Traveling with family of four or less is normally convenient and ideal. Going on a vacation with a child is already tasking but what happens if there’s mommy, daddy, and three children in the picture? Well, making sure that the number of family members traveling does not get in the way of having fun, it is important to take into consideration these helpful tips and tricks on how to take a vacation with a family of 5.
1. Check the hotel accommodation fine print carefully
Most hotels fit either two or four persons in a room, so most families of five end up needing two rooms, which means spending more for hotel room reservations, unless they can get a roll-away bed in the room, which can sometimes be hard. When looking for a hotel, it is important for traveling families of five to consider the number of people that is allowed to stay in the room.
Hotels usually provide options for you to indicate the number of persons you need to be in the room. Family suites with two bedrooms, one for the parents and one for the kids, may also be available. It certainly pays to validate it through the hotel’s website. In the event that family rooms are not available, make sure to contact the hotel ahead of time and make arrangements that you need a room for a family of five. This way, the hotel staff can prepare additional beds for the little ones’ comfortable stay.
2. Consider renting an apartment, a condo, or a house
If looking for a hotel that can accommodate everyone in one place is unsuccessful, then the next best option is to look for an apartment, a condo, or even a house.
This will solve the problem of having to consider the number of heads in one room. Plus, it is also economical, since booking sites such as Airbnb provide cheaper rates than hotels do.
3. Think of dining options
We certainly love dining out when on vacation, especially if you are traveling with kids to a country notorious for its delectable food. But eating out for the entire time you are on vacation with a family of five can be straining to the pocket.
Given that you will opt for an accommodation option that has a kitchen, you can save from buying out food or from eating out in restaurants if you prepare your meals.
4. Consider renting a car instead of taking a cab
Imagine having to split the family of five into two groups just to accommodate everyone inside a cab. This can be a challenging feat for parents, especially if you are on a tight budget and have limited travel time.
Keeping track of two vehicles is an extra task you want ticked off from your to-do list. Since most cabs only, only allow four passengers, it is advisable for traveling families of five to rent a van or a car that can accommodate everyone. It will be cost efficient and at the same time fun since the little ones can bond in the backseat.
5. Don’t go overboard in terms of your luggage
While it is extremely significant to bring all your kids travel essentials – baby bottles, formula, medicines, toys and games, strollers and baby carriers, and clothes, it is also equally important to think about the hassle of transporting and transferring luggage.
There is an additional challenge if you’re traveling with three or more children. So, don’t go overboard by smartly planning the number of clothes and the type of clothes that kids will need for the entire duration of the trip. Keeping a list of things you need for the trip will save you money from not getting an extra luggage allowance and from not having to buy additional bags.
6. Wear comfortable and lightweight shoes
Yes. Selecting the right type of shoes is also key to making sure that no one spoils the fun. Kids have tantrums and normally act out if they are tired.
With a lot of walking, and possibly running, during your travel, kids will find it comfortable to wear reliable shoes and eventually avoid getting upset. Parents will also find it helpful, as it will lessens the burden of managing kids’ grumpiness.
7. Divide the kids and assign them to each of the parents if needed
When the tour starts, you wouldn’t want to be looking for all three of your children while carrying their essentials. You have to work hand-in-hand with your partner and see to it that every child is well taken care of.
After all, you guys are teammates. This means you need to identify who will look after who. Although this doesn’t mean you should stop looking after everyone, it helps you manage your kids better.
8. Put an ID or a name tag on
Teens and grownups may be okay without the traditional name tag, but if you travel with a family of five and the kids are all toddlers, then, suit them with the tags.
Having those tags on will ensure that in case they get lost, someone will be able to know who to contact and this will ensure that the kids are safe. This goes without saying that the tags must have your kids’ names and emergency contact details.
9. Set house rules
This tip sounds autocratic, but no. It is for your own good and your children’s wellness that house rules of must-dos and mustn’t-dos need to be laid out before your trip. Think that you are doing this not to keep your kids from having fun but from any untoward incident while on the trip.
Your house rules need to be personal, based on your children’s personality. You know them better, so it should be easy for you to create the rules. Rules may include: no running and pushing when on the streets, wear your tags all the time, and remember to follow mommy and daddy’s instructions. Make it fun and not scary.
10. Be democratic
Doesn’t this contradict with the setting of house rules? No, it doesn’t. Being democratic means allowing your children, especially if you have teens in the group, to choose must-do things and must-see places.
Ask them to create a list and give them the option to pick one or more choices that the entire family can do or see.
11. Put variety in the list of places you will be visiting
The fun and excitement you give to your children may also depend on putting a plan of places you will be visiting that interest them.
If your kids love rides and adventure, theme parks and adventure parks may be for them. If they love to learn, they may like tours that involve museums, palaces, castles, and exhibits.
12. Look for discounts
This is probably one of the advantages of traveling with more in the group. When checking out for attractions to see, be on the lookout for discounts and promotional rates given to families with two or more kids.
Given that you are traveling with a family of five, it may quality you for discounts if you ask.
13. Plan and make room for downtime
Kids will be kids, regardless of where they maybe. Toddlers require playtime, while teens require “me time.” Therefore, it is your task to make room for everyone’s needs. Make sure that you do not bombard your daily itinerary with too many things to do or too many attractions to see.
They will appreciate it if you give everyone time to do their stuff – relax by the beach and do nothing but admire the sunset, read a book by the pool, or lounge in the bed. Playtime for kids is also important to keep them interested, so be ready with your travel game apps and travel board games.
14. Plan, Plan, Plan
This means being careful with details. To make sure you do not leave anything to chances, create your travel plan.
While you can be spontaneous for a day, most of the days in your trip must be planned. Consider putting it all together in a file with all the details – itineraries, hotel reservation, tour packages, transportation passes, etc.
15. Lastly, don’t forget to have fun
This is definitely one of the best things you can do with your family. Having fun while on a vacation means giving your children memories and experiences they will never forget. Enjoy each other’s company.
You can be creative. You can dress alike and be corny for a day. Color coding may also work for you. You can code your child or children, depending on their favorite color. Bags, shoes, clothes, plates, cups, and many others are color coded.