Growing up our parents made sure we always went on at least one big family vacation every year. We went to California, Idaho, Yellowstone, Washington DC, Canada, and all over Utah! I love thinking back to our family vacations and the great memories we created. I am so grateful for my parents who put so much time and effort into planning and taking us on those vacations! They brought us closer together as a family and we went to some pretty amazing places! As a parent with 5 of my own children, I now understand how much time, effort and money it takes to plan family vacations. I also know family vacations are something I look forward to every year. We become closer as a family and we create lasting memories.Each year we try to plan one week long family vacation with just our little family. My kids look forward to it ever year and help us plan where we want to go. Every other year we have a family reunion that we also make sure to attend. Last year we went to Bear Lake as a big family and had an amazing time! That was actually when when we had our big Mama Birds Meeting to try to figure out what to call ourselves! In addition to a big family vacation, we also do a few weekend family trips such as camping or overnight stays in a city close by! We are also lucky enough to live only 3 hours from family so on weekends about every other month we go visit so that we can stay close to mine and my husbands family!Now we are by no means rich. In fact we have had many struggling years, but we still make sure we take the time and plan family vacations EVERY YEAR! We don’t go into huge debt, we don’t put it all on a credit card, we plan ahead, and save the money. We make sure we go on these family vacations because they bring us closer as a family and help us to bond and create lasting memories!
I recently saw this quote by Ezra Taft Benson who said, “Build traditions of family vacations and trips and outings. These memories will never be forgotten by your children.” I agree 100% with this statement. The memories we can create on family vacations will never be forgotten by our children! So no matter if we have a Staycation at home or go on a huge trip to Hawaii, which we haven’t ever done, but I plan to one day, we need to build those traditions of family vacations, small trips, and outings to unite our family. They help us unplug, leave behind our daily tasks and create unforgettable times together!The planning of a family vacation can be difficult, I’m not gonna lie! It’s a big job to plan a vacation, but get your spouse or children on board with the planning and follow these 7 simple steps!
7 Tips on How to Plan Amazing Family Vacations
- Establish your budget: No matter your budget, plan at least one family vacation every year. Even if it ends up being a staycation (stay at home, but have fun in your own town) Plan at least 6 -9 months in advance or even more if you are going on a more expensive trip. Some years your budget might only get you up the canyon to a campsite, and other years you might be able to do an RV trip across North America. Whatever the trip may be, budget for it and save that money so that you don’t go into debt for your family vacation.
- Plan where you want to go- It can be anywhere from visiting family to going to a place your kids have been dying to see, to going somewhere you have been wanting to go. This year we are taking a family trip to the Nauvoo area and on our way home going to Mt. Rushmore, which my kids can’t wait to see. We have been saving for the last 9 months and have encouraged the kids to earn their own money for souvenirs and such.
- Plan a week that will work for your family- When I say a week, I mean it, One Full Week! I know it might be hard to get work off for that time, but I totally recommend taking one week off of work to go on a family vacation every year, at least. That might seem difficult for some, but I promise after all the planning and time and effort you put into preparing for a vacation, a week is great amount of time to be able to create lasting memories. If you just don’t have a week, plan a few smaller weekend vacations throughout the year. Also, plan if you are going to go in the summer or not. We homeschool so we like to take advantage of the off season and not go in the summer. Do what is best for your family!
- Plan all the logistics of the trip – Now comes the fun part of planning a vacation. Research all the things to do in the area you are going on vacation. You don’t want to exhaust yourself, but you also don’t want to miss out on seeing amazing sites. Make sure to plan for time to just relax and enjoy being on vacation. Other parts of planning the logistics of you tip might include
- How you are getting there – driving, renting a car, RVing, or flying.
- Where you are going to stay – find hotel deals, campsites, or places to park your RV.
- What you are going to eat – eating out for a full week is super expensive. Plan meals that you will eat out and meals you will make on your own.
- What you will do there – I like to have a plan of what there is to do when we get there, but I also like to also go with the flow. If we can’t fit everything in, at least make sure you see the sites you really wanted to see. I don’t like being on a time schedule, but a lot of people do. Do what is best for your family!
- Make a Packing List- This is easy and fun to get the kids involved in. Decide how many outfits you will all need, and any other things you might need to bring. Also plan what food you will pack, and what food you will buy once you reach your destination.
- Prepare ways for your children to be entertained as you travel to your destination- Traveling these days is a lot easier than when I was little, there are so many ways to entertain your kids with electronic devices and movies, but if your like me you don’t want to spend your whole trip with your kids glued to movies. There are a lot of great ideas on ways to entertain your kids when traveling. Last year I created these Road Trip Travel Games and 10+ ways to keep your kids entertained while traveling!
- Unplug, Make Memories and Enjoy- Turn off your phones as much as you can, get rid of those electronic devices, take lots of pictures and enjoy being together as a family making wonderful memories!