A family vacation is a great way to bond with your kids, but it can also be stressful. Before you go on that next family trip, make sure you have everything planned out. You don’t want to forget anything essential or get into an argument about directions. That’s why we’ve created this checklist for all the things you should do before taking a trip with your loved ones.

Plan the Destination

The first step you should take before planning your family vacation is to decide on a destination. This could be anywhere from a local state park up to another country. It’s important that everyone has a say in the decision and knows what they’re getting themselves into.

Do you want to stay in the country or head abroad? It’s essential to make this decision early on because it will determine what visas your family may need and when you should schedule time off of work. This is also when you make plans for special accommodations like wheelchair rentals, dietary restrictions, or hotel pet policies.

Have the Travel Documents Ready

Make sure everyone has an updated passport. This is one of the more time-consuming parts of planning a vacation, but it will be worth it when you head to the airport. Also, have your luggage tags and boarding passes ready ahead of time. If you’re traveling overseas, make sure to check out our guide on how to prepare for that!


Now that you’ve decided on a destination and everyone has their travel documents ready, it’s time to book plane tickets. If you’re traveling overseas or with another family, it’s best to look into group plane tickets. Group plane tickets are usually the most affordable option, but they do require more planning.

For transportation, there are many options. If you’re renting a car, look into renting an automatic one for anyone that’s not used to driving on the opposite side of the road. If you don’t need to rent a car, you can always take taxis if everyone stays in the same area or set up private transfers.


As for your accommodations, it’s best to do some research ahead of time about what hotel or resort has everything that you’re looking for in a vacation rental. If you book the whole trip yourself, you can have more control over where everyone stays and how much it’s going to cost.

For instance, are there specific amenities that are important to you? A hotel with a pool is more expensive than one without, but maybe you had your heart set on staying somewhere with an indoor pool. We know that some families prefer to rent out private villas or apartments instead of booking hotels because it gives them more privacy and flexibility.

Pack Necessary Clothes

The last thing you want during your family vacation is for someone to run out of underwear. Make sure everyone has packed enough clothes. This includes both casual and formal clothing, as well as swimwear like cheap options from maxine swimsuits if you’re staying at a resort with its pool area.

If you are traveling overseas or on an extended trip, make sure to check out our other posts on planning your vacation, packing for your trip, and preparing for international travel.

Set Up Insurance Before You Leave

If you plan an overseas trip with your family, it is highly recommended that you have travel insurance. You never know when something might go wrong. If someone gets sick or an emergency comes up while you’re on vacation, you don’t want to be in a position where canceling the whole trip is necessary. Travel insurance can help protect you against any lost money if something unexpected comes up.

Get Vaccines if Needed

If you are traveling abroad to a country that requires vaccines, it is best to get them beforehand. If you wait until the last minute, the line could be extended, and any sudden illnesses could prevent your family from going on vacation at all. Look into what kind of vaccinations might be required for your destination and research if you need any ahead of time.

Final Thoughts

It’s almost time to start your family vacation. This is a huge step and a long process, but the memories you make with your kids will be worth it. Just remember to go through this list before you leave to know everything has been taken care of.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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