4 Ways To Properly Plan A Family Vacation

Tim Watt  |  April 6, 2015

As temperatures begin to rise, people may begin to think about organizing a family vacation. However, if you have a lot of people in your family and plan to include both children and seniors, it can be a little stressful to make it work. Consider these tips to make your family vacation a breeze, so you can sit back and relax once you get there. 

1. Keep it all in one place 
If you're arranging a family vacation that includes seniors and children, it's easy to get overwhelmed. It's also hard to keep track of everything, including plane tickets, hotels, rental cars and travel agent information. If you've decided to take the reins on pulling it all together, it's important to put all the travel pieces in one place, One Million Skates magazine stated. One easy way is to make a travel binder that has everyone's tickets and information, separated by category. Try to purchase everything yourself and ask family members to reimburse you after so you're all in the same hotel, USA Today recommended. You could also use a planner or organizer to keep track of dates and flight information. However you choose to assemble it, just make sure that nothing gets lost in the mix. Some family members may ask for their own tickets or information. While you can forward them personal flight, hotel and rental car numbers, it's crucial that you keep the original copies just in case.

2. Consider a series of lists
When you're in charge, there is a high likelihood that someone might forget something. Organized Home suggested to prevent this from happening and to keep everyone on the same page, you may want to think about creating a series of lists for each step of the way. That means making one for each person going on the trip, as they may differ. For example, your list for a loved one in a senior community may include remembering medications and organizing special travel accommodations if he or she uses a walker or a wheelchair. You could also make lists for tasks you need to accomplish as the designated trip organizer, a checklist for everyone before they leave the house, one for whoever is looking after your home and even a list for when you get there. Keep a copy of all of them together in the same place as your travel information as well.

3. Make a packing spot
Like your travel information, it's important to keep other items all in one area, One Million Skates advised. That's why it might be a good idea to create a packing room in your house where passports, toiletries and other essential items go so they aren't lost or forgotten. As you get closer to the travel date, you can slowly begin to pack these items into respective bags for people, and then add other fully packed bags at the end. Go over your packing lists with each family member the day before to make sure nothing is left behind.

4. Pack some snacks
Regardless of whether you're hitting the road or taking flight, people can get hungry. Hunger pangs can sometimes lead to crankiness and irritability, making traveling in large groups a lot harder. Organized Home stated that's why it's important to pack snacks for everyone. If your mom or dad is following a specialized diet at the retirement community, talk to staff to find out the best snack options for their dietary restrictions. While you may want to cut back on other things, you don't want to cut back on food.If you're traveling with people in every age group, you may want to separate snacks for kids, adults and seniors and label them well so there's no issues. 

Alternatively, a Respite Care stay allows caregivers and families the opportunity to take a vacation or a break while their loved one experiences many of the services and amenities available to permanent residents at a Sunrise community. Learn more about this type of senior care here, or discuss your options with a senior resource counselor to find out more.