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Christine Sarkis, SmarterTravel.com | September 10, 2015
It’s mission impossible: take a multi-generational family vacation to a new destination and expect the whole family to have an amazing time during the duration of the trip. But even with the odds stacked against them, family vacations usually provide joy, togetherness and lasting memories. Take note of these family vacation mistakes that you will never make again!
Eating Questionable Food
There’s nothing worse than bringing your family to a restaurant, having an interesting meal, then having everyone end up in the hotel room with food poisoning. Even the hardcore foodies who view food poisoning as an occupational hazard doesn’t want to get stuck in a battle for the bathroom, especially if there’s only one. Foods to avoid: tap water in certain locations, anything attracting flies and food that’s either been sitting out that isn’t kept hot or cold.
Disregarding Everyone’s Basic Needs
As a savvy traveler, you understand that travel creates stress. In order to minimize that stress, both children and adults alike need to have access to their basic needs. That means not ignoring meals, sleeping habits or physical needs.
Not Being Flexible
Another travel tip for your family vacation – always have a plan. But allow that plan or itinerary to be flexible and working for everyone. No matter their age, each family member has a different travel style. Nobody wants to be pushing from attraction to attraction or restaurant or restaurant by a pre-made list. Leave some room to be spontaneous and you’ll see more smiles than if you live and die by your itinerary.
As the Family Vacation Planner, You’re On Vacation Too!
Planner syndrome: when you, the family vacation planner, monitor everyone else’s happiness and ignore your own. Don’t let this happen to you! You’ve buy valuable thought and time into this family vacation, you might as well enjoy it.
Too Much Togetherness
We know you love your family, but you don’t want to spend day after day hour after hour and minute after minute with them. Everyone will always need some down time to get away and regroup, so our travel tip would be to add that into your schedule.
Not Enough Living Space
You won’t regret learning this family vacation travel tip – spend the extra money to get more than enough space for you and your family – everyone will thank you. Avoid cramming everyone into a small space and if possible, pick out living quarters that has living space as well as sleeping space.
Not Choosing an Age Appropriate Destination
If you have younger children or older members of your family, odds are Vegas isn’t the best place to go for a family vacation. Parents won’t want to do kid-friendly activities and children don’t want to sit and watch Mom and Dad gamble.
Not Remembering You’re on Vacation
An important travel tip when on your family vacation – make sure you’re not repeating the same responsibilities and day to day workload that you usually find yourself doing at home. Need to clean the rental house? Make everyone chip in. Always cooking dinner? Have someone else take over for a night or two. You’re on vacation, act like it!
You Don’t Let Anyone Else Plan
Did you know that 53% of kids think that they can plan a family vacation better than their parents (source: Wyndham Rewards Study). For the majority of trip takers, planning is half the fun! Anticipating your trip is part of the overall experience – let everyone in on it!
Not Staying Connected (To A Certain Extent)
You’re in a foreign country and you’re supposed to meet your sister for dinner after a day or doing separate activities. But, you know she doesn’t have an international phone plan on her cell phone. Ignoring this family vacation travel tip can ruin a night and cause frustration and irritation that could have been solved with a simple step. Help your family prepare their cell phones and look into your carrier’s international plans.
Renting the Wrong Vehicle or House
Have a large family? Consider two cars. You’ll have more flexibility in planning and comfort with two smaller cars than cramming everyone into one large car. If you’re renting a vacation home, consider everyone’s sleep schedules and age differences. You can thank us later!
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