Imagine this: kids screaming and fighting over petty things, parents trying to organize and find their way around an unfamiliar place, squeezing into uncomfortable, tiny hotel rooms, waiting in long lines to buy exorbitantly priced meals, and wondering what activities to do together that will make everyone happy on your family vacation.

Sounds like a nightmare, right?

Well, this is a reality that many families face on their vacations. And it’s not just one thing that causes all this stress; many factors can contribute to an unpleasant experience. From lack of planning to preliminary research on the destination to simply being unprepared for a vacation – it can all add up.

However, you don’t have to go through the same ordeal for your next family vacation. Below are some valuable tips that can help make your trip more enjoyable and stress-free!

Family Vacation
Family Vacation

Stress-Free Family Vacation

Let’s dive deep into the tips for a stress-free family holiday!

1- Plan ahead

The key to a successful family vacation lies in timely planning. Think about when and where you want to go, what activities you’d like to do, and how much it will cost. Research the destination, find out what attractions and activities are available, and set a realistic budget. 

Likewise, you’ll need to consider any necessary documents, such as passports and visas. Ensure to get these in order ahead of time to avoid any last-minute problems. You can also set up a flexible itinerary to accommodate changes along the way and leave room for unexpected detours and activities.

Plan Ahead
Plan Ahead

2- Ditch the traditional hotel and opt for a cabin

Cabin rentals are the new trend in travel and are especially popular among families visiting Gatlinburg, Tennessee, to explore the Great Smoky Mountains. So, look up cabin Gatlinburg Tennessee whenever you visit this scenic region. 

Cabins are luxurious and can accommodate small families to large groups. They offer all the benefits of a traditional hotel stay but with much more convenience and privacy. You’ll not find any noisy neighbors, overbearing staff members, or strangers using the same facilities as you.

Cabin rentals usually include amenities such as a kitchenette, private hot tubs, fireplaces, and other features that make your stay more enjoyable and cost cheaper than traditional hotels. But if a hotel is unavoidable, at least prefer one with an indoor swimming pool or a child-friendly activity center so the kids won’t feel boxed in.

3- Pack light and smart

It may be tempting to bring your whole house with you on vacation. But remember that you will be lugging your luggage around, which will take up much room wherever you go.

Pack Light and Smart
Pack Light and Smart

So, pack light and smart by bringing only the things you need while away. It includes clothing, toiletries, snacks, books, outdoor items, kid’s items, and other essential items.

Pro tip: make separate suitcases for each family member, and put a tag on each for easy identification. Organize the stuff according to their purposes, such as beauty items in one bag and tech gadgets in another. It will help you unpack when you reach your destination.

4- Have an emergency kit

Whether your kids are troublemakers or not, it’s a good idea to make a travel emergency kit for your family. You never know when someone might accidentally cut themselves, fall ill, or suffer from a minor injury. 

So, put together a kit that contains the following:

  • First Aid Kit 
  • Travel Medicine (pain relievers, fever reducers, etc.) 
  • Antiseptic wipes 
  • Bandages 
  • Insect Repellent 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Allergy Medication 
  • Thermometer 
  • Torch 
  • Batteries 
  • Disposable rubber gloves
  • Cold packs
Emergency Kit
Emergency Kit

Having the right supplies in your travel emergency kit can help prevent a lot of distress and discomfort. You’ll be prepared for any emergency or situation you may encounter while traveling.

5- Limit tech usage

Let your vacation be a time to get “digital detox” and truly unplug. Try to limit who you’re keeping in touch with (just your family and closest friends), how often you check emails, and how much social media you scroll through on your vacation. 

If your kids are used to spending most of their time on screens, you can replace their tech time with some creative activities like playing board games, completing puzzles, or making arts and crafts. Set up a new daily routine for your family, with plenty of time for relaxation and more meaningful activities than just scrolling online. 

6- Get outdoors and enjoy the local culture 

Take advantage of the great outdoors and explore your vacation destination. Find a local park or beach and enjoy the fresh air while playing sports, walking, cycling, or simply relaxing in the sun. 

Get Outdoors
Get Outdoors

If you’re feeling adventurous, try local activities such as hiking, kayaking, canoeing, or swimming. Visit a nearby animal sanctuary or pick up local fruits and vegetables at the farmer’s market. Attend local festivals and enjoy the regional cuisine. 

You can also get to know the local culture by visiting museums, galleries, and other cultural attractions. Interact with locals and learn about their history, art, music, and traditions. It will make your vacation even more special and memorable. 

7- Don’t overschedule yourself

It can be tempting to plan every minute of your family vacation. But this could lead to stress and exhaustion, so ensure to factor in some downtime where you can rest and relax. And don’t feel guilty for taking a break from your vacation activities and sleeping in. After all, you’re on vacation and need to rest and recharge for the next day of adventure.

Likewise, keep the itinerary manageable. Sure, it’s great to see all the sights, but if you rush from one spot to another, you won’t enjoy them as much. So, pick a handful of attractions and plan to spend more time at each. 

Don't Overschedule
Don’t Overschedule

8- Don’t forget to pack snacks

Snacks are the ultimate life savers, mood-lifters, and energy boosters. Whether you’re road-tripping or flying to your destination, it’s always a good idea to bring some snacks with you. Not only are they a great way to save some bucks (eating out every meal can get expensive), but they also provide nutrition and sustenance on the go. 

Choose healthy snack alternatives, such as fruits and nuts, instead of processed snacks. Granola bars, trail mixes, and dried fruits are all great options that balance carbs, proteins, and healthy fats. Also, have a bottle of water handy to keep yourself and your family hydrated during the journey. 


Family vacations are supposed to be a time for everyone to relax, create lasting memories, and enjoy each other’s company. Not some stressful, drawn-out experience. If you plan timely, pack light and smart, scheduled breaks, and bring nutritious snacks on the road, you will have a much more enjoyable time. The accommodation you choose can also make a big difference.

Family Vacations
Family Vacations

Opt for cabin rentals instead of hotels to get away from it all and enjoy a more homely feel. Get outdoors and explore the local attractions, and unplug from your devices. With these tips, you can ensure your next family vacation becomes one to remember.

Looking for some tips to plan your next trip? Check these tips for planning your next trip.