Travel Tips 

11 Family Travel Tips for Surviving Vacation

Summer is here, and while we’re all excited for a vacation, family travel always the relaxing experience you’re looking for. Traveling with the family can be stressful, but with these 11 tips, you’ll stay cool as a cucumber.
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These family travel tips will help you survive your next family vacation, summer travel season, holiday getaway and everything in between!

Yellowstone Boardwalk

1. Family Travel Should be Fun Travel

Have a social media-obsessed teen? They might not love the camping trip you’re planning, but they could be super into a city vacation with tons of insta-worthy photo spots. Rambunctious little ones? Rethink those museum tours. Just because something is a typical vacation doesn’t mean it should be typical vacation for your family. Ask your family members what they would do on their ideal vacation, and try to incorporate aspects of what everyone wants to do.

Family Travel Tips: Put the camera away sometimes

2. Put the Camera Away Sometimes

We all want to look back on our vacation photos with fond memories. But, forcing everyone to pose next to state signs on your epic road trip or making a sulky teenager say “cheese” with Mickey Mouse might not be the way to do it. Remember, if people aren’t naturally smiling for the photos, it might be for a reason.

Family travel tips: Don't forget extra chargers

3. Pack Extra Phone Chargers

And headphones. And snacks. And anything else that has to get shared among family members. There’s nothing worse than when people start squabbling over whose phone has a lower battery charge during your family travels. You can even get a multi-charge port that plugs into a cigarette lighter. We like this one.

4. Take Physical Abilities into Account

Traveling with your older parents or grandparents? Remember that everyone moves at different speeds. Planning a challenging hike might be fun for you but might not be fun for them. Granny with the new knees may not love your plan to see the top of a waterfall. Maybe try a horseback ride or canoeing trip instead so less physically-inclined family members can take a load off.

Family Travel tips: take a break

5. Take Your Own Space

Everyone needs their own space, and knowing when to take it is critical. Don’t feel bad if you need to go on a run or walk during your week-long family trip. Taking time for yourself can help you decompress, and enjoy the time you have together more, rather than forcing non-stop family fun. If you feel tensions starting to rise, make an excuse to have some “you time.” Go on, you deserve it.

6. Know Your Liquor Laws

Alcohol laws vary across the United States, from “dry counties” where no alcohol is allowed to be sold, to areas with open container laws (like Savannah, Georgia). Some places you can’t buy alcohol on Sundays, or only beer and wine. If you’re heading somewhere new, and you’re planning on drinking, do some research on your liquor laws so you won’t be left high and dry.

Family Travel Tips

7. Let It Go

We’re not talking about the movie Frozen. Unless you’re traveling with kids, in which case DO NOT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT. Aunt Petunia made a passive aggressive comment about your weight gain? Your grandmother wants to know when you’re getting married? Your brother is letting his kid run wild? Let. It. Go. Go for that walk we were talking about. Remind yourself that you are having fun and that hurtful comments may not be meant that way. Call a friend to vent, and then rejoin the group with a clear head.

8. Expect a Technological Breakdown

We always recommend having a backup plan in case the technology we depend on goes awry. Have a hard copy map of where you’re headed, and write down phone numbers. If your phone dies, you’ll have them in case you need to get in touch. Many vacation spots have spotty service, for good reason, but it can make logistics stressful if you aren’t prepared to navigate the old fashioned way.

Getting outside is a good family travel tip

9. Take Your Family Traveling Outside

When people have more room to breathe, they’re less likely to get into arguments. Endorphins + majestic views = fun family time. Try out a rock climbing class together, hike through a national park, or check out a botanical garden. Being outside tends to put people in a better mood and alleviates the occasional stress that comes with family travel.

10. Pack Your Sense of Humor

Be prepared to laugh off stressful family travel with a joke. Be the family member who can take the heat, and deflect those jokes away from the family members who can’t handle it as well. Having an easy-going mentality isn’t always easy, but it will definitely make your next family trip easier.

11. Always Be Snackin’

Intensive emotional family time can drain you, and sometimes a snack boost can help you handle your sister’s new vegan diet (and her need to tell you about it) all the better. No matter what happens, remember that you love these people. No matter your age, family travel is always easier with a snack in hand!

Have fun making memories all year long with the help of these family travel tips!

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