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Here's what to do when planning a family vacation

Holding this conversation before the trip ensures a successful and stress-free vacation. [File]

When planning a family vacation, it is important to remember the trip is not about you, but for as many as the family members that are travelling with you. This means you have to plan for different schedules and priorities. 

Your idea of fun might be to hang out at the poolside sipping your favourite drink, while for other members of the family, more so, the energetic ones, their fun might be a holiday packed with activities. 

Against this background, the best thing is to discuss with family members before the trip, their activities of interest, putting into consideration how they would want to fit into their schedules. Holding this conversation before the trip ensures a successful and stress-free vacation. 

If travelling with children, plan so that they adhere to their normal bedtime routines; leave teenagers to plan their schedules, the elderly to retire early, if they so wish, while the younger members of the family might want to cool up to the wee hours. Find a delicate balance between your needs and that of everyone else travelling with you. Involve them while planning the holiday itinerary so that you take into consideration everyone’s thoughts and needs.

Be prepared to loosen up on your rules and go with the flow. Giving way is one of the surest ways of ensuring that everyone will have fun – after all, it is a vacation. 

Packing

Packing for a family vacation is not an easy thing. For starters, it means that besides packing your gear, you will also be packing for children, and might have to supervise the young adults.

Whereas adults can survive without a forgotten item, children might find the scenario to the contrary, especially if the forgotten item is one of their “must-haves”. 

Whatever the packing items might be, ensure that you have a first aid kit. A family first aid kit should include bandages, antibiotics, children’s fever, and painkillers, thermometer rehydration tablets, stomach ache medication, cold and flu relief medication, mosquito ointment, and motion sickness remedy. 

Ensure that you have a checklist for babies and toddlers travelling with you. While booking your accommodation, find out if your hotel has provisions for baby gear such as bathtubs, strollers, car seats, and other essentials for infants. 

If the family is a large one and includes young adults, you might want to have different accommodations to allow them to loosen up and enjoy their holiday the best way they know within certain set rules while at the same time having your free space without having to feel uncomfortable sharing space with them.

Hotel accommodation gives you options for amenities such as children’s clubs and planned activity itineraries that may not come with Airbnb/home accommodation.