15 things you need to know before a big family trip
So you are planning to take your family on a trip and want to make memorable moments? Trust me; it is not as hard as some will make you believe. All you need is make proper arrangements. You don't want to have cranky kids in tow. Neither do you want an irritable spouse who, instead of enjoying the trip, is taking care of everybody else. Read through this post...it may make your trip much more enjoyable.
1. Your destination must be kids friendly
You want to go to a place where they serve kids' food, have a muted adult content, has fun activities for kids among others. You are well advised to try a place where services such as baby sitting and provision of cribs are part of the deal.
2. Take advantage of discounts
Most resorts have bargain rates for guests staying for more than 2 days. Imagine what you would do with all the saved money...
3. Let everyone do their packing
Teenage kids are choosy. You do not want a sulking teenage girl on your trip just because you did not allow her to pack her favorite dress. Pack light. Know your destination. You do not pack for winter if you are travelling to the tropics and vice versa.
4. Off-season travel is the best for large families
Since you are travelling large, most airlines will have few passengers. Their rates will also be lower. The hotels and resorts also usually have lower rates. The beaches will be secluded and the restaurants will give you special attention.
5. Visit a destination where everyone will have fun
Parents would love to dictate where the family goes. Before you settle in a destination, make sure all the family members have something interesting to see and do there.
6. Rentals are cheaper than hotel rooms
Big families will need several hotel rooms. Couple this with the meals expenses and you have a budget that will give you ulcers. Why don't you get a holiday rental, do your own cooking and do your own laundry? It will be like home away from home, but with a lot of fun activities to engage in.
7. You have to be strict with your budget
Most likely than not, you will overshoot your budget. Just make sure that you have enough money left for the bills waiting to be settled back home.
8. You need to save the fond memories
Make sure you carry your camera with extra memory cards. You do not want to go to the Caribbean, have lots of fun, and have no soft copy to remind you of your good times there.
9. Engage in free activities as much as you can
There is much free fun stuff to do in most destinations. For example you can go hiking, playing on the beach, sightseeing etc.
10. You need to set private time with your spouse
Kids have a way of crowding out our times. You need some time with your spouse, without the kids. Have them in the kids program or have a babysitter around. Take your spouse on a dinner date. It will go a long way in ensuring you two have something special.
11. Be keen! Carry all your special medication
Some of the destinations you aspire to visit may not have the special medication available back home. Make sure you pack enough for the duration you will be away. Of course you will need to contact the family doctor before your trip for his advice.
12. Maintain the rules
Teenagers have a way of arm-twisting their parents when away from home. The rules at home must be followed during the trip too. You do not want your child to acquire bad habits when on a trip.
13. Have a common fun activity
If there is one thing that makes me remember family trips, it is making animal sounds with my dad and mom. I still smile when I remember mama howling like a coyote and daddy braying like a horse. Have something fun to do with all of the family members. It will count when you are older.
14. Prepare for the unforeseen
Make sure your budget has miscellaneous expense account. Ensure you have clothes for special occasions. Know as much as you can about your destination and prepare appropriately.
15. You need the patience of a monk
Kids are excitable. They will do things that will make your veins burst with anger. They will annoy you and test you and make you happy at the same time. Just remember you were a kid once. Remember how you gave your parents ulcers looking for you when you had escaped with your new friends to that dingy night club.
There you have it. Try to have fun, will you? The kids are not as delicate as you think. Besides, you want make this memorable and the only way you can do that is by letting them have fun.