Sharing interests is a great way to build stronger connections. Ask each person what they might like to do or experience on the trip. Find a way to include things that each person likes individually, whether it’s big or small. For example, if one child loves roller coasters and another would rather go hiking, compromise with a destination like Dollywood (an Appalachian- themed Amusement Park in Tennessee).

This approach to vacationing will also help you achieve a well-rounded vacation–it’s nice to have busy and exciting times, nice to have adventurous times, and nice to have relaxing times.

What if we plan on driving?

road through mountains

If you’ve taken a road trip with your family before, you know that being in the car for an extended amount of time isn’t always the most fun or comfortable. Time with your family is time with your family, but, we’re not alone in saying, long car trips can be stressful.

In order to make the ride more enjoyable, find a way to make your family’s transfers part of the vacation experience!

  • Have blankets and small pillows easily accessible, as well as a variety of snacks that could last through the trip
  • Each person should be encouraged to pack their own SMALL entertainment bag, with a variety of things to keep their interest
  • While packing electronic entertainment is fine, encourage children to also pack non-electronic entertainment (books, art, a non-messy craft project, a journal, games for the car)
  • Bring along some compact board games or cards that everyone can participate in (this can come in handy if unexpected weather changes your plans)

How can I keep my kids safe?

While your family is in a new, unfamiliar place, it’s always a good idea to have the right resources available if the situation becomes less-than-ideal. This may include having a plan in place if you are separated, preparing for sickness on your trip, and investing in travel insurance.

It’s always important that your kids know what to do if you are separated. Giving cards with your contact information to keep with them, and having a conversation about what they need to do in an emergency are great places to start. If your children have smartphones, you may also consider turning on the location sharing feature.

Though it may seem extreme at times, being prepared for anything will also provide you with peace of mind. Here are some other tips we recommend for travel:

  • Bring more than one credit card (some companies will freeze your card if they suspect suspicious activity)
  • Pack extra medicine for allergies, travel sickness, and indigestion
  • Anti-itch cream, antibiotic ointment, and a box of different-sized bandaids can be handy for scrapes and bug bites
  • Pack protein-rich snacks and water to make sure everyone is hydrated and energized for the day ahead
  • Always purchase travel insurance — it not only protects you if you need to cancel your trip, but also covers any lost baggage or medical costs that may incur during your travels

Wherever you choose to go together, remember that the journey is part of the adventure.