Tips for the Family Vacation

We just got back from our 2nd annual family vacation with my extended family. My dad rented a beach house for the entire family for the week - all 10 of us. There are currently 3 kids under the age of 4, and now 2 pregnancies in the family. The vacation is not relaxing with all the young ones, but it is a lot of fun and a rare chance for our whole family to spend some quality time together.

Based on our experiences over the past 2 vacations here are some of my small random tips for a successful and affordable extended family vacation:

  • Sharpie markers - must have for any extended family outing. Perfect for labeling drinking cups that tend to pile up if left unlabeled.
  • Glow sticks - $1 @ Target and a fantastic unexpected entertainment for all the kids at dusk on the beach. My sister brought these and broke them out at dusk for the kids on evening.
  • 30gallon trash bags - Rather than bring 13 gallon trash bags for a large family vacation; this year found some 30gallon trash bags on clearance and brought those. Made a huge difference - went from emptying the kitchen trash can 2-3/day to once every couple days.
  • Distribute Meal Planning - Have each adult family member or couple plan 1-2 meals to distribute the workload.
  • Kites - We picked up several plastic kites a Walmart & Target on clearance for < $2 kite. Great evening entertainment for the kids on the beach.
  • Corn Toss/ Corn Hole Game- I recommend bringing a good outdoor like Corn Toss that is great for all ages in the family to play.
  • Minimize food prep time - We make most of our meals while on vacation to keep costs reasonable. However with have a large group there, there is always stuff going on and you don't want to spend much time on food preparation. It seems like every meal I prepare take at least a couple hours in the kitchen to get ready for the extended family. I don't have a good tip here yet, but I recommend investing in preparation to minimize prep time while on vacation. Thinking maybe more frozen casseroles for next years dinners!

Any tips for large family vacations?

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Comments (1)

Tip #1: Get someone else to foot the bill.

Tip #2: try to profit from it by blogging about it.

As I vacation in the OBX as well (when family is willing to pay for it) I can say that renting some jetski's for a half hour/hour is very worthwhile. Kids love the experience and so do adults. The go-karting experience in the area isn't worth the money.

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