Family Travel Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make

Family Travel Mistakes You Don't Want To Make

First mistake: Forgetting the kids!

With summer fast approaching, you will no doubt be planning your annual family vacation. Woohoo! What could possibly go wrong? Everything, especially if you don’t make the mistakes mentioned in this article into account. To maintain those healthy family relationships you are trying to build, you need to avoid the following. Otherwise, it will be a very difficult holiday for all of you.

Mistake #1: Not letting your kids in on the planning

You don’t want your kids planning every aspect of your vacation – you will only end up at the theme park every day if you do – but you should still include them in your planning to make sure they get the holiday they need too. Otherwise, you are guaranteed to hear those infernal words “I’m bored” if you have only placed museums and flower gardens on your holiday itinerary.

Mistake #2: Choosing the wrong hotel

For starters, you really do need to get on TripAdvisor for hotel reviews. This way, you will avoid a stay at some rat pit that is miles from anywhere and possibly in disrepair. You also need to book a stay at a family-friendly hotel. Some hotels don’t tolerate the sight or sound of excitable children, while others, such as the Fairfield Inn & Suites Harrisonburg do all they can to attract families, with water parks and the like.

Mistake #3: Doing everything in one day

So much to see and do and so little time to do it. Well, unless you run around like a headless chicken on a whistle-stop tour of everything. Still, you will only exhaust yourself if you do, and your kids will have a hard time trying to catch you up when you’re running to the next thing. So what we are saying is this. Slow down! Only put the must-see items on your itinerary and if you have time for anything else afterward, then all the better. It’s about quality, not quantity, so take the time to enjoy whatever you are doing.

Mistake #4: Forgetting the first-aid kit

Always always always carry around a first-aid kit with you. We aren’t talking about something huge, as you can buy handy travel kits that won’t take up much room on your travels. Considering the various health hazards, from scuffs on knees when clambering up rocks,  to staying under the sun for too long and getting sunburn, make sure you have the right stuff packed into the kit for every conceivable situation.

Mistake #5: Sweating over the small stuff

Mistakes will happen, including those we are mentioning in this article. While we are trying to help you avoid holiday blunders, you can guarantee something will go wrong. Your child will go to the toilet in the swimming pool, your dog will run off with the hotel key, and you will probably realize you have left your toothbrush at home. Rather than getting stressed and annoyed at yourself and your family, chill out and calm down. Flapping around won’t help, and you will ruin everybody’s holiday experience. Most things aren’t ‘the end of the world,’ so don’t sweat the small stuff, and remember that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect holiday.’

What about you? Is there anything we have missed on this list? Have you made any holiday mistakes when away with your family? Let us know, and give us all a chance to avoid those vacation blunders!


  1. We had to stay overnight while working out of town and all the hotels were full due to a recent storm. We found the only one with a room and took it. A hooker called our room to see if my old man wanted company. You haven’t lived until you’ve stayed at a hotel that you had to put the table against the door handle so that you felt safe enough to try to get some sleep.

  2. One time we got this really sketchy hotel and it had a bad smell! I need to write about it, it’s bad but in a funny way. You really have to look at reviews on unfamiliar places! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. Awwwe yeah this is a great read before traveling with my little munchkin! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  4. All good travel tips for any family! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I don’t have kids – yet. But I can imagine they add a whole other dimension to a vacation. These are great tips for someone who is looking to start their family to give them a bit of a reality check on what it’s all about!

  6. Yes! Don’t forget the first-aid kit and children’s medicine. And have it with you at all times. On one trip, we were driving back from Niagara Falls in New York. We were in the middle of nowhere and my daughter started running a fever. I didn’t have a first aid kit, a thermometer, or her medicine. We finally found a Walgreens. I will never do that again!

  7. These are all great tips. I agree with not allowing the kids in on the planning. Obviously, you know your kids’ enough to know what they would enjoy and too many people in charge normally doesn’t have a great outcome. But really you touched on all the important ones! Great post.

  8. I love the idea of making sure that you get the kids involved in the planning. You totally don’t want to make these mistakes! Thanks for sharing.

  9. This is really a great post. It is super important that we don’t make these mistakes because it can totally ruin the entire trip!

  10. Getting the kids involved in planning is a good one! Not sweating the small stuff is one I am constantly working on.

  11. This tips are right on the money! Traveling as a family can be taxing to the kids; we want to keep them happy!

  12. #2 is so important, it can make or break a trip! Thanks for sharing!!

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