The family vacation is an American tradition that elicits a wide range of emotions spanning from pure joy to sheer terror. The potential to make lifelong memories with family members is balanced with the possibility that those memories aren’t guaranteed to be so pleasant.
That potential is why the family vacation has been the backdrop for so many movies, including the iconic National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise. So how can you be sure that your family trip will fall on the right side of fun? We’ve provided a few family vacation tips that will help make this a memorable trip for all the right reasons.
1. Leave some breathing room in the itinerary.
We want the best vacation experience for our kids, but packing the schedule with an endless string of activities is a recipe for disaster. Itineraries are encouraged, but you don’t have to follow it to the minute or even hour. Rushing from one attraction to the next can be stressful for kids and adults. If your children are enjoying an activity, let them get the most out of it. You’ll find more satisfaction in their happiness than checking off activities on the itinerary.
2. Ask the kids what they want to do.
Your idea of a fun family vacation might not be the same as your kids’. Asking for their input is a great way to find a destination you didn’t consider while also getting them excited for the trip. Another fun way to get the kids involved in planning is letting them pack their own clothes. You’ll want to add your own touch, of course, but giving them control builds excitement and emotional investment in the vacation.
3. Rent the right car for your family trip.
Whether you’re flying to your destination or you’re not comfortable taking your personal vehicle, you’ll need to rent a car. This will be one of your homes away from home, so it’s important to do your research. How much room will you need for luggage? What car gets the best gas mileage? Will you need in-car entertainment options? Call Advantage Rent A Car at 1-800-777-5500, and our customer service reps will be happy to discuss what car will work best for you and your family. And remember if you book early, you’re likely to receive lower rates and a wider selection of vehicles.
4. Make sure your hotel has a pool.
For a family vacation, there’s no safer bet than your kids enjoying the hotel pool. Make sure wherever you’re staying, the pool is open and well-maintained. Bonus points for water slides.
5. Keep a close eye on your budget.
It can be easy for spending to get out of control when you’re on vacation. A t-shirt here, a special meal there, and soon you’re feeling that familiar pain in your gut (from the broken budget, not the meal). When you’re planning your trip, keep an eye out for discounts and special deals on rental cars, lodging, and attractions. Saving on these will give you a little more room to splurge on items for your kids.
Family vacations can be stressful, but through careful planning and keeping your kids engaged, you can be sure that they’ll be looking forward to the next family trip! If you’re taking a rental car, find the car you need with our free reservation tool.
Written by: Kody Pedersen