father and son holding hands and spreading arms wide on a mountain top

7 Mistakes to Steer Clear of When Planning Family Travel

Traveling with the family can be an incredibly rewarding and memorable experience, but it can also be a lot of work.

Many things can go wrong while on vacation abroad and it is best to know what to avoid beforehand so you don’t have to suffer on your holiday. 

Below are seven things to look out for when planning your family vacation.

From booking activities to knowing your way around, these mistakes are ones that you don’t want to make.  

father watching son play with tablet on plane

Don’t Book Separate Seats

If you are traveling with your family, especially if you are traveling with children, it is worth it to pay a little bit more money to all sit together on flights.

It can be very tempting to book flights and other transportation for a cheaper price, but on long-haul flights it is so much better to pick your seats ahead of time and sit with family members and not strangers. 

This is not only important for you but for the other passengers around you.

If you are traveling with children and they are sitting with one parent while the other one is in a totally different part of the plane, the children will eventually want to get up and start walking around to find the other parent.

This causes a lot of disruption in a very small place and fellow passengers may get irritated with you.

The last thing you want is any kind of confrontation on a long-haul flight where everyone is already overtired and on edge. When planning your flights, make sure to pick the seats ahead of time to avoid this headache. 

Look Out For Scams

Scams are extremely common on the internet today, but they can also happen in person. This is especially true if you are traveling to a country where you don’t know the native language.

Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe from scams.

  • If you are paying for something with your card, make sure you are hiding your PIN number and using a reliable card machine. 
  • If you use taxis while traveling, make sure to establish a price beforehand or check to see that the taxi driver has official documentation and a legitimate meter.  
  • Although you are tourists, try not to dress too touristy to avoid people approaching you and luring you into tourist traps.

Make Sure Your Tours Are Legitimate

Before booking any tours in another country, make sure to check their website and any reviews they may have to verify that they are run by a real company.

The best way to check this is to go to the official website of a tour company.

For example, a company that offers Dubai desert safari should have its certifications displayed on the home page and detailed descriptions of what they offer with its experiences.

The best way to know that you are booking a real tour is to book it directly through a website that has all of the features mentioned above or book it through a third-party travel app that has a good reputation and the ability to let people leave reviews.

Make Reservations In Advance

If you are traveling in a family group of more than three people, make sure to make reservations for restaurants, museums, attractions, or any other experience that requires a ticket, ahead of time.

Many restaurants require reservations for larger groups and if you are planning on eating dinner during peak hours, it is much safer to make a reservation than to show up at the time of dinner and expect a table.

This also applies to museum entry tickets and famous monuments. Even if you are going somewhere in the off-season, it is important to book tickets at least a few days in advance to guarantee a spot on a guided tour or just a general entry ticket.

Nothing is more disappointing than promising your family a magical experience and then being told that the thing you wanted to see that day is sold out. 

Do Research Beforehand

Before going on vacation with your family, make sure that you do your research about the following restrictions or differences to your routine that you may encounter abroad.

  • Cell phone coverage
  • Credit card use abroad
  • Accessibility for children
  • Weather expectations during the time of year you will be visiting
  • Visa requirements for the country that you are visiting

Educate Yourself About Local Customs

Going to a different country will come with some changes. In order to avoid total culture shock, it is good to educate yourself about certain cultural differences that you and your family may experience while there.

Here are a few things to familiarize yourself with:

  • Local currency
  • Is the tap water drinkable?
  • Taxis
  • Cash rules
  • Children
  • Safety (areas of the city)
  • Attire

Know The Location of Your Country’s Embassy

The last mistake you should avoid is not knowing where your country’s embassy is located.

In case of any emergencies that could happen while abroad, it is very important to know not only the location but also alert the local embassy that you and your family will be there for the duration of your vacation.

In the world of traveling with your family, mistakes are bound to be made, but these tips will help things to go smoothly before you even set off for your great adventure.