No matter how experienced or prepared you are, vacations can be a stressful undertaking. And attempting to do all that pre-planning, packing, and navigating with a big group of people makes it an even more difficult feat. However, you don’t have to write off vacations just because you have a big family. Here are some tips to help make your next vacation relaxing for everyone – including you.
- Pre-Stocked Rentals
When it’s just you, traveling is probably a breeze. You get a hotel room and eat out for meals. But with a big family or group with you, this option can get pretty expensive, not to mention how tough it is to juggle everyone’s preferences and get everyone in and out of the hotel without incident. That’s why many big families prefer to book a stocked home rental for vacations instead.
With a rental website like VRBO, you can find huge houses where your whole family has plenty of space to spread out. You also have the option to request a home that comes pre-stocked with essentials in the fridge and freezer, allowing you to do minimal grocery shopping while still providing for everyone’s needs. Whether you’re staying on a friendly Greek island or just going upstate for the weekend, having a real home to stay in can significantly increase the level of comfort for everyone involved.
- Have an Itinerary
Because of how much can go wrong (or right) traveling with a big group, it’s important to do some planning ahead of time so you’ll be prepared for anything. A helpful thing to have on hand is a list of nearby restaurants to choose from that you can rotate throughout the trip so everyone gets a chance to have their favorite foods. Ensure that this list includes phone numbers for each restaurant so you can call and make reservations whenever necessary – nothing is worse than showing up with a big group and realizing you’ll have to wait an hour to sit down.
In fact, doing as much renting and reserving ahead of time as possible is a good idea with a big group. For excursions like skiing or boating, it’s frequently necessary for the rental to prepare enough equipment for everyone involved, so having that done ahead of time will save a lot of trouble. Doing these things in advance ensures that you won’t hit so many snags in your plans and wind up with nothing to do on your trip.
- Give Everyone a Buddy
Depending on the size of your group and the ages of everyone involved, there might be a risk of losing someone as you’re traveling and not noticing for quite some time. A good way to avoid this possibility is by making sure every member of the family or group has an assigned “buddy” who is in charge of making sure they’re present when you leave any of your destinations. It’s always good to run down the checklist of who should be present at regular intervals during the trip. Another great trick, especially for families with small children, is to have everyone wear the same brightly colored shirts. It’ll make kids easier to spot in crowds or from distances.
- Remember to Relax
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have families who create itineraries that pack every minute of every day with activities. While it’s good to have a plan, everyone needs some time to just relax and enjoy the change of scenery on vacation. Make sure you’re leaving plenty of time for nothing and that you’re remembering to relax, too – nothing ruins a vacation more quickly than a stressed-out and exhausted parent! At the end of the day, you can’t out-plan every possibility, so the important thing is to stay focused on having fun. A vacation full of relaxation and joy is going to be far more memorable than one jam-packed with jet-skiing and stress.