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Every year my husband and I try to plan a family vacation. It really isn’t easy because let’s face it, it’s expensive and sometimes it is a lot of work when they are younger. That is why I have put together this to help you along with providing you with my experiences behind it.
The first vacation was in 2017, Luke was 8-months old and Jack was 19-months. We rented a house in Kissimmee, Florida for a week that had a high chair and pack-and-play which really cut down on having to pack so much. We only had to bring another pack-and-play. Then, of course, the stroller, diapers, wipes, and clothes. We thought it would be fine, but any place that isn’t home or part of the routine is tough.
By the second year, we went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina we had developed some tips and tricks from our previous experience. We stayed at a family-oriented timeshare right near the pool. Everything was right there with the beach, food, and attractions.
We even had a little dining area in our room which made it perfect for snacks and breakfast. Also, this helped tremendously in cutting down costs.
Be prepared not to sleep much as it is a new environment and for cranky kids. Make sure to remember to bring everything needed for instance extra sheets, sound machines, and blankets. I will recommend more stuff below and if you are driving, here are more tips to manage those long drives.
Tips and Tricks to Survive a Family Vacation with Irish Twins:
- Pack the double stroller no matter what. I didn’t once and ended up going to Walmart and buying one which ends up being an added cost. You will be really happy you did and so will your wallet.
- Make sure to bring a booster seat unless you planning to eat out the whole time. We tried to cut costs and used the kitchen often to make our meals, but having a booster seat was definitely necessary.
- We bought supplies to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, milk, and a case of water which helped tremendously since a bottle of water by the pool was $3.00 and a specialty drink was $6.00 a drink.
- Try and make the hotel/bedroom like home by bringing your own blankets, stuffed animals/toys, sound machines, and anything else you think would help.
- When you go to check-in try to get the bottom floor. I know you won’t get a balcony, but you save your kids from tripping down the stairs and having to use an elevator that has the chance of going out. Think about having to carry all the luggage upstairs. No, thank you.
- Don’t forget towels, sunscreen, and all pool necessities as it will cut costs if they do not have extra available.
- Stay busy! However, communicate and let the kids know the plan for the day. This helps prevent some unnecessary meltdowns and bring snacks as this will help keep them busy if you are stuck in lines.
- Plan for rainy days or changes in plans. For example, go to the aquarium on a rainy day and the zoo on a sunny day. Have coloring books to keep busy when there is a wait time at a restaurant or do flashcards when you are standing in line for a ride.
- If you forget something use Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or Amazon to help you out for a short period of time and also at a reasonable cost as you may only need it or a bit before you return home.
I hope you have a wonderful and safe vacation!