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How to Plan a Family Vacation

Planning a family vacation can feel stressful. Luckily, here in Kissimmee, Florida, we make piece-of-cake family vacations! There are opportunities for family fun at every turn, so if you’re looking to plan the best family getaway ever, you’re in luck! Here are our top tips for planning a family vacation that pleases everyone.

Plan Together

One way to make sure everyone in your family has a fun and exciting time on their Florida vacation is to involve them in the process from the get go. Let your kids help you with the planning. It helps build excitement and helps to ensure that everyone is invested in the activities you’re planning. Explore maps of the region together, picking out attractions everyone would like to see. Find some relevant books to read so your kids can start to become familiar with the destination. You could even plan some at-home family activities to set the mood—make a local specialty for dinner together, or watch a movie set in the area.

Speaking of activities, when you’re planning activities, think about what your family already enjoys doing together. If your kids aren’t all that keen on heights, opt for a petting zoo or Gatorland show instead of a zip line. If you’re a family of foodies, research the area’s best family-friendly restaurants. If swimming is a favorite family activity, book a place to stay near a beach or with a pool.

— Start Planning —

Family of gators at Gatorland Orlando

Talk about a lot of personalities. Imagine planning vacation when you're a family of gators! Photo: @blue_eyed_artist on Instagram

Set a Budget

Whenever you’re planning a family vacation, it’s important to set expectations to avoid unnecessary stress or disappointment. Just as important for parents is to set a budget and stick to it. There are plenty of ways to save on your family vacation. Some of our tried and tested budget-savvy tips are:

  • Find a place to stay that offers breakfast, or allows you cook meals.
  • Be strategic with your activities. It can be easy to get carried away with all of the incredible things to see and do in Kissimmee, but select a few bucket list items and save the rest for a future trip.
  • Pack snacks. A hungry kid is not a happy kid, so avoid unexpected food costs (and potential meltdowns) by bringing some simple snacks with you to make sure everyone is fed and hydrated throughout the day.
  • Look for vacation packages and travel deals.

— Explore Ways to Save —

Two kids walking up to Disney Castle in Magic Kingdom

Budget for the moments you'll never forget, like walking up to the Disney Castle for the first time. Photo: @adventuresinfamilyhood on Instagram

Pack Smart

Nothing turns a family trip sour like boredom. Fortunately in Kissimmee, you’ll never run out of things to do! To avoid any boredom-related issues as you travel, make sure you pack some entertainment for your kids. Toys, games, books, journals, digital entertainment…you’ll be thankful you’ve got them with you during your flight or on the road if you’re driving.

Packing smart means packing only what you need. We’ve got shops in Kissimmee (and oh boy, do we) so if you forget a toiletry item, or any other item for that matter, it can be easily replaced. Just as you involved your children in the planning process, get them to help pack! They can bring some favorite toys and games in their own personal carryon, or choose what cool tee shirt or favorite dress they want to wear on their first day of vacation.

— Check out our Packing Tips —

Two girls posing in front of Hogwarts Castle in Universal Studios Orlando

It goes without saying that your camera should be on your packing list! Photo: dolphins_2014 on Instagram

Make Space

No, we’re not talking about Space Mountain (although that is definitely worth adding to your hit list!). One thing that helps keep everyone calm, happy, and having a good time, is personal space. In Kissimmee, the Vacation Home Capital of the World®, this couldn’t be easier! Our selection of vacation homes come in a range of sizes for families big and small, have eat-in kitchens perfect for prepping breakfasts and snacks, and family rooms for everyone to chill out and enjoy some laidback relaxation.

— Browse Vacation Homes in Kissimmee, Florida —

Is there a better way to cool off after a family vacation day? We don't think so.  Photo: @littlelambo88 on Instagram

Embrace Downtime

Speaking of relaxation, downtime is key to a pleasurable vacation for the whole family. It can be tempting to squeeze as much as possible into your days, but too much at once can overwhelm and exhaust, so plan for one or two major activities per day, with some time to recoup in between. Downtime doesn’t always have to mean “nap time” either, depending on the age of your kids, maybe it’s some simple fun by the pool, a movie on an iPad, some quiet reading in a park, or a relaxed meal.

— Sit Back and Let the Entertainment Come to You —

Pizza from Disney Springs in Orlando, Florida

Pizza and a book. Name a better downtime combo. We'll wait. Photo: @kmbreen87 on Instagram

Stay Flexible

We know that you want to make sure you have as much fun as possible together on your family vacation, so don’t let your itinerary stop you from having a good time. It’s important to have an idea of what you’d like to do on any given day, but depending on energy levels, and in the case of some amusement parks, wait times, things can change. If there’s one thing that’s true about traveling with kids, it’s that flexibility is your friend. Don’t adhere to your schedule at the expense of a good time and you’ll find that at the end of the day, everyone will be happy and tired instead of cranky and run down.

— Get Some Itinerary Inspiration —

At the end of the day, it’s hard to have a bad time when you’re in Kissimmee, Florida, so stick to our tips for planning a vacation that pleases everyone and the whole family is sure to have the trip of a lifetime. We’ll meet you in Kissimmee!

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