5 Tips for Planning a Smooth Family Trip

A family sitting on the front porch of a vacation rental enjoying their group trip

Family vacations, especially multigenerational travel, are popular these days, but they require a bit more planning for things to go smoothly. According to the Family Travel Association, 87% of families planned to vacation together in 2015. When the whole family travels together, things can get confusing fast. From steps to strollers, grandparents and grandchildren both have special needs that should be addressed.

There are so many things to consider before hitting the road. Here are some travel tips for reducing inconveniences and making your family vacations a bit easier.

Also read: 7 Questions to Ask to Find the Best Family Travel Insurance

1. Make some group decisions before you go

Discuss what everyone wants to do during the trip, how much they can spend and what they simply can't live without doing while they're there. This will make it easier to pack too because you'll have a general idea of what you'll be doing. There are websites and apps, such as Prava, designed to answer these types of questions as a group and help organize your trip too.

2. Know airport and airline regulations

If you're flying, is everyone checking baggage or carrying on? The TSA website details what can be carried on or checked, advice about bringing wrapped gifts and what food you can take on the plane. Be sure to read TSA's special screening procedures for children 12 and under as well as adults 75 and older. There are also mobile apps that will forecast security line wait times and help you figure out what's on the agency's prohibited items list. Additionally, you should check with your airline to find out its policies for carry on and checked luggage size, fees, etc.  

Also read: What to do if Your Flight is Canceled

3. Ask a travel agent

Despite popular belief, travel agents don't charge you fees for booking travel arrangements. They get paid by the companies they work with. That said, it might make sense to book your family vacations through a travel agent. They have access to the latest information and can get great deals. Also, they can be a wealth of knowledge when it comes to family travel, so be sure to pick their brains in the process.  

Also read: Why Travel is so Important for Families

4. Traveling with the whole family

Multigenerational travel with kids, adults and seniors together is on the rise. About one third of the $270 billion spent on leisure travel in 2015 was multigenerational travel, according to the Family Travel Association.

One of the key tips for this kind of travel is to plan for separate spaces at your destination. The adults on the trip likely don’t want to spend every moment with the kids and Millennials will probably want some time away from the grandparents. Consider this when choosing your accommodations and activities on vacation. Before your trip, checkout the best travel apps for finding things to do on vacation, to help plan some activities.

Also read: 
• Best U.S. Historical Places to Visit with Kids or Grandkids
• Tips for Seeing the Grand Canyon with Kids

5. Take advantage of travel insurance and included services

Generali Global Assistance travel insurance plans are great for family travel because they can provide coverage for up to 10 travelers on one plan and concierge services are included that can help find appropriate activities for your group and make reservations ahead of time. 

Also read:
• Top 5 Tips to Unlocking a Relaxing Vacation
• Family Vacation Ideas for Summer and Beyond
• Flying While Pregnant and Other Tips for Travel During Pregnancy

Whether your destination is a vacation rental, hotel or a cabin in the mountains, these simple family travel tips can help reduce stress and increase your chances of having a fun time during your next family vacation.

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