Family Travel usually takes a bit more planning and a whole lot more patience, than the trip around Europe or Asia you took in your 20’s to find yourself.
Having travelled around the world for over 35+ years, to 20 countries and 5 continents, I’ve learned what to do (& not to do), through my experience as a solo traveller, and travelling with my kids from babies to teens.
From finding good deals on flights, to choosing a destination, or preparing your house and packing. There’s a lot to think about.
Here you’ll find all our latest resources and tips on family travel planning, budgeting and packing. The fun doesn’t stop here as we are planning on adding more resources over time, and updating as we learn more through our travels.
Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. All the links to resources are one’s we either use, or come highly recommended and one’s we would use ourself on our travels. If you click one of the links and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thank you! See full disclosure and disclaimer policy here.
What you need to know before jetting off on your latest family adventures.
Can there be anything more stressful than realizing you forgot some key item on your to-do list as you head out the door to the airport? Passport expiring? Housesitter prep? Extra keys for the car for the road trip in case you accidentally lose them?
All our pre-trip planning resources for families are here to help you make organizing before you leave on your trip easier. So all you have to do is relax on vacation ( and ignore the kids arguing every 5 minutes).
Other travel checklists & planners to check out:
Pre-Travel Family Vacation Considerations
Before planning even starts, there are many things to consider about your next family adventure.
Things like can your family afford to take time off work and school and how often you should take a family vacation (uh…as much as you can! Ok reality, stop ruining the fun).
- Create your Travel Vision Board for the year & make your traval dreams a reality.
Family Travel Gear
There’s so much to consider when packing up your kids and hitting the road.
We have a full page of essential travel gear recommendations we’ve either tried out or would buy ourselves.
Choose a destination
The world is wide, and has so many great options for places to travel. We have many itineraries and family friendly destinations to explore.
Here are a few amazing places to add to your family travel bucket list:
- 15 Amazing Spring Break Destinations in the USA
- 9 Epic places to visit for spring break around the world
- Vancouver Island, BC, Canada Bucket List Ideas
- Bryce Canyon, Utah; hike, see, play
- California Family Bucket List
- 3 Day Itinerary to Victoria, BC, Canada
- Best Saco River Campgrounds in Maine
- 3 Day Stowe, Vermont USA Itinerary
- Acadia National Park & Bar Harbour adventures
- Rhode Island for fun Fall adventures with kids
- Where to apple pick Rhode Island, USA
- Best corn mazes in Rhode Island, USA
- Acadia National Park Fall Guide
- Fun, Snowy USA winter destinations for families
- Costa Rica 10 Day adventure with kids
- Carribean dreams – Best things to do in Havana
- Bahamas Family Vacation
- Best things to do in Victoria, Canada in winter
- Varadero Kid Friendly things to do
- Yellowknife, NT, Canada: Yellowknife is a destination unto itself as it is located in the far north of Canada. If you are looking for almost 24 hours of sunlight in the summer, ice castles in winter and world class northern lights views in fall / spring/ winter, then this is the road trip adventure for you. Check out our list of the top Yellowknife activities not to miss.
Use websites like Skyscanner, Momondo, and Google Flights and their explore tools. Put in your home airport to see a map of the world with all the flights on it to easily compare multiple destinations, prices and dates of travel. If you have more flexibiilty on dates and destinations, you can often get better deals.
- Begin your flight search with Skyscanner – It searches more little booking websites, budget airlines, and routes than others, so gives you a good overview of price options.
- Get access to cheap flights straight to your inbox, no scouring the internet, with Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights )
Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights)
When traveling, transportation costs can be a significant part of your budget.
>>> Sign up free for Going’s newsletter, if your jump off point is any US airport. As a Canadian, I am super jealous of all the great deals people get (and announce in all the FB travel groups I belong to).
Here’s how it works:
- Sign up to receive their emails (they have 3 tiers free up to elite – higher the tier the more airports, deals, and classes of seats you’ll get info on).
