Must Haves to Create the Perfect Family Vacation

Growing up in a military family provided a different experience to my youth. We moved often, I had to make new friends every few years, my father was gone for long stints at a time and we just didn’t have the extra funds to spend on extra-curricular activities. I didn’t play in sports or go away to summer camps, and family vacations were few and far between. It may have been this initial lack of travel that is has my recent unquenchable thirst for wanderlust. 

Now, as I plan my own family getaways, I’m always looking for trips that have the potential to achieve the status of an epic family vacation, the one I never had as a child. After years of heavy travel both with and without my family, I have come up with my three absolute must haves to create an enjoyable family vacation.

Must Haves to Create the Perfect Family Vacation

Quality Time Together

The whole point of a family vacation is to spend time with one another while visiting new locations and inspiring a sense of curiosity and appreciation for new cultures. As parents, we have the power to encourage a healthy appetite for exploration through family vacations. Cruising is a popular choice due to it’s ability to allow you to book, show up and then drop the mic. No planning, no driving, no cooking, no figuring out where to go or what to do next, because let’s be honest – all of the above can cause conflict and stress. On a cruise, virtually everything is taken care of for you and your biggest decision will be what bathing suit to wear or what drink to sip on next.

Offering incredible family vacations, a cruise on board Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ EUROPA 2 (named the world’s most luxurious cruise ship) just might be the perfect way too slow down and enjoy time with each other on the open sea and exploring new favorite destinations. They have taken great care in creating trips that allow for a great vacation where the whole family can relax and enjoy themselves. For instance, their upcoming 2016 Autumn Holidays sailings for families include:

  • The Big Apple – Cruise from New York to Progreso stopping along the way at Baltimore, New Orleans, and Miami. There will also be excursion through Washington D.C., Charleston, and the Everglades National Park.
  • Progreso – Embarking from Progreso the cruise will travel to incredible destinations through Central America on its way to La Guairá. Families can see the ancient Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza like the massive Pyramid of Kukulkan. There will also be trips to beautiful beaches along the way with a stop at 7 mile beach in George Town in the Cayman Islands.

Children 11 and under get to travel on EUROPA Family Cruises for free if they are accompanied by their parents.

Must Haves to Create the Perfect Family Vacation

Activities, Activities, and More Activities!

The best way to keep kids occupied and prevent vacation whining is by having lots of options to stay busy. Boredom can spell catastrophe during a vacation, but on a EUROPA 2 Family Cruise, the kids can learn to make their own pizzas at the culinary school or take golf lessons and even play a game on the green. They can partake in the many workshops such as drama, music, and even a stunt workshop run by a real stuntman! I’ve been to countless destinations, all with amazing kids clubs, and none have even come close to this. These specially designated family sailings even offer Zodiac excursions designed just for kids and the chance to meet the ship’s Captain. It is a cruise your kids won’t forget.

Must Haves to Create the Perfect Family Vacation

A Little Alone Time

It is hard enough for parents to find time for each other at home, but on a family trip it is even more scarce. With the EUROPA 2 Family Cruise offering so many activities for the kids, parents can find some sacred alone time to enjoy a delicious dinner or even catch an on-board concert from talented artists like Daniel Hope, an international Award Winning violinist. There is even a trained childcare team that accommodates three age groups with babysitting programs offering age-appropriate excursions and activities to give Mom and Dad a little time on their own. Parents with children under three also receive a free Welcome Baby package upon boarding. When it’s time to retire to the cabin, you can take advantage of the family apartments designed with separate rooms for the kids with bunk beds, their own separate bathroom, and a play area! 

Family vacations are an important part in the life of a family. It is the chance to experience new environments and each other beyond the monotony of every day life. It is the time to just relax with one other and spend days devoted to play. Discovering new destinations together is a part of the family vacation that cements a sense of togetherness and creates memories your kids will remember long after the trip is over.

What are your musts for a family vacation?

29 thoughts on “Must Haves to Create the Perfect Family Vacation”

  1. Great ideas. I had never considered a cruise before with our kids. The fact that kids travel free with their parents is awesome. I will have to check it out.

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  2. I have never taken an ocean cruise, I am always afraid I’ll go stir crazy or get sea sick so I prefer to fly everywhere! I will have try a cruise someday and see if I like it.

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  3. Great tips! I am going to be traveling this summer with the kids and am looking for great tips on how to keep up more fun and less stressful. Thanks!

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  4. Oooo these are some fabulous tips!!! Vacations are the best. We are going on one this weekend and can’t wait to get away and enjoy some quality family time!

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  5. Great tips! I think it’s great to find something that’s good for a family vacation. I also agree about having alone time. I love spending time with my girls, but sometimes you need some alone time too.

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  6. These are excellent tips. I remember our family vacations growing up. We used to go camping almost every summer. I miss it now. I want to take my boys to Colorado.

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  7. I couldn’t agree more about the activities. A bored kid is an unhappy kid and unhappy kids bicker and fight and make everyone around them unhappy as well.

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  8. These are wonderful tips. I’ve always tried to plan the perfect vacation but it never works out very well. Hoping this vacation we have next turns out better.

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  9. We travel a lot and we do all these tips! We must be doing something right! ;)! Great tips that people should read before they go on vacation!

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  10. My biggest must have on a family vacation is a suite whenever possible. They are actually not as expensive as you’d think, and having a door between us and the kids is pretty darn awesome.

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  11. These are great tips. I can say from experience that activities can really make a vacation amazing. You’re somewhere new. Experience it!

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  12. Love these tips, quality time is definitely important, the the reason you went on vacation in the first place. I love doing activities with the kids because that creates beautiful memories!

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  13. I’m not familiar with the Europa 2 Cruise Line, but it sounds divine. It’s so important to offer fun and activities for adults and children.

    Reply

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