The holiday season will soon be upon us and probably quicker than anyone can imagine. Aside from stuffing ourselves with delicious meals, opening up coveted gifts, and spending time with family, the holidays also bring the peak travel season. And with that time comes stress and a lot of money spent – especially if you’re traveling with your family.
That doesn’t mean, however, that there can’t be ways for you to eliminate the stress from your plans. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling with eight people or close to 20 this year, finding new ways to ease the busiest, most stressful, and most dreaded time to travel is possible.
Guide to Traveling with Family Members
To ease your holiday travels, we’ve gathered our pick of tips to help you along. Here are 10 ways to make traveling with a big family easier and more exciting this holiday season.
1. Only plan one big activity per day.
When you’re on vacation, it’s easy to want to fit multiple activities in one day. What we’ve learned when traveling with family, though, is that trying to plan more than one big activity per day can dampen the mood.
For example, spending all morning and half of the afternoon at one theme park and then attempting to visit a second can be exhausting for not only the youngest of the group, but for the adults, too.
By scheduling one big activity per day, though, you’re able to enjoy the activity fully and do it without wearing yourself out too much.
2. Be sure to think of everyone when choosing a destination.
Before you plan a big activity — whether it’s a weekend getaway or a week-long departure — the first thing to do is to sit down together to determine what would be best for everyone going on the trip.
From the youngest to the eldest, the family’s goal is to consider everyone’s capabilities before traveling. By doing this, you are able to ensure that there is something that everyone can enjoy or is at least willing to give a try.
3. Buy food and snacks at the local grocery store.
Though it’s typically encouraged to pack your food from home prior to leaving on your trip, if your family is large, you’ll want to make sure you have as much packing room as possible. So, purchasing food once you get the to city you’re visiting can help you save room and even cut costs compared to eating out, too.
4. Make a list for every person’s suitcase that will be coming along on the trip.
Before any and (almost) every trip, make sure that each person has a list for every person’s suitcase. This helps ensure that nothing is forgotten. And, before you zip up your suitcase for the last time, don’t forget to go over the checklist one last time. By adopting this tip for your holiday travel — and any travel plans after that — you’ll avoid having to stop at the store for every forgotten thing.
5. Leave room in your schedule for exploring.
Visiting a new place will usually cause families to pack their days with back-to-back activities. Though that may sound like a good way to see as much of a city as you can, leaving room in your schedule to simply explore is a better way to see more than you could imagine.
6. Before visiting restaurants, check their high traffic hours.
During the time you are looking up information on those restaurants you heard so much about, be sure to check their high-traffic times, too. By doing this, you and your large party avoid long wait times for big tables, issues when being accommodated, and the possibility of having to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with another table.
7. If the distance isn’t too bad, choose to travel by road instead of by plane.
Although traveling by plane may be faster for you this holiday season, traveling by car will be easier on your pockets. Not to mention, you’ll be able to pack more, too. And, as an added tip, try renting two smaller cars opposed to one big van; the price will usually be cheaper.
8. Always, and I do mean always, pack extra.
A rule of thumb in family travels is to always pack extra. Though that may seem like it will take up room in your luggage, there are just certain things that you need extra of. Underwear is one of those things. And, if you’re worried about packing too many pieces of clothing, pack two shirts to every one pair of pants to cut down on items.
9. Pack medicine – even if no one is sick.
With the weather changing during the holiday season (unforeseen heavy rains), it’s easy for anyone to get sick unexpectedly. Therefore, another tip for traveling with your large family this holiday season would be to bring medicine for everyone in the house – even if no one is sick. From the youngest to the oldest, pack something that can solve the issue even if a runny nose occurs.
10. Enjoy your time together.
With the headache and planning that comes with traveling with a large family, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in your schedule that you forget to enjoy time with your family. Remember: the holiday season is especially meant to spend time with those you love the most.
Don’t miss out on it because of all the stress that can sometimes come with traveling. Have fun and treasure these special moments with your loved ones.