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10 Tips To Make Family Traveling Streamlined and Stress-Free

As a family that values experience and traveling, I’ve had to learn many things (often the hard way) about how to travel in a streamlined and stress-free way. 

While our trips aren’t always smooth sailing, I have learned what works and what doesn’t, and I aim to help others learn the same. 

Because here’s what I believe: life shouldn’t stop when you have kids. Sure, your life will be different, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go out and enjoy all of the things that you used to do. And that includes vacationing!

Oftentimes, society makes us believe that we should save the family fun vacations until the kids are older and more well-behaved. But I’m here to say that there is a way you can enjoy family trips NOW – regardless of what season of life you’re in. 

So, whether your kids are 2, 10, or 20, in this blog post, you’ll learn some of my best tips and tricks to make traveling as a family less stressful and more streamlined!

10 Tips and Tricks To Make Family Travel Feel More Doable

1. Plan Ahead

Sounds pretty basic, I know! But personally I’ve experienced both types of vacations - the ones where I planned allllll the things ahead of time and the ones where we winged it.

I can truthfully say that the planning ahead wins every single time!

This is not to say that you have to create a rigid itinerary by any means, BUT planning ahead and making reservations for certain things, such as accommodations, transportation, and any activities you plan to do, pays off big time.

I’m a big proponent of leaving margin in your vacation schedule to experience unplanned magical moments so that the entire vacation doesn’t feel like one huge checklist that you have to get to.

2. Involve Everyone

As a mom, it’s easy to feel like all the planning is left up to you. Once it’s been decided where you’re going, you have to decide when you’re going, how you’re getting there, where you’re staying, and what you’re going to do when you arrive. 

All of that can feel extremely overwhelming, which is why some of my BEST advice is to involve the entire family when planning for your travels. Let each family member choose at least one activity they want to do during the trip to ensure everyone feels included and excited.

This will ensure that everyone’s wants and needs (when applicable) are successfully met and allows everyone to fully enjoy the trip!

3. Pack Wisely

Nothing is worse than getting to your destination and realizing that you forgot certain items to fully enjoy your vacation. 

This is why I always create detailed packing lists for each family member to ensure nothing essential is forgotten. This allows me to intentionally think about the climate, check the weather, and consider the activities that we’ll be doing, so that all of us can pack appropriate clothing and gear.

If you tend to be forgetful when packing or simply don’t know what you need for certain vacations, I have a few resources to help:

4. Stay Flexible

Being adaptable is one of the best gifts you can give yourself when it comes to traveling as a family. 

No matter how much planning you do, things will inevitably go wrong and that’s OKAY! Stay flexible and adapt to changes as needed.

PRO TIP: If you plan to do outdoor activities while on your trip, I suggest having backup plans in case of bad weather or closures!

5. Set Realistic Expectations

We’re all guilty of this…

You plan for something to go one way and then it goes in the other direction. When this happens, it can be incredibly frustrating as a parent, especially if you’re the one that’s done all the planning and built up all the excitement for the vacation. 

To avoid this frustrating feeling, I recommend setting realistic expectations and be prepared to handle unexpected delays or tantrums with patience.

6. Take Breaks

Traveling can be exhausting, especially for young children, which is why I’m a BIG proponent of scheduling intentional downtime into your days (including your travel days), so that you don’t feel exhausted by the end of it. 

On travel days that involve long journeys, make sure you plan to stop to stretch, eat, and rest so that everyone stays refreshed and meltdowns are avoided.

7. Bring Entertainment

It’s no secret that kids need to be entertained.

With this in mind, pack plenty of age appropriate entertainment options to keep your kids occupied during travel. This could include books, games, toys, tablets, or portable DVD players loaded with their favorite shows or movies.

8. Delegate Responsibilities

Again, as a mom, it’s easy to feel like everything is on you when planning your family travels. But it doesn't have to be!

Before the vacation and during, assign tasks to each family member to distribute the workload to prevent mom from being overwhelmed. 

For example, older children can help carry bags or watch younger siblings, while adults handle navigation or booking arrangements.

9. Maintain a Routine

In my opinion, this one is SO underrated! Kids, and really humans in general, thrive on routine, which means that sticking to your family's regular routine as much as possible while on vacation, especially when it comes to mealtimes and bedtime, will be your best friend.

This doesn’t mean you can’t “break the rules” and let your kids stay up later or enjoy special treats that they typically wouldn’t get.

It simply means that you’re taking into consideration what your kids are used to, which makes them feel more comfortable and at home even while they’re away.

10. Focus on Quality Time

So often, we can confuse traveling with having to do the MOST in such a short amount of time, but in reality, traveling as a family is really all about spending quality time together and creating lasting memories.

The way that you choose to do that can be totally unique to you, and it doesn’t mean your travel itinerary has to be packed to the brim.

In fact, I believe that some of the best quality time while traveling is made from staying in and soaking in each other’s company.

For our family, we value making dinner together and enjoying our accommodation amenities, such as the swimming pool or backyard, game nights, and movie nights. 

This is often why we opt for renting an Airbnb versus a hotel – I explain a little more about that in this blog post, and I share what to look for when choosing an Airbnb here!

Sure, we enjoy where we’re visiting, but we don’t put too much pressure on trying to see it all!

Plan Your Next Family Vacation With Confidence

Overall, vacationing as a family doesn’t have to be stressful! When you follow the tips and tricks mentioned above, I really believe you can change your family travels for the better. 

For more streamlined and stress-free travel tips, browse the blog and follow on Instagram.

And if you need a hand planning your next family vacation, I’m here to help! CLICK HERE to learn more about our Done-for-You Family and Personal Travel Services where you can get a travel guide designed specifically for you!

Here’s to enjoying life as a family NOW. 🎉



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