Planning and packing for yourself can be stressful enough – but for your family of 5? That could be considered more than stressful. There’s really no need to panic though! The best places to vacation are prepared for restless kids, tired parents and lots of delivery pizza (for the nights when you just don’t want to leave the room).
We’ve got some tips and places that are great family friendly vacation spots and will have everyone entertained! Don’t worry about the crying toddler, forgotten umbrella or lost towel. The best summer family vacations are the ones where you look back and laugh at all the craziness you (and everyone else) dealt with!
1. Go to a Family Friendly Vacation Spot
Although your summer vacation might be on the same week, in the same town for as long as you can remember, we’ve got a place you should try if you want to switch it up! Hilton Head Island, SC, also known as the Best Island in the U.S. by Travel and Leisure for the 3rd year in a row, has everything your family needs.
Hilton Head, SC is on the East Coast of the U.S. located about an hour north of Savannah, Ga. Right on the Georgia and South Carolina line, they’ve got local seafood, the summer heat and 12 miles of beach. Not only is there salty water and sand, the island also has almost 60 miles of bike trails (for those who want to remain active on their trip).
Hilton Head also offers a wide range of activities with multiple putt-putt parks, public playgrounds, a zipline and all kinds of water sports! There is also a great night life for your family or for you and your someone special. Live music, great food and sunset watching is all over the island. Don’t be afraid to contact a local babysitter if you are needing that no kids night out!
2. Plan Vacation Activities Ahead of Time
Just like restaurant reservations, activities can fill up just as quick if they are worthwhile. Whether it’s a golf or tennis lesson, surf camp for the kids or bike rentals to make it less stressful reserve those before you get on your vacation! This will not only ensure you have a spot, but will allow your days to be already planned and you or the kids won’t be disappointed!
Most kid friendly vacation spots will have activities, ages and times listed on their website or a phone number to call with questions. If they’ve never taken a surf lesson or rode a horse, don’t be afraid to call the company and ask whatever questions you have. Trust me, I bet there isn’t a question they haven’t answered. Or if the kids want to try out a sport like golf or tennis for the first time, get them into a camp and allow them to fall in love with something while they are on the best vacation ever!
We say the same thing for the adults. Research your vacation spot and try out something that you haven’t tried. Everyone else is probably doing the same thing! Call your resort or hotel and ask what they recommend. They do probably live there and will give their honest opinion! But whatever you decide just remember to make your reservations, ask your questions and enjoy your fun, family vacation with a smile!
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Out to Eat
Just because dinner isn’t as easy with kids, doesn’t mean you can’t do it! The best summer family vacations are filled with good food, great outdoor entertainment and ice cream on the way home. There will be lots of local restaurants with games, play areas and even kid seating that they can enjoy! Make a reservation if you can, but if they don’t take them ask what you and your family can do while you wait!
Also, don’t forget your backup activities. A book, coloring book and crayons and a movie on the iPad can be used as entertainment while you wait or when they are finished eating! And, remember that everyone was once a child and I’m sure others are having the same meltdowns that your family is having! That’s what makes family trips so memorable!
4. Make Your Family Vacation Comfortable
The best family vacations are those where you feel at home! No matter if you are staying in a home, renting a condo or staying at a resort, it’s the small things that make you feel comfortable!
If you’ve got little ones that need play pins or beds, don’t be afraid to ask. If your rental company or resort doesn’t have exactly what you need, ask if there is a company that provides what you are requesting. Also, I’m sure there is a Walmart or other convenient store that you can splurge on anything extra just so you can relax!
Family travel can be stressful for everyone involved. Your kids want to feel just as comfortable as you! And with all of the play time during the day, you all will be exhausted at night so make it feel like home!
5. Spend a Day at the Beach
Your entire family vacation doesn’t have to be planned out. We think that a full day at the beach will make up the best vacation. Wake up, pack some sandwiches and head to the sand!
Bring your umbrella so you can take a little break in the shade if you need, bring all the water and snacks to keep the tummies from rumbling, and toys to keep everyone occupied. Sit, smile and enjoy the sunset from your beach chair.
Oh, and don’t forget the sunscreen!
Family Beach Vacations can bring out the best and the worst – kind of holidays! But preparation, picking the right vacation spot and enjoying the time together will make it successful!
Don’t forget about looking into family-friendly vacation spots like Hilton Head Island, SC to ensure everyone has a good time and there are activities for all ages! And parents, don’t forget to reward yourself with a night out or day spent together so get that babysitter! We hope you have the best family vacations every time!