- Set which US airports you want deals from.
- Watch your email for the awesome deals they find, then book your favourite one.
- Save up to 90% off flights. On average members save up to $550 a flight.
Just think of all the fun activities and fancy umbrella drinks you can buy with those savings across a family!
Join here for free to their limited plan and also have the option of upgrading to a free 14 day trial of their premium or elite membership to see if it’s something that interests you.
Where To Find Fun & Afforable Lodging
Before booking our lodging for trips, I like to do research into the best places to stay. I ask around to friends and family for their recommendations. Keep an eye out in family travel facebook groups for places that consistently get recommended for my destination. I read reviews on trip advisor and the like.
Once I have an idea of what I’m looking for, then I head over to our go to booking sites:
- Booking.com for good deals on hotels, resorts, cottages & other accomodations
- VRBO for family friendly accommodations that have the comforts of home, but without the cleaning!
- Expedia – Expedia can help you find great deals, the best hotels in unfamiliar locations due to it’s robust search filters & can streamline purchasing insurance. Just be aware of cancellation policies before booking.
Booking directly with a hotel can give you more flexilibility with cancellation policies, changing reservations and other perks if you have rewards cards with a specific hotel chain.
If you travel frequently check out these popular hotel reward options with a global footprint:
- IHG Hotels – A family and business favourite with over 6000+ hotels and perks like free night stays, guaranteed room availability, and late checkout.
- Marriott Bonvoy – One of the largest hotel chains (7000+ hotels), so wherever you go there will likely be a Marriott to chose from.
- Hilton Honors – Popular as it offers hotel choices for all budgets, plus it’s easier to get top tier status and has over 6400+ hotels globally.
Rental Car Resources
Discover Cars – Discover Cars helps you compare car rental deals from many different companies around the world. So that you can get the cheapest rate or choose the best one for your next trip.
Budgeting Tips For Family Travel
Budgeting is the key to a stress free and successful family vacation. Here you will find all our latest posts, printables and tips to help you make the most of your family trip, no matter what your budget or style of travel.
Packing Lists & Family Travel Tips
Packing, you either love it, or hate it. Personally I love packing as it means I will soon be going on an adventure. Now unpacking is a whole other matter!
Either way, you’ve come to the right place if you are looking for some checklists, tips and hacks to make packing easier for your next journey.
Carry On Questions and Must Haves
- Can you bring magnets on the plane?
- Can you bring a water bottle on a plane?
- Can you take a tennis racquet on a plane?
- Best travel backpacks for toddlers, kids & tweens
TRAVEL ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
One of the most dread sentences a parent can hear only 1 hour into your much anticipated family vacation: “Mom / Dad I’m bored.” It’s a good idea to have some fun age appropriate activities up your sleeve to make those long travel days, and vacation down times more manageable.
- Travel Gift Ideas for Tweens they’ll use and love
- Gifts for Travel Lovers of all ages
- Camping Gift ideas for Outdoorsy Kids (or those that want to be)
Coloring & Activities for Kids
Coloring, and Activity Books are calming and easy activities for kids of all ages to enjoy.
Family Vacation Meals & Recipes
If you like saving a bit of money, and making your own meals, then these family vacation meals & recipes are for you.
FAMILY ROAD TRIP TIPS & RESOURCES
Dreaming of an open road, wind blowing in your hair, kids peacefully keeping themselves entertained in the back seat? One can hope right.
We have some essential road trip tips and planning resources to help make your family vacation & road trip prep more successful. We can’t guarantee your kids won’t fight in the back seat, but we can help you make things easier.
Don’t forget all your Family Road Trip Essentials. We’ve put together our favourites list to help you and your kids survive those long stretches on the road.
CAMPING TIPS & RESOURCES
Camping with kids can be so much fun, but oh so much work. Planning is the key to an easy, fun and successful family camping trip. You’ll want to make sure you do some campground research, plan out your meals, and activities and have a packing list so you don’t forget important items.