The family vacation is a staple of the summer and winter due to the break students have from school. Most people have a vacation or short trip that they reflect on positively from their childhood. A great family vacation can lead even the most rebellious teen to look forward to the annual or biannual event.

One thing that can turn a family vacation sour is a lack of planning. This can result in a nightmare with hotels being overbooked or tickets running out for a specific event/attraction. In today’s digital age it has become very convenient to book travel arrangements online. Below are tips for the perfect family vacation that will be remembered for a lifetime

If Driving, Map Out a Route of Least Resistance 

The road trip is what many people born before a certain year think of as the ultimate family vacation. Do not simply take the shortest routes, as you may miss some amazing attractions along the way to your destination!

What you should avoid, however, are high traffic areas like the Washington DC area during rush hour. Austin, Texas is another location where traffic can lead to added hours on a trip if going through the city during the day. At night, Austin does slow down in terms of traffic, which most cities do. Taking an extra few minutes on a highway that is rarely congested is worth it when compared to the risk of standing in traffic for extended periods. With Google Maps and other technology, routes can be modified in real-time to adjust for accidents/traffic. 

Airbnb Instead of a Hotel 

Fitting two kids and parents into a hotel room does not allow for any privacy. Airbnb accommodations often are far more spacious for the money and more affordable on average. Finding an apartment or home where groceries can be stored and meals can be cooked for a long trip reduces costs. There are some rare instances where Airbnb has had some issues with hosts using unethical tactics to rip off those that have booked so just be sure read the reviews. Hosts are going to vary in rating with the quality of their apartments/homes differing greatly. Other short-term rentals in vacation destinations like Florida can be an option for a large family reunion or vacation. 

Related: I’m an Airbnb host! See my Norwalk, WI listing here!

Each Family Member Needs to be Considered When Planning 

Each family member should have an activity that is just for them on the vacation. This can make everyone feel like they are involved instead of only doing things that mom and dad want to do. Create a list of potential locations where each person can pick a particular activity. Itineraries on trips might seem a little overzealous but they are necessary. This will help keep families that constantly run late to stay on schedule.

Flying? Uber in Cities that are Difficult to Navigate

Cities differ in the driving expertise that is needed to avoid being involved in a car accident. A perfect example of a city that fits this description is that of New York City. The traffic is usually full of those cutting it close and horns are constantly honking. Taxis are known for driving in ways that most individuals have never witnessed. According to auto accident attorneys at The Barnes Firm, In cases of “road rage,” drivers use their vehicle as a weapon. Such drivers often face serious charges if their reckless driving causes a car accident.

Tourists are often the target of this road rage as they might be driving too slowly or could be lost. Other causes can be distracted driving or driving under the influence. Uber can allow the family to enjoy a drive regardless of how bad traffic might be at the time. Public transport in larger cities can be an option if the budget for the trip is tight. Under no circumstances should you drink with your family then get behind the wheel. Uber is an option that will not only keep your family safe but will also help you avoid an image-damaging arrest. 

Pick Activities To Eliminate as a Family if Time is Short 

There is a possibility that there are going to be activities that the family will have to miss out on. This could be a landmark a few hours out of the way that nobody is very excited about seeing. The family should all agree on what is being eliminated from the trip so no one feels singled out or is upset for the remainder of the trip. A sour grape can ruin the whole bunch… or whole trip in this case.

If you want more vacation and travel planning tips, see our Travel Section. You’ll find vacation ideas, packing tips, vehicle preparation tips, printable checklists, and more!