7 Lifesaving Tips for Taking a Large Family on a Trip

7 Lifesaving Tips for Taking a Large Family on a Trip. Traveling and seeing the world can be an incredible and enriching experience.

7 Lifesaving Tips for Taking a Large Family on a Trip

Traveling and seeing the world can be an incredible and enriching experience. Every sight you see, experience, and encounter is an opportunity to make memories that will stay with you for a lifetime. When you travel with family and friends, those outings tend to be even more memorable and rewarding.

Of course, trekking with multiple people can also be a challenge. After all, the more people you have to keep up with, the more things can go wrong. If you’re taking a trip with a large family, the experience could be particularly stressful. Certain measures can help make your trip simpler, safer, and less worrisome.

1) Focus on Transportation

Transportation is one of the most significant challenges when traveling with a larger group. In some cases, a standard passenger vehicle or SUV just won’t suffice. You could always rent a van for the trip or take advantage of all the ridesharing options available these days, but both of those options could significantly complicate your schedule. If you routinely travel with a large group, it can also get quite expensive. The more money you spend on vacation transportation, the less you’ll have to spend on all the other details, like lodging, excursions, and food. 

Consider finding a more permanent form of vacation transportation, such as purchasing a used bus or extended passenger van. You’ll have seating for everyone, and you can have the vehicle painted and customized to meet the unique needs of those in your party. You could also seek out a used hearse for sale or a road-tested limousine. Both options can give you more seating than the average sedan while also offering extra cargo space for luggage, coolers, and other essentials. 

Additionally, plan ahead for transportation. If you have to take separate vehicles, make sure everyone in your group knows which vehicle he or she will be riding in. Confirm that everyone knows the schedule, where you’re going and how to get there. Before leaving, do a quick check to make sure each driver’s GPS is working properly and everyone has the address of your destination programmed in correctly.

If you’re flying, be sure everyone has a ticket and knows which gate you’ll be boarding at among other details. Keeping everyone in the loop will go a long way toward ensuring all your family members are safe and accounted for.

2) Keep Tabs on Everyone

When you’re taking a trip with several people, someone is bound to get sidetracked, thrown off course, or altogether lost. It’s inevitable. Even with smaller groups, there’s always a chance you’ll turn around and find that someone who should be with you has inexplicably disappeared. This can make for a potentially dangerous situation in many cases. Because of that, it’s best to take multiple steps to ensure everyone is accounted for and connected. 

One important step that’s easier than ever to follow is equipping everyone with the power to communicate with other people in your party. If some of the people in your party don’t have phones, such as younger children, be sure to supply them with one before leaving home. You can purchase child-friendly cell phones or even gather a few prepaid phones especially for your trip. Program in the numbers of other people in your group ahead of time, and be sure everyone is versed on how to use those phones. That way, getting back together after inadvertently being separated is as simple as pressing a few buttons.

Even though children understand how to use cell phones these days, there’s no guarantee they’ll use them for the right reasons if they happen to get separated from their designated adults. As such, it’s important to take additional measures to help keep everyone safe and connected. Consider trying to dress everyone in identical t-shirts or hoodies or having matching backpacks for everyone in your group. That’ll make finding each other in a crowd a bit simpler. You could also use child tracking devices to keep tabs on each family member. 

On top of all that, you could set up a buddy system for your family members in which no one gets left behind, and each person has a designated partner to stick with no matter where you go. Similarly, if your family includes several small children, assign each adult in your party to specific children to ensure none of the little ones get lost. If need be, invite extra grownups along to keep the adult-to-child ratio at a manageable level. 

3) Plan Your Lodging Accordingly

It’s always a good idea to book accommodations early. This will give you a chance to make adjustments as needed. There’s always a chance that inclement weather and other issues could complicate your stay. If your travel party grows or shrinks before the trip, planning ahead will allow you to modify lodging as needed. This also applies to changes in your itinerary. In the event a hotel has to cancel your reservations, you’ll have plenty of time to book alternate lodging. In case you need to make stops on a long trip, you should research potential accommodations along the way. If you’re passing by Fort Jackson, then look for the best hotels around Fort Jackson where you could spend the night.

