Family Vacation Tips

A checklist to make your next trip easier

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Are you ready to tackle a family vacation? These tips might help you to have a more enjoyable experience. I hope you find a few that you can put to use on your next getaway with the little ones.

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  • Include your family in the planning process. Find out what is important to all family members and try to find a resort that will meet these expectations.
  • Let the kids pack a few of their favorite toys in their own small carry on luggage.
  • Bring snacks and drinks on the flight, in case the little ones do not like what is offered onboard.
  • Have a “meeting place” in case you get separated from each other.
  • Let the children take their own photos with disposable cameras, and make a scrapbook when you return home.
  • Have a “souvenir allowance”.
  • Bring plenty of extra clothes for the little ones. This could cut down on time spent in the laundry room while on vacation.
  • Let each child pick a “must see” attraction.
  • Consider a little “grown up” alone time. Most resorts and cruises offer child care services.
  • Single parents traveling with children may be asked for proof of custody. Be prepared with copies of legal custody papers or even a simple notarized letter from the co-parent.
  • Be sure to have your travel documents in an easily accessible carrier. You will be asked to show these documents on several occasions.
  • Make photocopies of your itinerary, ID’s and required travel documents.
  • Make sure all of your children, including infants have a copy of your itinerary on their person along with the name and phone number of an emergency contact person.
  • Should your flight get canceled or if you miss a connecting flight, use your cell phone or a pay phone and call the toll free customer service number for your airline. Often this can save you waiting in line with hundreds of other stranded, stressed out passengers.
  • Pack as if you are departing the day before your actual departure date. This will allow for a good nights sleep prior to your actual departure date.
  • Make a checklist of needed items and mark them off your list as you go.
  • Call the airline to reconfirm your flights on the day of departure to prevent any surprises at the airport.

Make sure you have the required documents for travel. Do not start your vacation with a mad scramble to find the required documents prior to departure. If you are not sure what is required be sure to ask your travel agent or visit the U.S. Department of State site for details.


Planning a family vacation? You can find additional information on choosing the perfect resort and more at our Family Vacation Page. Jack Reidelberger is co-creator of the online travel website GoAwayTravel.com, a website that specializes in treating your vacation like its their own.

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