Aging Expectations

How To Plan Your Next Trip

Taking a trip with your family is a lot of fun.  Unfortunately, like most things in life it doesn’t just happen spontaneously.  It takes a lot of work to plan a great family vacation.

The good news is, click here to continue reading!it doesn’t have to be too hard and can be fun.

Here are five steps to use when planning trips:

1.  What are we going to do?

When I begin planning a trip, I check out lots of travel sites, especially those offering other reviewers comments.

However, remember to take those comments with a grain of salt.  Usually for every person who loved something, there is a person who hated it.  Take some time to actually read the comments and from what is mentioned, decide what is important to you.


2.  Where are we going to eat?

Search restaurants close by to attractions you are visiting.  This step takes me a bit more time because I like to find the actual web sites of the places and check out the menu, pricing, and overall atmosphere for kids.

Keep in mind, if your hotel offers free breakfast or if your room has a kitchen, you will want to plan in-room meals accordingly.  You’ll probably want to map out the nearest grocery store too.


3.  How will we know what to do when?

As I’m planning what we’ll do and where we’ll eat, I’m also thinking about when we’re going to be doing it all.  Your best bet is to create an agenda or schedule of what you’re doing when.  It is really helpful to see it all together and understand if it all fits.

After you’re done, print the schedule with maps so you have everything you’ll need.


4.  Did you bring the band-aids?

After planning the activities and creating the schedule, I determine what I need to pack.  It’s critical to put this step at the backend of your planning.  Why bring something if you don’t need it?  When traveling with kids, you already have so much stuff you need to bring, don’t add extra stuff that isn’t necessary.


5.  What time is it?

Some trips include destinations with time changes.  You may want to begin adjusting you and your kids sleep schedules accordingly. That way, when you arrive it’s not a difficult change and might be easier for kids to keep up with the agenda with those nasty meltdowns (theirs or yours).


My last suggestion is just to think.  You think all the time so I didn’t make it a whole new step, just a final suggestion.  Think through the whole trip, each activity, each location, etc. – is there anything you forgot to pack, to reserve, to confirm, to print?

Also, don’t forget to think through what would normally be happening at home.  This will help you to remember to stop the paper, have the neighbor get the mail, tell your son’s coach he won’t be at baseball practice…excuse me, I’ve got a call to make!

If you want more tips…check out my book!



  1. Great tips! Right now I’m stuck on #2 – planning where to eat with my picky kids is difficult. But it pays to research ahead of time so we are not wandering around trying to find a place that makes all of us happy.
    Dana recently posted…I Blog because I’m a LoserMy Profile

  2. I agree with your tips. The more planning the better, especially with kids. I do an itinerary for each day so nothing gets missed and so it’s easy to remember. Also, if your kids are young, be sure to schedule in down time for them so they don’t get overtired. My son had a huge meltdown at Disney World – poor little guy was just too tired!

  3. Take a Family Cruise Family togetherness, cruise ships, and kids’ activities make cruises ideal family vacations. Planning a cruise for your family’s next vacation is easy because all the planning is done for parents by the ship’s crew. Cruises lend themselves to family time together and children’s and parents’ time apart. Also, a great learning opportunity for your child.
    Leta F. Cooke recently posted…No last blog posts to return.My Profile

  4. My husband and I love to travel, but we’re going to be parents for the first time and I know having children adds a whole new dimension to travel. I’m interested to see how going to a different time zone will have an affect–as adults we can force ourselves to stay up when we’re exhausted because we know it will help us get adjusted to a time change, but I imagine children don’t function that way! Great tips! Happy SITS day
    Bev recently posted…Thinking about the parent I want to be, and nurturing creativityMy Profile

    1. Congratulations! You have to keep traveling even with the baby. When they’re really little, it doesn’t effect them because they sleep all the time 🙂 (usually)…but we start changing the time zone at home before we go now…a little each night before we leave. We’ve found it really helps.

  5. Ronnie, all good tips here. My husband and I took a trip years ago without much planning. We thought it would be fun to be ‘spontaneous.’ What a nightmare! We couldn’t find a decent hotel to stay for the night and we got lost! Spontaneous does not always equal romantic! Thanks for sharing your travel planning tips!
    Shanna recently posted…Fall Wreath with LED LightsMy Profile

    1. Fantastic! Writing about your travels is amazing and makes you appreciate each part of every trip. Can’t wait to see more from you 🙂

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