Momma Wanderlust - Curating Cultural Travels for Families

Warning: strlen() expects parameter 1 to be string, array given in /home/customer/www/ on line 262

How to Plan a Family Trip

by Tykesha77
(Last Updated On: )

This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click and make a purchase I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. All opinions are my own.

How to Plan a Family Vacation: 7 Practical Tips featured by top family travel blogger, Momma Wanderlust

As a mom of two kids, I know firsthand just how difficult it can be to plan a family vacation. It can be overwhelming just figuring out where to begin, let alone maneuvering through the process of deciding where to go, securing lodging and flights, and planning activities for everyone.

Through countless trips and plenty of trial and error, I have come up with this fool-proof guide on how to plan a family vacation. The easy step-by-step guide below has helped me learn how to remove stress from the equation and enjoy planning our family trips.

Keep reading if you’re wondering how to plan a family vacation without losing your mind.

How to Plan a Family Vacation: Top Tips

Step 1″ Figure Out When You’re Available to Travel

Best Months to Travel

Choosing the right time to travel depends heavily on your family’s schedule and the destinations on your wish list. Summer months are typically ideal for families due to school vacations, making it easier to plan longer getaways. However, shoulder seasons—just before or after peak tourist season—can offer lower prices and thinner crowds while still providing enjoyable weather.

 Weather Considerations

Weather plays a crucial role in your travel experience. We learned the hard way that the temperatures in Egypt when we visited in July were not ideal.  Researching your destination’s climate will help you avoid unexpected weather woes. Websites like can provide monthly climate averages to determine the best times to visit based on your weather preferences, whether you’re looking for beach-perfect sunny days or cool, comfortable sightseeing weather.

Step 2: Decide on a budget.

The first step in planning a family vacation is deciding on a budget with your partner. Once you’ve got your budget (or a range), you can determine how to divide it between lodging, transportation, food, souvenirs, and activities.

Family vacation planning could easily fall apart without a budget, and we don’t want that!

Step 3: Decide what kind of family vacation you want.

Now that you’ve agreed on a budget, it’s time to brainstorm the kind of vacation you want to share with your family. Think about your shared interests and vacation destinations that appeal to different types of people.

Does your family love the outdoors? A trip to a national park could be a great choice. Want a trip that doesn’t require much planning? Check out cruise options. Want to hit up a theme park? Disney World might be right up your alley. Think about your audience (AKA your family) and figure out what kind of vacation would appeal to everybody.

Start by brainstorming places that align with your family’s interests. Use Pinterest to create a board for each potential destination. Pin images of places of interest, activities for kids, and local cuisine. This visual approach can help you narrow down your options and decide on a destination that excites everyone in the family.

Step 4: Do your research.

Congratulations- you’ve picked your next family vacation spot! Now that you’ve done that, it’s time to hit the books- or, in this case, the internet. You can find tons of incredible resources online (Pinterest is a great one!) about your destination to help you figure out the best times to go, what to pack, local eats, and what to do once you arrive.

Step 5: Book your flights and transportation.

Once you’ve pinned down your destination, it’s time to look for the best flight deals. Use websites like Skyscanner, Google Flights, and Kayak to compare prices across multiple airlines. These platforms allow you to set up alerts for specific routes so you can snag deals when prices drop. It’s a fantastic way to save money and keep track of airfares without having to search daily.

In my opinion, it’s always best to book your flights before your lodging. Why, you ask? Flights are typically the most expensive component of any family vacation. For this reason, it’s essential to be flexible with dates to take advantage of the best possible flight deals.

This is also the time to determine whether you’ll need a rental car. Consider where you’re going, the public transportation situation, and whether you’ll need to get around on your own.

Step 6: Book your family-friendly lodging

With your dates locked in, it’s time to select your lodging. Think about the primary reason you chose your destination, and how close to that attraction you want (or can afford) to stay. Choose a few options that appeal to you, weigh the pros and cons, and select the best lodging choice for your family’s needs.

Step 7: Build a tentative itinerary.

The fun part can begin now that you have booked your flights and lodging. Begin to build a rough itinerary that you can use as a template for your family vacation. When I first learned how to plan a family vacation, this was one of the things that helped me the most.

Additionally, engaging your kids in the planning process not only makes them feel valued but also builds their excitement for the trip. Discuss potential activities with them and include their choices in your itinerary. Look for kid-friendly attractions, parks, and interactive museums to keep the younger ones entertained. Remember, a flexible itinerary that allows some downtime is often more enjoyable for families.

A tentative itinerary will serve as a roadmap for the excursions and activities you want to plan for the family.

Step 8: Book excursions and activities for your family

Step seven is when family vacation planning gets exciting. I highly recommend letting your kids be part of the excursion planning step, as it’s a great way to get everyone excited about the trip and make the kids feel like their voices are being heard.

One of my favorite family vacation activity ideas is booking a professional photography session for the bunch—it’s so much fun and a fantastic way of ensuring you have plenty of awesome photos to remember the trip by.  We love to use Flytographer; click the link to book your photography session for your next vacation.

How to Plan a Family Vacation: 7 Practical Tips featured by top family travel blogger, Momma Wanderlust

Here’s a pic from our last Flytographer session in Nashville.

Step 9: Make a Trip To-Do List

Create a to-do list of pre-trip tasks such as buying travel insurance, securing pet care, stopping mail delivery, and packing. Checking these items off as you complete them will help ensure you don’t miss anything important.

Step 10: Try to plan alone time with your spouse.

When you’ve got small children, alone time with your spouse often feels like a pipe dream. However, I have found that carving out a little one-on-one time with your partner during family vacations is a great way to relax, recharge, and connect.

Consider bringing grandma or a trusted family friend along for the vacation to help with this. Many hotels also offer daycare options, and cruises are known for offering plenty of kids-only activities, so parents can enjoy a little downtime.

Step 11: Pack

Packing is crucial, especially with kids. Make a checklist for each family member to ensure you bring all essentials, including medications, chargers, comfort items for kids, and appropriate clothing for your destination’s weather. Remember to pack snacks and entertainment for long journeys!

Now What?

Finally, the most critical advice I can give anyone planning their next family vacation is to breathe, be flexible, and remember to have fun. It’s a vacation, after all! By following these simple steps on how to plan a family vacation, you can plan all your trips more intentionally and ensure that everyone in the crew has the best time ever.

Happy travels!

If you found this post on How to Plan a Family Vacation helpful, you might also like the following articles:

Pin these tips on How to Plan a Family Vacation for later:

Cover image of a map and camera with the words How to Plan a Family trip on it.

Cover image of an RV driving on a desert road with the words How to Plan a Family trip on it.


Up Next For You


Eve Mitchell May 6, 2022 - 5:32 PM

I loved your tip about bringing a grandparent along so you can get some time alone with your spouse. I’d love to plan a family vacation since we haven’t had one since before covid. I’d love to invite my mom so she can help us take care of the kids.

Tykesha77 January 16, 2023 - 4:09 AM

I highly recommend bringing grandma! 🙂


Leave a Comment