With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start planning for your next family vacation. But especially if you haven’t taken a vacation in a while, planning a vacation for your family can definitely be challenging.

Figuring out how to plan a family vacation can be stressful but with a little bit of thought ahead of time, the vacation itself can be a little less stressful once it’s finally time to go.

Whether you’re planning a camping trip at a national park or a trip to a theme park, we’ll break down the essential steps you need to take to make any family vacation as stress-free as possible.


The first step to planning any family vacation is getting your budget set far in advance. You don’t want to plan a vacation that is far beyond your means if you can’t afford it.

There are plenty of vacations you can plan for that don’t require you to break the bank. A camping trip in a national park is a great way to have a memorable vacation without having to spend a ton of money on accommodations (or travel).

Budgeting also can make a huge difference in how far you allow your family to travel. Plane tickets can get very expensive for a full family, so maybe a trip that doesn’t involve flying will make more sense for you.

However, if there’s a trip that your family has been wanting to take for a while, save up so that you don’t have to sacrifice that dream vacation for budget cuts. Vacations only come every so often and you want it to be something everyone can get excited about.

Planning Your Destination

Along those lines, it’s a good idea to get a sense of exactly what your family is interested in doing before you start planning. You might even consider creating a family bucket list to draw from when you’re planning family vacations.

You want to communicate with your whole family what everyone wants to get out of their vacation. If individual family members have different desires, try to find a compromise that everyone can be satisfied with.

And don’t forget non-traditional vacation options! For example, if your family really wants to go to a waterpark but it’s not in season, you can always go to an indoor water park too, like this one in Garden City, Kansas.

Plan Potential Dates Ahead of Time

Especially if you’re planning a vacation with multiple family members, you want to make sure you’re taking everyone’s schedule into account. You might have to consider not only your partner’s work schedule (or vacation days) but also your child’s school break schedule.

Being able to plan dates ahead of time is crucial for scheduling transportation and accommodation. You don’t want to have to cancel flights that you’ve already spend hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on.


Transportation is strongly dependent on where you plan to take your vacation. If you’re planning to go somewhere outside of the country, flying is likely your only option, but this can definitely be challenging with younger children or a large family.

However, don’t always assume that driving is the easiest or cheapest option if it’s available to you. Gas money can really add up over time, and it will also take you much longer to travel long distances if that’s a major part of your trip (also potentially adding to the cost of accommodations).

If you need to fly, there are some tricks of the trade that will help you book flights cheaper if you can plan a little bit in advance.

Don’t forget that taking a vacation closer to home is always an option too! this cuts down majorly on transportation costs and means that you can take mini-vacations much more frequently.


Accommodation can vary a huge amount in price, convenience, and amenities. Having quality accommodations can really make or break your vacation, so you definitely don’t want to leave this to the last minute.

This doesn’t mean that your accommodations have to be super expensive! It’s a good idea to look at reviews for your accommodations ahead of time, whether it’s a resort, hotel, or campground.

However, especially if you’re traveling with a larger family, you don’t want to skimp out on having enough space for everyone. Feeling cramped can contribute to major travel anxiety for adults and children alike, making your vacation a lot less enjoyable for everyone involved.

Planning your accommodation in advance can also help give you peace of mind if you’re still adjusting to life during and after Covid-19.

Food & Drinks

If you’re traveling with family, it’s likely that not everyone will like the same kinds of food. If you’re planning a vacation, it’s a good idea to look at what food options will be nearby so you can find something to please the whole family.

However, if you have any particularly picky eaters in your family, it might be a smart idea to pack at least some snacks that you know they will eat just in case there are limited food options. This can also be a good way to save some money if you’re on a slightly tighter budget.

How to Plan a Family Vacation to Remember!

Planning a family vacation can seem stressful, but there’s nothing better than allowing yourself to fully relax on your vacation because you’ve planned in advance.

With these tips in mind, learning how to plan a family vacation is a breeze. Whether you’re planning a one-day trip or a multi-week vacation, every family deserves to have a trip that creates a lifetime worth of memories.

Contact us today for more travel information regarding Garden City, Kansas!

Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau

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