The Ultimate Guide To Planning A Memorable Family Vacation This Summer


The Ultimate Guide To Planning A Memorable Family Vacation This SummerSummer is here, and it’s time to start planning family vacations. Whether you’re shooting for a relaxing beach getaway or an adventurous road trip, planning a memorable family vacation takes time and effort, and don’t I know it. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go and what to do. Our kids have so many different interests and just the task of organizing the vacation can be distressing.

In this guide, we’ll provide you with some tips and tricks for planning a family vacation that has helped me create memorable moments amidst the chaos:

1. Determine Your Budget

The first step in planning any vacation is to determine your budget. Knowing how much you can afford to spend will help you narrow down your destination and activity options. Consider transportation costs, lodging, food, and entertainment expenses when setting your budget. Remember to keep some extra funds for unexpected expenses, such as medical emergencies or unplanned activities. If I am booking well in advance, I can space my budget out and may even have a little extra spending money in the end. It also helps to understand your vacation style. We LOVE eating out, so we keep room for that in the budget.

2. Choose A Destination

Choosing a destination is one of the most exciting parts of planning a family vacation. Consider the age and interests of your family members when selecting a destination. If you have young children, you may want to choose a location with kid-friendly activities and attractions that don’t require all day walking in 100F degrees. Older kids may enjoy a destination with more adventurous activities, such as hiking or water sports. Popular family vacation destinations include national parks, theme parks, beach resorts, and, of course, Chattanooga, TN.

3. Book Your Lodging

Once you’ve chosen your destination, it’s time to book your lodging. There are many options available, including hotels, vacation rentals, and campgrounds. Consider your family’s needs and preferences when choosing your lodging. If you have young children, you may want a hotel with a pool and on-site restaurant. If you’re traveling with a larger group, a vacation rental may be more cost-effective and comfortable. Once we rented out the full bed and breakfast in Mexico with our friend group, which meant the house staff was able to cook for the kids every morning and it was a huge load off of us.

4. Plan Your Activities

Planning your activities is one of the most important parts of planning a family vacation. Make a list of activities and attractions that you and your family would like to experience. Consider scheduling some down time for relaxation and spontaneous activities. Look for free or low-cost activities, such as hiking or visiting local museums. You may also want to consider purchasing tickets for popular attractions in advance to avoid long lines. We like to make a list of must-sees and then fill in the rest as we feel like it.

5. Pack Smart

Packing for a family vacation can be a daunting task. Make a packing list for each family member and check it off as you go. Pack comfortable clothing and shoes for outdoor activities, and bring layers for varying weather conditions. Don’t forget essentials such as sunscreen, insect repellent, and first aid supplies. If you’re traveling by car, consider packing a cooler with snacks and drinks to save money on food expenses. I would much rather forget something easy to get from a convenience store, but make sure you consider what is normally carried in another country if traveling internationally.

6. Stay Connected

Staying connected with your family members during your vacation is important for safety and peace of mind. Make sure everyone has a cell phone or other communication device, and set up a meeting spot in case someone gets lost. Consider downloading travel apps such as TripAdvisor or Google Maps to help navigate your destination. You may also want to share your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member in case of emergencies. We usually make sure everyone is connected in WhatsApp so we can text via WIFI and don’t miss anything. But this needs to be set up before leaving a service area so put that on your prep list.

7. Capture Memories

Finally, don’t forget to capture memories of your family vacation. Take plenty of photos and videos to remember your experiences. Consider starting a travel journal or scrapbook to document your trip. You may also want to purchase souvenirs or mementos to commemorate your vacation. For large excursions, you may want to consider a professional photographer to capture the moment. We did this in Mexico on a boat excursion; it was fairly cheap and the pictures were AMAZING.

As you plan your trip, consider the unique interests and needs of your family members. Remember to stay flexible and open to new experiences, and be willing to adjust your plans if necessary. Whether you’re exploring a new city, relaxing on a beach, or hiking through a national park, the most important thing is to cherish the time you have together as a family.

So pack your bags, hit the road, and enjoy your well-deserved family vacation this summer!

Previous articleAre You Going Through Perimenopause?
Next articleSingle Mom Break-Ups
Jessica Pope
Hello! I'm Jessica. I grew up in Northern Indiana where I joined the Navy right out of high school. After 3 deployments and some amazing port calls I married a fellow sailor and began a family. We moved around a few times in search of a forever city. After a few visits to the Chattanooga area we fell in love and set in motion our move to the highly recommended Signal Mountain. I am slowly chipping away at my marketing degree while working part time at a local marketing agency. I am also a huge portrait photography lover and have a small studio up here on Signal Mountain where I shoot luxury portrait for children and women. You can check out my work at We have 2 kiddos, Jazzy(6) who's larger than life and Joseph(3) who is taking his sweet time growing up. We have always planned to adopt as well and are currently awaiting a match for a big sister in need of a loving home. I also volunteer as a court advocate for abused and neglected children in the area. It's a great program and you can check out more at You can find me binging true crime podcasts and dark drama shows late at night. I'm a serial hobbyist, I'll never turn down an iced coffee, I actually try hard not to cuss like a sailor and I love meeting different kinds of people.


Comments are closed.