If you’re starting to think about your family’s next great adventure, then be sure to plan carefully so that you don’t run into any unpleasant surprises along the way. Vacations, after all, are supposed to be fun, not stressful. So reduce the stress by doing your work ahead of time.
Identify Some Possible Adventures
First, gather the whole family together to brainstorm some possible family adventures. Don’t be afraid to get a little wild here, but do include some practical options, too. You might discuss one of the amazing Bermuda cruises, contemplate a week-long trip to a new city, think about a few days in the wilderness, dream about a theme-park adventure or even consider a stay-at-home vacation packed with family fun.
When your family has had fun coming up with options, it’ll be time to get more practical and cross off the ones you know right away won’t work. Let the kids know that their ideas are important but that not everything would be appropriate for your family at this point. You should end up with at least three or four options that are doable.
Also read: 5 Ways To Save for a Big Vacation
Set Your Budget
Now it’s time to set your budget. This will be a little more tricky. Take a look at your income and expenses, and see how much you can afford to spend on a vacation. You might also talk about ways to save or earn a little extra money for your adventure fund. Start early on this so that you have time to make your money grow.
This is a good opportunity to teach the kids about budgeting and cutting costs. If they have their heart set on a particular vacation option, then figure out about how much it will cost and how much you have to raise. Then determine some expenses that you could cut to get some extra funds. Maybe you won’t go out to eat for a while, or perhaps you can eliminate some streaming services or “treats.” This might be a little painful, but if your family wants to take a vacation, it might be necessary.
Set Your Time Frame
With your budget in place, you should check your calendar next. You’re probably still keeping some adventure options open at this point, but now you need to determine when your family can get some time off all together. Compare your schedules, and come up with at least a couple possibilities.
Make Your Decision
Here comes the fun part. It’s time to make your decision about your family adventure. Bring together your list of possibilities, your budget and your schedule, and determine which option best corresponds to your current situation. If there are a couple open options, you might hold a family vote. Remind disappointed kids that all of these adventures are going to be fun and that they should have a good attitude going in so that they don’t spoil the fun for everyone else even if they didn’t get the option they wanted.
Dive Into the Details
When you’ve made your adventure choice, it’ll be time to dive into the details. Over several weeks, schedule your vacation firmly, making transportation and hotel reservations well ahead of time to get the best prices and to correspond with your chosen dates. You should also do some research. If you’ve decided to visit a new city, for instance, check out the attractions offered, and make a list of everything your family may want to experience. Include the kids in the process, too, and let every family member choose at least one activity of their own.
Your next family vacation can be the best one yet. Take the time to come up with several options, set a budget and determine your schedule. Then you can make a final decision that the whole family will enjoy and start diving into the details. Include the kids every step of the way so that they take ownership of this family adventure. The result will be fun for all of you.