Traveling with a large family can get ugly real fast if you are not prepared. Here are some tips we follow to keep everyone stress free while traveling.
This is the most important part of the trip for me. Giving everyone their space allows us to deal with each other better.
We have tried living under one roof and let’s just say we haven’t done that again. Rooms/apartments are assigned to each family to share.
We try to stay as close to each other as possible to give the kids access to each other. This also gives the parents some down time away from the kids when they go off to be with other family members.
Itineraries are sent out to each family a month before the trip. This gives them a chance to see what’s planned and to also give them a chance to change anything they may or may not want to do.
The final itineraries are sent out about a week before the trip. This allows everyone a chance to pack based on what will be done on certain days.
Making sure everyone knows the game plan ahead of time is important. Mal is a stickler for time and it can go south real quick when that time is messed with.
With such a large group; time is important. Being able to get out and enjoy the city and its attractions would be hectic without a guide.
Once the itinerary is discussed, it’s now time to head to the grocery store.
Each household is responsible for their own food. family meals are also planned for those nights we want a home cooked meal and time to catch up.
During those nights we gather at the person who’s doing the cooking room and sit down to have a family meal together. This saves us all money and gives us a chance to catch up.
Mini-vans are a must! These things are a sanity saver…for me at least. Making sure everyone is comfortable and have their space helps keep the peace.
There’s enough trunk space for our luggage and the store and go compartments fit any little bags we may have that don’t need to go in the trunk.
The riding arrangements are also planned. The older people don’t have to deal with all the noise of crying babies and loud kids.
The kids usually get in whatever van have the “fun” adults in it at the time. Some days it’s our van and other days it’s auntie Kelly van. It doesn’t bother us one bit who they ride with, just as long as they are in a van.
Drivers are another story, sometimes we get the right people to drive. By right I mean able to keep up and stay together when driving long distances. Other times we get that one person who drives like they feet hurts to press the gas. Mal hates this part of the trip.
We know we could just have all the drivers use their GPS to get to the location, But when some make it to the destination before others, people begin to complain about not being able to do all the things on the itinerary.
It just leads to unnecessary headaches. We have tried many different ways of doing this part of the vacation and find that staying together is easier.
Once we all make it to the destination. Vans are parked, time of departure and meetup spot is given. We split up and go explore the city. Most of the time we stay together until we get to an attraction than venture off from there.
For the most part, these trip are really fun and create some really great memories and stories that can be shared for years to come.
We all have had our issues and have learned to deal with them over the years. It takes time and some serious effort to get these trips off the ground every year.
We have managed to keep these trips going for 10 plus years now and we are looking forward to continuing the tradition for many years to come.
I hope some of these tips help you as you plan your family trips. Need flying with a large family tips? click here.
What tips do you have that help you keep cool while traveling with family?