Family Vacation Planning

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Family Vacation Planning

So now you are ready to do some family vacation planning! Each step requires a different heading so have a quick look ahead and write down the headings you need to consider. Write the headings down the left hand side of your page leaving a good few lines between each.

STEP 1 TRAVEL / DATES:
Decide when are you going and returning and by what form of transport. Look at everyone’s note book and find the best time that suits everyone. Consider off-peak versus peak time because this will affect many of your costs. Can you travel outside school holiday time? Do you need a short break or an extended vacation? In my experience it takes you 1 week to stop thinking about work and your regular life, one week to begin to relax and so if you need a proper rest and actually want to enjoy the vacation you have booked, stay that third week. I promise you it will be the best out of the three!

STEP 2 DESTINATION:
Where are you going? Write down the places you are hoping to get to. It’s not always easy deciding on a place that makes everyone happy though. He wants serenity, she wants good shopping. He wants to read a book, she wants some action. You could make a list of each of your top 3 and see if you agree on any? Do you have time to travel far? Think about what what you want to see and feel while you are away? Do you want to see the beach or the mountains, be in the bush or visit lots of friends? Also, do you want to rough it or need luxury? Will you camp out or stay in a hotel or somewhere in between?

STEP 3: ITINERARY:
What would you like to do on your holiday? Sometimes this needs to be left to spontaneity but you could at least have listed interest points of the area so when you come to a day where everyone doesn’t know what to do, you could pull out the list, compare it with the weather and decide on a fresh activity. Make sure it is a list that has been prepared by the family so there are activities there that everyone is interested in. If you do want to make the most of everyone waking moment with new experiences then definitely plan out your days.

Another point to remember is that your kids will want to be active all day and you’ll be dying for an afternoon siesta every day! Make the most of caravan parks and Hotels or Resorts that offer kids activity programs so that you can have a bit of a break too.

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

Day 4:

Day 5:

STEP 4 COSTS:
You can itemize these into the following categories and make an accurate estimation of each. Make sure you do your research well so the amounts are as accurate as possible. For example, if you are driving, work out how many kilometers you will be traveling to and from the destination. Don’t forget to allow for miles traveled during that time. Then work out how many tanks of fuel that will be and how much it will cost. A family vacation becomes very stressful if you run out of money before you get home. Having fun on your vacation doesn’t have to be expensive though. Be creative!

Transport:

Accommodation:

Food: (you will probably be eating out a lot more so factor that in. Go by what and where you might eat each day per person)

Special Activities: (theme parks, park entrance fees, zoos, hire of bikes or other sport equipment…)

Spending money: (special treats like ice-creams, a gift or two, souvenir)

STEP 5 BOOKINGS:
Make a list of all the companies you will need to make bookings with: car hire, flights, hotel, caravan park etc…and their contact details.

Company:

Cost Due:

Contact Details:

Address: (if necessary)

Special Notes: (about arrival or baggage or meeting place)

STEP 6 PACKING:
Under this section, make a list for each member of the family and think about what they would need day to day from each room of the house. Less is best so learn to give items a few different purposes if possible. Obviously the list will vary depending on our accommodation type but here are some areas to think about when planning what to pack on the family vacation. It’s good to make these lists permanent. Keep them in your Family Planner as they will make organizing your next family vacation much easier.

Family personal items:

Kitchen: (cooking, cleaning, food, matches!!)

Laundry: (buckets, pegs, ropes, washing powder)

Bathroom: (soap, towels)

Bedroom: (bedding, pajamas!!, pillows, mattresses)

Shed: (chairs, table, stove, lights, torches, tents, outdoor gazebos)

Special Activity needs: (eg. boots & backpack for hiking), CAMERA!!

STEP 7 CARE Of PROPERTY:
Depending on how long you’ll be gone for and what you have on your property you may want to organize having your mail collected and bins put out (especially the first week when they are full or they will stink when you get back! Dad always used to have them put out so it looked like someone was around the place). Do you need pets fed, lawns to be mowed etc

Family Vacation Planning isn’t so much about having every day organized exactly but it’s really about doing things together. So make sure you do this plan together too! Master say that a huge percentage of enjoyment from anything comes from the anticipation factor so begin this stage together!

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