Holiday Season Family Vacation Planning Tips

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It’s that time of year again. The holiday season is here. That means festive music, colorful lights, tasty treats, and many presents.

For many families, the holidays are also a time for travel. While most folks make a point to visit relatives, others choose instead to make vacation plans during this special time of year.

Are you thinking of taking your family on vacation this holiday season? If so, planning is critical. With this in mind, let’s take a look at six tips for those gearing up to take a vacation during the upcoming holidays:

Skip the hotspots

The most popular vacation destinations tend to fill up fast during the holidays. Since it’s already November, you’ll have difficulty finding affordable airfare and lodging in places like New York City and Orlando. With this in mind, consider skipping the hotspots and picking a less popular vacation destination. There are thousands of fun little beachside towns across the map and many other under-the-radar destinations. Examples include Jacksonville, Florida, and Galveston, Texas.

Reach a destination consensus

Once you’ve compiled a short list of potential destinations, it’s time to go over them with your family. Compare and contrast the variables to determine which one is the best fit. While reaching a true consensus isn’t always easy – especially when you have several children of varying ages – the point is you want to pick a destination that has something for everyone. You also want your kids to feel like they had a part in selecting the destination.

Pack swim trunks and swimsuits

Chances are you’re headed someplace warm and sunny. At the very least, you’re probably staying at a hotel with a swimming pool. With this in mind, make sure to pack swimwear for the whole family. From toddler boy swim trunks for your little man to that flattering one-piece for yourself, the last thing you want is to realize you left them back home. While not every vacation involves beaches and pools, most do, so make swimwear a top priority when packing your luggage.

Choose travel dates wisely

The holiday season is one of the busiest travel times of the year. Every airport is jam-packed with people trying to get where they’re going. However, some days are worse than others. On the flip side, some days are less likely to be as busy as others. According to The Vacationer, the best departure dates around Christmas include December 18, 19, and 20. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are also good days to travel to your destination. The best return dates are December 28, 29, and 30. While there’s no guarantee, it’s a safe bet these days will be less hectic than others.

Create a packing checklist

We’ve all been there before: after a long day of travel, we open our suitcase at the hotel and realize we forgot several essential items back home. Depending on what you left, the solution could be spending big bucks on a local replacement. But it doesn’t have to be this way. While it’s not foolproof, a packing checklist will reduce the chances of leaving something behind. Tape the checklist to the front of your suitcase and mark off every item once it’s packed. Once the checklist is complete, bring it with you and use it again when packing to head home. Just make sure to use different color ink, so you don’t mistake your initial markings for the new ones.

Avoid overscheduling

It’s tempting to try to make the most out of your trip by filling each day with activities. While there’s nothing wrong with making daily vacation plans – in fact, it’s common sense – you don’t want to end up with an overwhelming itinerary. If you’re constantly rushing from one place to another, are you even having fun? We recommend planning two activities per day with an optional third activity if there’s extra time. Vacations are meant to be relaxing, not stressful, so don’t burden your family with a relentless series of things to see and do every day.

The 2022 holiday season has arrived. While most holiday travelers are headed to see relatives, some are headed to the beach. If the latter describes your intentions, it’s best to plan ahead with the help of useful tips.

Happy holidays!