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Family vacation planning should be a fun and enjoyable experience. It’s a chance to take a break away from your usual responsibilities and spend some quality time bonding with your loved ones.

While you may be ready for a break and vacation, you might be hesitant to proceed with the planning if you’re unsure of where to begin. Reduce vacation-planning stress by implementing the following tips and steps.

Get the Whole Family Involved

The first order of business is to choose a destination. Get everyone involved right away to ensure each person has a say about where you’ll go and what you’ll do. Be sure to set expectations so feelings don’t get hurt when ideas aren’t picked, and even consider a “this year” and “future vacations” list.

The best way to plan a family vacation is to sit down and have a discussion about possible places and where you’ve always wanted to go. Consider if you’re a group that enjoys being adventurous and hiking or if you prefer to sit on a beach all day.

Set a Budget

How do you plan a family vacation on a budget? Set a limit on how much you’re looking to spend. Create a travel budget based on your finances and what you’ve saved up for already or plan to save toward your trip.

Take into consideration the time of year you’ll be traveling, how many people are going, and what money you’ll want to have available to you once you arrive at your destination. Look for deals for groups or off-seasons. Avoid going over your budget or you may have regrets later on.

Decide on Travel and Accommodations

You’ll need to look into purchasing plane tickets if you want or need to fly to your destination. On the other hand, you’ll want to prepare your vehicle if you’re choosing to drive and take a road trip.

Take the time to research accommodations in advance and figure out where you might want to stay. Read reviews and keep your options open to sleeping somewhere besides a hotel. For example, you can rent a home, camp, or stay with friends or relatives. Family vacation meal planning may be easier and less expensive if you have a kitchen to cook in.

Look into Transportation Options

You’re also going to need ways to get around at your destination once you arrive. Look into transportation options and how much it’s going to cost you. There may be different ways to get around other than a taxi such as rental bikes, walking or hopping on a bus.

Remember that you’ll also need a way to get to and from the airport if you’re flying.

Pack Wisely

When thinking about how to plan a family vacation you’re also going to want to start packing early. Make a list of what you want to bring and will need to buy before you go. Pack wisely and only bring what’s necessary so you don’t have to carry or roll heavy luggage around. Don’t forget to check with airline regulations to make sure what you’ve packed meets those standards.

Take a look at the weather forecast and bring the right type of clothing. It may help to dress in layers so you can adjust your outfits based on the temperature and what you’re doing.

Brainstorm Activities and Create an Itinerary

Proactively plan your family vacation by mapping out what excursions and activities you want to do before you leave. Some tours may book up fast and you want to ensure you have a spot, so book in advance when you can and make note of the excursions that can only be booked the day of and plan accordingly.

Try to create a tentative itinerary to bring with you on your trip. While it’s not necessary to have every detail figured out, get a general idea of what you want to do each day. Remember to schedule in some moments to rest and recover from all your adventures.

Rest Easy and Enjoy

Get plenty of sleep and sit back and allow yourself to truly unplug and disconnect from your home life. Be present on your vacation with your loved ones. Remember, you can always take notes about what you want to change the next time you plan a family trip in the future.

Now you know how to plan a family vacation ensure a successful getaway! Want to stay close to home this year? Check out our tips for planning the ultimate staycation.