Are you gearing up for your next annual family vacation by the lake? If so, you should be well aware that all the planning, preparation, and the mere thought of spending a couple of days with your loved ones can be exciting and stressful at the same time.
Perhaps you are going to a lakeside retreat for the first time with your kids. Or you weren’t so lucky the first time because you feel that the experience did not go as expected because some seemingly unimportant details were overlooked, like figuring out what kind of boat to rent for the whole family or forgetting to curate a playlist that would set the right vibe for hanging out by the campfire at night.
Those are the small things that could mean the difference between a mediocre experience and an awesome one—but the point is, thoughtful research and preparation matter to ensure that every moment counts.
Get the most out of your most awaited family lakeside vacation. You can follow these awesome tips to help you plan a fun and memorable trip with your loved ones that you will surely cherish for years to come.
Agree on mutual family trip goals with everyone
A family that plans itineraries and activities together will most likely have the most fun during a big trip. Wherever you decide to go, make sure that everyone is aligned when it comes to how time will be spent in your lakeside destination.
If your kids are old enough to discuss such matters with you, it may be a good idea to involve them when planning activities to enjoy during your stay. Teenagers and tykes naturally have different ideas of what makes a good vacation, so make sure that you find activities that would fit kids of different ages.
Having shared experiences that everyone is comfortable with is a great way to ensure that everyone will have a good time.
Make sure you will have access to health facilities
Be forward-thinking. Keep in mind that the possibility of accidents or health concerns arising during your vacation is always there. One moment you are hiking down a beautiful nature trail to die for, and the next, you may be on your feet after having a bad fall that can leave you injured, unsure if the other activities planned will ever push through.
Wherever the lakeside property of your choice is, it is always a great idea to check first for nearby hospitals or clinics that can attend to health emergencies or accidents. Doing your research beforehand will give you peace of mind as you rough it out in the wild, allowing you to have fun without worrying too much.
Note down your accommodation’s geographical features, facilities, and amenities
This seems like a given, but sometimes parents or the adults assigned to plan the trip forget their younger kids’ needs when they are too taken by the wonderful views surrounding their accommodation. Note the outdoor areas that might be unsafe for toddlers and even seniors, like steep stairways, sudden sloping walkways, and other hazards that can cause injuries.
Research transportation options
Knowing your domestic transportation options is vital whether you will be bringing your vehicle or not. If mass transportation is not available near the lakeside accommodation of your choice, find out if it is possible to rent cars or hire private drivers in the area so your family can go to hard-to-reach nearby attractions in town.
If you are going abroad, it will be better to arrange for transfers by a reputable local company, especially if it is your first time bringing your kids. Doing so will take a huge load off your back and allow you to fully experience the places you visit.
Be in the moment and stop stressing about the small things
No vacation is ever free of a few hiccups here and there. Do not sweat the small stuff when things do not go as planned because you will just feel disappointed. Learn how to be in the moment so you can think on your feet and turn lemons into lemonade when things do not go your way.
When you experience setbacks while on vacation, this will be the perfect time for you to step up by being a great example to your kids or your partner. Disappointments are sometimes unavoidable, but they are never insurmountable.
No vacation is ever perfect
Careful research, planning, and collaboration are all keys to making the most out of your family lakeside trip, but you should never forget why you went on your vacation in the first place: to create lasting, good memories with the people you love most. Have some level of control, but make room for spontaneity, too. After all, being on vacation is about letting it loose and having fun.
Jason Scott is a Recreation Activities Coordinator for Westside Recreation, a boating & jet ski rental company in Arizona. Even outside work, Jason enjoys traveling, extreme adventure, and water sports.