Planning a family vacation is similar, yet so different, from planning all other kinds of trips. You’ll still need to save your money, buy your plane tickets, make arrangements for your pets and home, etc. But it’s different in the sense that you’ll need to do a little more detailed planning and research.
For starters, you’ll want to be sure that the area you’re going to is family friendly. Taking an 11-year-old to Las Vegas isn’t going to be fun for anyone. The easiest way to do this is to Google it (something along the lines of “is Marco Island family friendly?”). More than likely, forums and articles will pop up like crazy.
From there, figure out what your family would most enjoy. Is your family active or do they prefer to relax? Do they enjoy trying new things? How would they respond to the ocean (fear, sea sickness, etc.)? Finding these things out is the key to your vacation.
For active families, most cities have a recreation office that you can call to ask specific questions about what there is to do. You can also do a simple Google search for “fun things to do in Los Angeles”. As mentioned in a previous article, check www.atlasobscura.com for exciting adventures in whatever city you choose to go to.
For families who prefer to lounge around, maybe you rent a house that has a pool or is walking distance from the beach. Make sure it has good cable, Wifi, air conditioning… all of that good stuff.
If you’re worried about being bored in whatever city you go to, prepare your own fun before you get there. Bring games (board games, card games, apps on your phone, etc.) or plan on buying some there. Come up with ideas for what you’ll occupy yourself with before you even get there so it’s already taken care of.
Here’s a list of some fun activities for vacation:
laying by the pool/ on the beach/ go swimming
shopping (did someone say outlet mall?)
thrill seeking (skydiving, bungee jumping, amusement parks, etc.)
local attractions (monuments, museums, restaurants, etc.)
Mini golf, go-karting, arcades
Movie theatre (some cities have theatres with waiters who serve you dinner during the movie and some have reclining chairs… look into it!)
Tours (ghost tours/haunted houses, adventure tours, museum tours, etc.)
Water sports (jet skiing, tubing, jet-packing, parasailing, etc.)