Let’s take all the potential destinations your family came up with on the Wish List and create a Family Vacation Roadmap for both the short and long term.
A great way to start the organizing is to write all the ideas onto small sticky notes. This way, you can arrange and group and move your thoughts around as you discuss and plan.
Once you have all the destinations on stickies, organize them on paper by different categories. For example:
AGES OF YOUR KIDS
Thinking about your list in terms of what’s appropriate for your kids’ ages can be a great way to organize your roadmap. You have around eighteen summer vacations with your kids (plus spring and fall breaks) so make them count!
In their younger years, children are often more challenging to travel with and too young to appreciate an international destination’s culture and food. These younger years may be best for a beach vacation in the U.S., a cruise, or an all-inclusive resort in Mexico.
As they get older, you can plan and enjoy trips to theme parks, big cities with museums, and international destinations. It’s thinking about what everyone will appreciate when.
I’m not suggesting you have to neglect where you want to go as adults because your children may be too young. You can always pack the baby up and fly off to your favorite city.
HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO SPEND AND WHEN
Growing up, my family didn’t have an unlimited travel budget, so we would alternate years between less-expensive trips and more elaborate vacations.
This is a great way to manage your expenses through the years. And once mapped out, you can start to save for those big trips.
You can look at timing in a few different ways.
- What do you want to do in the next few years vs. save for a big milestone trip?
- How long does it take to plan the trip? A road trip on a tank of gas can be easy an easy long weekend to plan, while the African Safari Adventure can take several years to plan.
- How much time does the trip take? You could rent an RV to tour a few National Parks in a week while you may want to spend two weeks exploring France or Greece.
- What’s the best time of year to take the trip? Costa Rica may be your ideal getaway in winter, while exploring the Northeast’s autumn leaves is best in October.
FAMILY EVENTS & MILESTONES
You may want to plan some trips around celebrations such as important birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations. What a great reason and way to celebrate!
These can also be great trips to plan with the extended family, renting a villa in Tuscany, or a Dude Ranch trip out West.
As with creating the Family Travel Wish List, you can get the whole family involved in making this plan. Have everyone put their destinations on stickies, then start to map them out on some big paper to layout your Family Vacation Roadmap.
All of this will help you get excited and, on the road, to planning your family holidays! Oh, the places we will go!