Planning your first holiday as a family is such an exciting experience. It is usually done spur of the moment; something will have just clicked inside of you to make you think that you are able to undertake such a massive task. And don’t let that last sentence put you off – it is a huge thing to undertake, but if you plan effectively and prepare yourself accordingly, it should all go off without a hitch. That is, if your child or baby decides to cooperate … the majority of the time, you may not be so lucky.
Planning Where To Go
The most important thing that you will decide on your first vacation together as a family is where to go. Maybe you would like to go to somewhere hot, another country, somewhere where the climate offers a cooler breeze than where you are currently located. Perhaps you would like somewhere to sit back and chill, or maybe you want to keep yourself constantly entertained with attractions and sights to visit. Whatever you choose, you need to make sure that you are able to do this with a baby in tow. Your holidays will be different from now on; if you were previously used to visiting restaurants or clubs late at night or sleeping in during the day, this may not be an option anymore (unless you go on a trip with extended family, in which case they may be able to care for your baby one of the nights to allow you to do this). No matter which one you decide to choose, do your research on what baby-friendly activities and places there are around to go to.
Planning How To Get There
Across the United States, it is probably easier to get from one state to another by plane. This is certainly the quickest way of doing things, but the car option is also available for interstate travel should you have the time to do so. Whatever you do, you need to assess what you will need for the journey; this includes the lesser thought about things like car seats, buggies, and slings for transportation. This can especially be forgotten if you are flying by air. Some airlines require that you bring a car seat onto the plane to keep your baby secure.
Planning What To Take
This again is all dependent on where you go. You wouldn’t take a snowsuit with you to a beach, and common sense needs to come into play when packing. Of course, you need to be able to cover all bases should anything happen, but you are not at home anymore; you are limited on room and what you can take with you. What you take up in space by things that you know you will never use, could be used for more valuable and lesser-thought-about things like medicines, diapers, and hygiene products. Or you could pop in more things that are convenient to you rather than your child! The best thing that you can do is make a checklist or get some guidance from one of the many websites online that will be able to tell you exactly what you need to take, based on other parents’ reviews of their holidays.
Planning Your Costs
New parents often don’t have much money, so don’t go all out and over your budget on a holiday that you can’t realistically afford. Keeping it local to you, such as a countryside weekend away or a camping trip a couple of hours drive away is plenty. The probability is that your child will be too young to remember it anyway; although they may be enjoying it at the time, there are definite elements that are for the parents’ own memories rather than theirs. Stick to a firm target of how much you are going to spend on both the planning of the trip and the holiday itself, and try to be as frugal as you can when you get there; leave the souvenirs and traditional holiday that for another year if you can’t spare the money to afford it now. You should always have emergency cash as a backup, especially if you are in a different country; you never know what could go wrong, from having to catch a taxi back due to tiredness to hospital visits. As morbid as it sounds – cash-wise – prepare for the worst.
Planning What To Do
If you have a set plan of what your activities are for the duration of your stay, you won’t be inclined to spend more money doing things spur of the moment. Most of the time, if you are getting ahead and booking tickets in advance for attractions and events that you wish to go to, you could be saving yourself a lot of money. Turning up on the day demands higher rates for the same thing. Kids like routine, and the more you can stick to the one that you have at home, the less trouble you will have at the end of your holiday trying to get them to go back to what they were used to.
Planning Your Accommodation
There are so many different places that are available for young families to stay in, but you need to choose what is right for your budget, your lifestyle, and your patience. If you haven’t given camping a go before and have no tolerance for the outdoors, then choosing to stay in a tent is not a good idea. Likewise, if you are low on cash and are happy with knowing what to do with the basics then don’t splurge on a suite or apartment just to keep up appearances. Go with your gut and make sure that everybody is happy with whatever choice you make – you’ll soon find out if the baby isn’t, so make the most of it!