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Group Travel 101

3 Tips for Planning Your Family Vacation

By: Liz Patterson

Family vacations can be a great time to have fun and deepen relationships. They bring your family closer together and give you wonderful memories to look back on. So don’t let the hassle of planning dim the experience of your traveling. If you follow these three tips, the inevitable preparation stage will go by smoothly and easily.

First and foremost, know for certain what you are willing to spend. Be familiar with the limits and options of your budget. This way you can plan your activities and the extent of your traveling wisely and carefully. You can get the most out of the finances you are able to spend, and you will not have to worry about overspending. If you agree as a family on your budget, you also can prevent complaining later.

The second, and crucial, tip is to make the whole family involved. Even if you are not a very communicative family, you have to let each person get his or her say in. If they all feel included in the planning process, they will definitely enjoy the trip more and take pride in it if it is a success. And though it may be hard to agree, don’t give up! It is possible to compromise and find a destination and a variety of activities that everyone will enjoy. Another diplomatic tip is that if one person has to greatly compromise on a certain issue, make sure they get their way in something else. That way they won’t feel neglected or cheated and won’t have reason to gripe later.

Also, make sure to delegate. If you’re the mom, don’t let the whole brunt of the trip be thrust onto your shoulders. Let your kids or husband help. They can do research, they can pack, and they can do a lot to help you. Planning a family vacation is a big task and, if everyone is to enjoy the results, they should pitch in with the preparation. Don’t feel like a slave driver if you ask them to help a little. Working towards a common goal brings about a sense of teamwork and also creates satisfaction in the end result. They will appreciate the trip more if they know what all goes into making it happen.

Last but not least, be flexible! Things happen, detours come up, and plans continually change. Don’t stress, just go with the flow and try to have a good time whatever happens. If you keep an optimistic attitude, even hiking in the rain can be a fun and exciting adventure. You probably know from experience that you can never plan every detail. It’s true that the more thorough preparation you have, there’s a smaller likelihood of mishap. However, don’t let it ruin your day if something unexpected throws off your plans. Be flexible and have fun.

If you keep in mind these three helpful tips, your family travel experience will go smoothly, be less stressful, and be greatly enjoyed by everyone. Remember to know your budget, to involve all family members, and to be spontaneous. Now good luck on your family vacation!

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