Winter vacation is one of the most exciting times of the year, especially for children. We all get a much-needed break from work, and we get to spend quality time together as a family. If you’re a family that stays in your pajamas throughout the holidays, try and switch it up this year or the next! A true vacation during the holiday season may seem hard to manage, but it’s not impossible. Check out these awesome tips for going on family vacations during the holidays to help you plan ahead. You never know—this might be your family’s new tradition!
Book As Soon As Possible
This tip is pretty obvious, but for stress-free holiday family vacations, you’re going to need to book everything as soon as possible. Staying in a vacation rental is one of the best ways to keep that home-away-from-home ideal, but you need to book those as soon as you can. Booking early will save you the stress of not having a place that fits your family and your needs. Especially follow this if you’re flying. Booking in advance will keep you from landing a crazy departure time and will also keep your rates down.
Pay Attention to the Amenities
When it comes to booking the right vacation home for you, along with looking into the room count and the proximity to town, you should also pay attention to the amenities included. If you really want to get your family in the holiday spirit on your trip, make sure that the rental has all the amenities that make for a cozy and comforting holiday. Fireplaces, cozy couches, a full kitchen, maybe even a hot-tub are all musts—the more the merrier! For example, most of our Telluride cabin and condo rentals offer beautiful master suites, fireplaces, comfortable sectionals and furniture, full kitchens, media rooms, and more! Gift your family a vacation made for royalty.
Buy One-Way Tickets
Another tip that deals with air travel, buying one-way tickets is a great way to keep your travel prices from skyrocketing. You may want to buy roundtrip tickets with the same airline, but that can have you paying way more than necessary. Before you book, take some time to compare prices. If you fly out with United and fly back with American, you may end up saving yourself some money. You can even try coming or going from different airports and see what kind of dough that saves.
Open Gifts Before (Or Ship Them Out)
Especially with younger children, the idea of a Christmas, Hanukah, or New Years away from home can seem a little daunting. Gifts are a primary reason for that stress. If you can, try to open presents before or after your trip. The hassle of bringing presents in the car or on the plane will add more stress to your plate than you want. You’ll need the space in your car, and paying for an extra suitcase or two of presents adds up. If opening before your trip isn’t an option, then instead of bringing it along with you during the actual travel, ship out the presents! This way the family will get to open presents together, but you won’t have to deal with the hassle of bringing them yourself.
Invite Friends and Family
If you can swing it, inviting friends and family to partake in your holiday vacation can put you all even more in the holiday spirit. Even just one other family member can help your kids feel more comfortable spending the holidays away from home. It can also help you save money if you stay in a vacation rental that has enough space for you all.
Add in Christmas Activities
One of our most important tips for going on family vacations during the holidays delves into your itinerary. You must ensure that you have at least one holiday-centered activity a day—especially when you’re traveling with little ones. You want your holiday travel to be as memorable as possible, which means adding in sweet moments of holiday activity is a must.
The first day you arrive, plan to decorate the house with your favorite decorations (check with the owner beforehand) so that right from the get-go your kids are transported to the holiday spirit. After that, each day should have at least one thing that will remind your family that this isn’t just a vacation, but a holiday vacation. For example, plan to go ice skating one night under the twinkle lights and sign up for a gingerbread house making contest the next day. If you have any traditions your family does at home during the holidays, make sure to include those during this trip as well.
But Don’t Overbook Your Schedule
Adding in holiday activities are a must, but do your best not to overbook your schedule. If you fill your itinerary up too much, you run the risk of a constantly tired family that just wants to get home. In general, allowing extra time is a good idea for family vacations—especially during the holidays. Giving yourself some wiggle room, especially when it comes to activities and events you have planned, will help reduce any stress and take some to-dos off of your plate.
Especially on the first day at your destination, you’re going to want to keep close to your home-away-from-home to let the kids adjust to a new place and (possibly) a new time zone. If you do go out, make it a time for exploration, but keep it short and sweet. By the end of your trip, you’ll be glad you didn’t overflow your itinerary and instead allowed for quality family time.
Stay Flexible and Patient
This tip is about you! Planning a family vacation ends up being quite strenuous, particularly during the holidays. To keep yourself from burning out and being a cranky mess, do your best to stay as flexible and patient as possible. In the simplest sense, you can only do as much as you can do, and you can’t control what you can’t control. If your flight gets delayed, it gets delayed! Staying positive about it will be better for you and your family. It’s all an adventure, and the more you remember that, the better. When your stress rises, take a couple minutes to yourself to enjoy some deep, calming breaths, and remind yourself that you can’t control it all.
If you want to take a holiday family vacation that you’ll never forget, turn to Exceptional Stays for your dream rental vacation. From winter wonderlands in Telluride to beachy escapes in Mexico, we have what you need to get your family vacation off to a brilliant start!