Williams
Family time is the best time. Schedule beforehand as much as you can but once your travel plans are underway; be ready to expect unexpected things— a sick child, transportation delays, etc. But instead of panic, go with the flow. A positive attitude can go a long way in ensuring that your family has the best time. With a little adjustment, you can at least set a course in the right way. Allow yourself to be receptive to new places and people. Learn to go with the flow!