7 TIPS FOR PLANNING FAMILY TRIPS
1. Check your flights’ luggage-weight allowances, which will change with every airline you use. Pack for the flight with the most restrictions—baggage fees can quickly add up with multiple family members. Check with hotels to see if they provide items such as playpens, to avoid schlepping them.
2. A necessary extravagance: your kids’ one must-have snack. Costa Rica may not stock that rabbit-shaped, cinnamon golden yum-yum treat.
3. It’s easy to get excited and overdo it. Pace your trip with enough downtime for the family member who tires easiest.
4. Also, kids lose patience in lines: Visit museums at off-peak times to avoid crowds. What’s the goal of the trip?
5. Ask each family member for the top three things they want to see or do, and make sure to include at least one of everybody’s picks.
6. Get some family-friendly restaurant recommendations from your Travel Advisor. Especially for fine-dining restaurants, make an early reservation for faster service, and on arrival let restaurant staff know about how long they have until the kids get antsy. They’ll work to get your family in and out within that window.
7. Prep kids for the vacation by reading books or watching movies and videos about the destination to build pre-travel excitement—but keep some aspect of the trip a secret to enhance the wow factor!
8. A good rule of thumb for long flights: Bring a different activity for every hour to keep toddlers entertained. For overnight flights, change kids into their pj’s and bring a favorite stuffed animal, so they feel as much at home as possible.