Travel Advisors Share What to Pack and How to Plan a Family Vacation
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to planning a family vacation. What should I pack? Where should I go? Is an international family vacation possible? These are all common questions travelers ask. Our travel advisors have decades of experience helping families plan unforgettable vacations.
We asked them to share their best tips on planning a family vacation with you. Here’s what they had to say.
Travel Advisors Answer Questions About Planning a Family Vacation
What do I pack?
What to pack is one of the most common questions travel advisors are asked by people planning a family vacation. Tara Nielsen-Rise, a travel advisor out of Omaha, says to be comfortable and practical.
“Don’t bring new shoes you’ve never worn. Be sure to keep things to do and snacks in your carry-on when flying,” she says. “Planes can be chilly so throw something in the carry on to accommodate for that if needed. If you’re going somewhere warm, bring a couple of swimsuits. You will likely get in and out of the water during the day and it gives one suit a chance to dry.”
Emily Voorn, a travel advisor with experience planning family vacations adds that it’s important to keep the climate in mind. “Packing changes depending on what season you are traveling in and what the weather will be like there. As soon as I help families pick a date and destination, I start researching what to pack.”
How do I decide where to go?
As Voorn alludes to above, figuring out the best destinations for a family vacation can be a tricky process. She likes to start answering that question with a question.
“I like to ask people to ponder their interests,” she says. “If you are looking for sunny weather, Disney World in Orlando, Florida and Disneyland in California offer some really great fun in the sun family packages. If you want something outside the norm, the Caribbean Islands offer some all-inclusive family options worth looking at. The Bahamas and Punta Cana are both appealing destinations.”
What if I want to plan an international family vacation? What do I need to know before I go?
Another common question is around planning an international family vacation. Nielsen-Rise says not to overlook the obvious, but important point. “Everyone will need a passport. Some destinations require visas and/or vaccinations.”
Voorn backs that up, adding to make sure visas and passports have an expiration date of at least six months past your planned return date. “It’s good to make photocopies of your passport, in case you lose them in travel and need to apply for new ones at a U.S. embassy.” Voorn also recommends visiting the State Department’s website to check for travel advisements or restrictions for the countries you’re visiting.
“Before you go, check the State Department’s website for information about vaccinations and travel permits. If both legal parents aren’t traveling, you may need authorization from the absent parent.”
Do I need travel insurance?
The question of travel insurance often comes up around visas and passports. It’s an important one, which Nielsen-Rise often answers, ‘yes.’
“You never know what could happen prior to, or during travel,” she says. “If you are traveling internationally, many U.S. health insurance companies don’t cover you so the medical coverage alone is worth it.”
Voorn adds that travel insurance can guard against many unforeseen events. “The benefits of protecting your investment would be highly recommended as most insurance policies have a cancel-for-any-reason clause and when you’re planning a year or more into the future, you can never predict what is going to come up.”
After all their years helping plan family vacations, our travel advisors say they’ve seen a handful of things get overlooked time and again.
“We’re all ambitious when we plan a family vacation,” says Nielsen-Rise. “Don’t try to cram too many things into your itinerary. Part of the fun for kids can simply be swimming at the hotel. If the schedule gets too full, the vacation becomes more about checking things off a list than just sitting back and enjoying the moment. Quality over quantity can never be underestimated.”
Are you planning a family vacation?
Don’t plan it alone! Get expert insight from our experienced travel advisors on picking the perfect destination and itinerary. Let us iron out all the details for your next family vacation. Contact us now to get started.