Spring time means family vacation time is just right around the corner. Piling the family in a car, driving for hours, staying at a hotel, visiting the sites with the locals, making memories. So much could happen during the course of a family vacation, whether you’re flying or driving, so how do you plan for it all? Sometimes you can’t, but here are a few tips to help you plan and help you keep your sanity during family vacation season.

Brainstorm Vacation Options
Get the whole family together for this. Sit down together and brainstorm what each person wants to do, what they want to get out of the vacation, and where they would like to go. Everyone is going to have different ideas, so it’s important to make sure the kids know that you will make the ultimate decision. Take each family member’s ideas into account.

Set Your Budget
Keep things like transportation, food/beverage, lodging, and souvenirs in mind when setting your budget. It is possible to have a great vacation without breaking the bank. Your budget will help you determine where you end up going together. Your budget could also determine whether you fly or drive somewhere.

Pick a Location
Once you have your budget set, picking a location will be easier. This will give you an idea of whether you need to plan on buying airline tickets (which would be your next step) or whether you can just drive. Take into account your family’s brainstorming session and what your budget is.

Pick a Date
Some things to keep in mind when picking a date are whether it would be cheaper to go at a different time than another. Going the beginning of June might be cheaper than going the first week of July around Independence Day. However, where you choose to go could also have some festivals going on that would cause things to get booked quickly or be more expensive to go. Take a look at the summer event guides of your destination and use that to help you set your date. Obviously also take you family’s schedules into account, such as sporting events or other extracurricular events for the kids.

Plan Activities, But Keep It Open
It’s important to plan some activities for your trip so you don’t end up just sitting in the hotel all day. Pick a few things that you know you want to do, perhaps if there is a festival going on or if there is a specific landmark you want to go see. But don’t plan so much that you don’t have any wiggle room for doing your own thing or exploring things that you may not have planned on. You never know what will happen on a trip, so make sure you account for the unexpected.

Family vacations are a signature spring and summer activity that is very important for the growth of your family and allows you to bond. Stop by and visit us in Des Moines and if you have any questions about anything going on in town, our knowledgeable staff is ready to answer any of your questions.