Planning a vacation usually falls into two categories–a “kid-friendly” trip or an “adult-friendly” trip. Each category ends up being fun for one group and less fun for the other. Adults don’t always love amusement parks and kids don’t usually have the patience for sightseeing.
However, a family vacation should be fun for everyone involved and something the whole group can look forward to. If you are planning a spring break trip with your family this year, read on for ways to make sure everyone has a great time, no matter their age.
Let everyone offer an opinion on where to go
When deciding where to go, take the opinion of everyone going on the trip into account. Let everyone provide suggestions–even the 2-year-old. Keep all options as part of the list of possibilities and research all locations before immediately deciding if they are a firm no. Everyone will feel more excited about the trip if they feel like they get to have an opinion.
Once you start researching, you’ll be surprised at the amount of crossover between adult fun at a usually kid-focused spot and vice versa. The first time I went to the Magic Kingdom as an adult I was surprised by what a great time I had. A friend recently went on a trip to a Wisconsin Dells waterpark and had a blast.
Conversely, when I went to Las Vegas last year I was surprised by the number of families I saw there–until I realized that there actually is a lot for kids to do, such as the rides and games at Circus Circus, M&M World by MGM Grand, and the High Roller at The Linq.
Plan activities that everyone will enjoy
Once you’ve decided on a location, do your research ahead of time to decide on a must-do activity for every person going on the trip. Work everyone’s pick into the schedule. It might take some creativity to find ways for everyone to get the time to do what they want–such as incorporating an afternoon where one parent takes the kids and the other gets some solo time, or one parent takes the younger kids so that it’s easier for the other parent to take the older kids out.
Consider traveling with a big group
Consider traveling with extended family or with some friends that also have kids. Traveling in a bigger group makes it easier for everyone to get to do something they enjoy because different parts of the group can split up for different activities depending on who is interested in doing what. With this setup, it’s easier for everyone on the trip to not have to participate in every activity. When we travel with a group, we’ll spend some time the evening before discussing what everyone is interested in doing the next day and splitting up based on who wants to do what.
Additionally, during downtime, kids can hang out with other kids and adults will have other adults around for the post-bedtime hours. Parents on the trip can also swap off a babysitting night so that couples on the trip can work in a date night after a day of kid-friendly activities.
Look into an all-inclusive resort
All-inclusive resorts are usually a great budget-friendly pick and provide activities for a variety of interests and ages without even leaving the property. Start your vacation prep with these resources here and here, and enjoy a trip with minimal decision making; lots of beach time; delicious food and activities included in your initial cost of the trip; and a variety of fun for kids and adults such as live music, shows, shopping, classes, golf, and spa treatments. Some resorts even include childcare and kid camp options. Plus, since everything is on property, it’s easy for part of the group to recharge in the room while others go out and about.
The easiest way to derail a family trip is to have overtired kids and frustrated adults. Plan ahead, and have plenty of supplies and activities to keep everyone fed, quenched, clean, and occupied. When traveling with kids, make sure to include more downtime than you would for an adult trip so that everyone has time to recharge.
What are your best tips for planning a vacation to appease a variety of ages?