TeacherLists Blog

The Ultimate Family Summer Vacation Guide


Your PTO has been approved, your kids are out of school, and the trip is booked. It sounds like smooth sailing from here but traveling as a family requires some extra coordination. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Keep these 10 tips in mind as you travel, and you’re on track to have the best summer vacation ever.


  1. Let everyone plan an activity

There’s no way to please everyone with every item on the agenda. Instead, let everyone pick something they want to do! Young kids could have a difficult time coming up with an idea, so offer them options, like whether they’d prefer a day at the zoo or the aquarium.


  1. Review travel details with your children

If your children have never been on a plane before, it’s crucial you tell them what to expect. Popping ears and turbulence are only a few of the uncomfortable feelings that can happen, so it’s best they come prepared. If you’re driving, let them know they’ll be in the car longer than they’re used to.


TIP: If possible, book the window and aisle seats. The window is a favorite for kids to gaze out and pass the time, and the aisle comes in handy to get up for bathroom breaks. Also, many airlines let families with small children board first. Reach out to your airline to confirm this perk so you can get settled in an empty plane before everyone else boards.


  1. Use travel as a learning opportunity (or many!)

Learning doesn’t stop just because it’s summer! When planning your vacation, book educational activities, like going to a local museum or exhibit. Even better, find something that lets your child explore their interests! For example, if your child loves animals, find a sanctuary or science center that educates the community on local wildlife.


  1. Ask around

Many of your friends have been in your shoes before. When you get stuck in the planning, ask for recommendations and advice. They might even have extra car seats or diaper bags you can borrow to help cut down on costs.


  1. Snacks

Need we say more?


  1. Master the art of suitcase organization

Packing for the whole family takes some strategy. Vacuum-seal bags and packing cubes can be extra useful in making the most of the space you have. Get a head start to avoid stress-packing–we recommend starting 3 days before takeoff!


TIP: To get through TSA faster, make your liquids and electronics easily accessible. Designate 1 carry-on bag for everything that needs to be removed before going through security so you aren’t digging through your things in a hurry. Those 2 minutes are stressful enough!


  1. Be flexible

Don’t schedule an activity for every minute of your trip and be open the plans changing. Traveling with kids is unpredictable, so keep an open mind!


  1. Enroll every traveler in your rewards program

When your children are accounted for in your rewards program, those points add up quickly and can go towards future vacations!


  1. Set aside extra time for just about everything

Everything takes a little longer with children. That’s okay! Just make sure you’re setting time aside to take it slow. You’re on vacation–there’s no rush!


  1. Note everything you learn for next year

It’s not going to go perfectly. You’ll make some rookie mistakes. Don’t sweat it, just note it for next year’s vacation so things go more smoothly.


And here’s a bonus tip…


Summer is prone to accidents. Make sure your children stay safe on vacation by stocking up on sunscreen, staying hydrated, and understanding water safety.

Originally posted 2024

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