When it comes to having enough space for a large family, hotel rooms don’t always fill the bill. Fortunately, you have plenty of alternatives at your disposal. Consider booking a vacation home or apartment as opposed to the standard hotel room. This will give you more space for everyone to spread out, and you’ll have all the comforts of home at your fingertips. You’ll also have the benefit of a fully appointed kitchen, multiple bathrooms, and other amenities you wouldn’t have access to when staying in a basic hotel. It could even be a great deal simpler and more affordable than booking numerous suites for a large family.

4) Go Grocery Shopping Ahead of Time

Checking out the local eateries is part of the overall experience while on vacation. Not having to cook and clean up after every meal is certainly a bonus. Still, eating out for every meal can be incredibly expensive. With large families, it can also be a struggle. Even getting seated at a restaurant may take time out of your itinerary and create unnecessary stress while you’re on vacation. Besides, what are the chances of everyone agreeing on where to eat?

To cut down on the cost and stress, consider stocking up on food before leaving or visiting a local supermarket once you reach your destination. You’ll be able to create a stockpile of snacks and beverages for everyone while planning meals everyone will enjoy. Despite having to cook and clean up, it’ll make things much simpler in the long run. Keeping a cooler full of drinks and a bag of snacks in the vehicle for everyone to draw from will cut down on fussiness and unplanned stops, too.

5) Stock Up on Medications

It’s not uncommon for people to forget to take medications with them when traveling. In some cases, you can easily stop at a store to bridge the gap if necessary. Other times, that’s just not an option. If anyone in your family relies on prescription medications, be sure they’re packed and ready to go with you. Some of the most common and essential prescriptions are those for asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. For the conditions that necessitate those medications, ensuring they come along for the trip can certainly save a life. 

Of course, prescription medications aren’t the only ones to keep in mind. Certain over-the-counter medications should be part of your repertoire as well. Those basic medications to keep on hand can include provisions for stomach upset, heartburn, aches and pains, nausea, allergies, colds, and motion sickness, to name a few. When you’re on a road trip, even having bottles of low-dose aspirin and children’s acetaminophen close at hand can make a world of difference. If possible, try to dedicate an entire travel case to medications alone. That way, you’ll know exactly where your stockpile is at all times. 

6) Give Yourself Plenty of Extra Time

If possible, try not to leave home at the last minute. Failing to head out early will leave you scrambling to get to the airport before your flight boards or make it to your destination before check-in time. Leave a couple of hours early at the very least. No matter how well you plan your trip, people are going to have to make multiple restroom stops. You’ll have to stop for gas here and there. Someone is bound to forget an essential item, so you’ll probably have to make a pit stop to replace it. Again, it’s entirely possible that someone could get lost on the road or during a stop. Giving yourself plenty of extra time will allow you to cover all those issues without overcomplicating things. 

7) Don’t Sweat the Little Things

When you’re on vacation, especially if you’re traveling with a large family, Murphy’s Law will apply. Anything that can go wrong will. Children are going to argue. Someone will perpetually be bored or need a bathroom break. Even the adults in your group might have unpleasant disagreements. Flat tires, broken radiators, malfunctioning air conditioners, and other unfortunate mishaps will arise no matter how careful you are or how much time and effort you put into planning. Things won’t always go exactly as you hope. Take a breath and go with the flow. Don’t let those little frustrations or inconveniences discourage you or spoil the trip. Take it all in stride.

Plan Ahead to Make Your Trip a Success

These can be lifesaving measures when you’re taking a trip with a large family. All of them require planning ahead and taking a range of factors into consideration long before vacation gets underway. Though some of them may seem like a bit of a hassle, they’ll greatly reduce all the stress and problems you could experience without the right preparations. Keep these steps in mind during the planning phase to maximize your family vacation experience.

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