With summer just around the corner, people everywhere are busy planning their long awaited vacations. And while planning a holiday may be a relatively simple task for singles or childless couples, for those with a house full of kids and animals, it can be an entirely different story.
If you have to pack up three kids and worry about dogs, cats and other family pets, deciding on that perfect vacation can be a bit of an ordeal. Where should we go? What will the kids enjoy
? Should we bring the dog?
Luckily there are many great options out there that will allow you to spend a fun filled holiday with your family, minus the headache.
1. First step, consider your kids
The age of your children can have a big influence on where you decide to vacation. If you only have to worry about traveling with a baby, it may actually be plausible for you to take a relaxing, low-key holiday. And because babies tend to sleep a lot, trips that involve air travel can be a reality for you.
On the other hand, if you have young children (especially more than one) you might want to consider keeping the trip relatively local to save yourself the added stress of managing toddlers on a lengthy plane or car ride. In this case, consider what is around you, the ocean, the mountains, theme parks and then plan accordingly.
Sensory experiences like zoos, petting zoos, aquariums, museums and splash parks are always great options for families with young children and they can be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike. So plan a holiday that is filled with fun and interactive activities to keep the kiddies occupied.
If you have older children (ten and up) you can consider alternatives like amusement parks, ocean trips with snorkeling or a trip to a national park to camp, hike and canoe.
2. Furry family members
When it comes to vacations, pets can be a difficult thing to plan around. While animals like cats, birds, lizards and fish will be fine alone as long as you get someone to feed them while you are away, a dog can be like another child.
Not all vacations are dog friendly
and sometimes they will have to be left behind with a trusted family member or you can seek out the service of a ‘pet sitter’. But of course, the best option is to plan a holiday that will allow you to take your furry family member along with you.
A camping trip to a lake is the perfect pet friendly option because you will be spending the bulk of your time in the great outdoors where you won’t have to worry about locking your pooch up.
If outdoorsy excursions aren’t really your thing, there are many pet-friendly vacation rentals out there that will allow you to bring your dog along to the beach or wherever else you may want to go.
3. What to bring along
Now that you’ve decided on where to take your vacation, the hard part can begin, packing for the trip. It’s hard enough to pack for yourself let alone a family and potentially a pet, and rather than risk forgetting something crucial, you wind up packing it all.
To help you stay on track, here are some must have you won’t want to forget after packing the necessities:
1. Camera, camera charger, batteries, cell phone chargers
2. Car toys and games for the kids
3. Umbrella, outerwear in case of bad weather
4. Makeup kit
: perhaps waterproof or foundation with sunscreen
5. First aid kit
6. Travel pillows/blankets
7. Motion sickness medication
8. Folder filled with maps, itinerary, hotel information, tickets, etc.
9. Sunscreen, sun hats
10. Bug spray, citronella candles
Family vacations should be something to enjoy and remember, not something to stress about, so keep yourself organized and plan in advance. Brainstorm with your family, consider your kids and your pets, pack your bags and head off to create family memories that will last a lifetime.