Family vacation season can be chaotic for families, often requiring parents to juggle multiple items at once. The good news is – it doesn’t have to be.
With a few simple calendar hacks, you can go on your way to a fun, well-deserved, well-planned family vacation. When you start planning your vacation, it’s never as simple as just “getting away.” You have to ensure that your team and coworkers are on the same page as your family.
This guide will walk through several calendar hacks that’ll significantly improve your vacation planning. We’ll explore scheduling time off, making a budget, and creating plans and itineraries for our trip.
Using a calendar and some well-intentioned advice, you can be on your way to the family vacation of a lifetime. Let’s begin!
Plan Your Family Vacation Like a Pro
When you picture your family vacation, is the image in your mind one of chaos or calm? Fortunately, with proper planning and a few “calendar hacks,” you can create a calm and relaxing family experience.
Planning a vacation is never easy and involves a lot of preparation upfront. First, you have to ensure everyone at your place of work is on the same page. Then, once that’s complete, you’ll have to work out your budget and travel plans. Finally, you can begin to look at fun events and restaurant reservations for your family.
These steps take deliberate planning if you want things to go as smoothly as possible. While it may take some more time to plan initially, it’s well worth the peace of mind in the end.
Let’s begin exploring some tactical “calendar hacks” that you can use to design your next family vacation.
1. Schedule time off work in advance
One of the most efficient and effective ways to plan your family vacation is to do it at the beginning of the year. Instead of planning just a few months ahead like most, the key is determining when your family would like to travel.
At the beginning of each year, sit down and think about your priorities and where you would like to go. Then, determine how long a trip would be and make some initial estimates.
Once you have a good idea of the number of trips and the length of each trip, block out time in your calendar today. Then, verify that your vacations are entered into your work and personal calendars.
As a final step, notify your team and coworkers of the days you’ll be out of the office (OOO). Then, if necessary, find replacements and delegate work that others can complete while you’re away.
2. Make a budget
One of the most important things you need to plan before your family vacation is your budget. What is the maximum amount you can afford to spend on your vacation? Are you traveling domestically or internationally? What mode of transportation will you take?
Based on your answers, these questions are equally important and will likely significantly impact your budget.
The best way to determine your budget is to make a list of everything you’ve purchased within the last several months. You can organize every transaction into categories and then sum up each category for a total.
There are software tools and applications that can assist you with this process. For example, instead of manually doing all of these calculations, you can automatically pull your transactions and categorize them.
Finally, once you’re clear on your current finances, determine a reasonable budget for your family vacation that doesn’t break the bank.
3. Create a transportation plan
Based on your budget and travel destination, your method of transportation will vary significantly. Most commonly, families take commercial flights to their vacation destinations.
If you won’t be flying or your destination is relatively close, you can choose to take a car and drive, take a bus, take a light rail, or even take a passenger train ride with your family.
Creating a transportation plan involves knowing where, when, and at what time all of your stops are. When booking transportation that leads to another form of transport, ensure that you leave enough time between the two. The last thing you want is for your family to be rushing across a terminal to make your connection in time.
Take the process slowly and meticulously — think through every possible transportation snag you might have. By doing so in advance, you’ll be well prepared to handle anything that might go wrong.
4. Develop an itinerary and event plan
Once you and your family have arrived at your destination, what activities or events will you take a part in? Use your calendar to plan each event, and schedule them according to your ideal day.
Suppose you’re going to a destination where your children can swim with dolphins; for example, block this time on your calendar. Then, once it’s time blocked, ensure that the event company has your reservation ready to go.
The best way to have an enjoyable multigenerational family vacation is to plan all your activities in advance. However, if you try to plan at the moment, you’ll likely have people disagreeing without fully understanding your intentions.
A solid itinerary and event plan laid out on your calendar is one of the best investments you could make.
5. Add restaurant reservations
Where will you and your family be eating on your trip? If you plan to dine out regularly, make reservations in advance of your trip and attend them in your scheduled order.
Depending on your destination and the time of year that you’re going, this can be more or less challenging. It can be challenging to book reservations during busy times, especially in tourist hotspots.
For this reason, it’s recommended that you book all of your restaurants as quickly as possible. Then, when you get to your destination, all you’ll have to do is follow your calendar and attend each restaurant sequentially.
Planning a family vacation can be a stressful and challenging endeavor. Fortunately, using a few calendar hacks can significantly simplify the process.
At this point, you should be familiar with the basic steps required to plan a relaxing family vacation from start to finish. This includes placing each event on your calendar in advance.
You’ll begin by scheduling time off work and notifying your coworkers of your vacation days. Once that’s complete, you need to make a budget for your family vacation.
Once your budget has been created and double-checked, create a transportation plan, develop an itinerary, and reserve restaurants.
Making the most out of your family vacation is up to you, and using these calendar hacks can help you make the most out of your holiday.
Spending quality time with family is one of the most important things you can do. This means that spending some time to plan out your upcoming vacation carefully is well worth the effort.
Your next exciting family vacation could be right around the corner. So start using these calendar hacks to plan your vacation today – you won’t regret it in the long run.
Image Credit: by Yulianto Poitier; Pexels; Thank you!
Hunter Meine is a BYU-Idaho graduate, husband, father, and writer. When he's not writing, he's playing sports or enjoying the outdoors with his wife and daughter.