Many people dread the words “family holiday”. It instantly paints a picture of crying toddlers, annoyed teens and exhausted parents. However, with careful planning, you can take your kids on everything from a chill cruise to an exotic safari. Here are a few practical tips for a smooth and fun family vacation.

If you’re preparing for a cruise

Cruise ships are a super popular family holiday pick because they are full of different family-friendly onboard activities, entertainment, and facilities. However, there are tips that can make your cruise even better. So, start by picking out the best cabin. A family stateroom is the best choice for those with babies, toddlers, and young kids, while teens will appreciate the privacy of an adjoining cabin. A cabin somewhere mid-ship experiences less motion which helps reduce the likelihood of developing seasickness. Young kids will also benefit from a few comforts from home, like their favorite clothes, toys and such. Additionally, you can sign up kids for activities, clubs and daycare in advance, so you know they will have a fun and exciting stay.

If you’re planning a road trip

If your kids haven’t traveled before, it’s a great idea to start them off with a nice road trip. Cars are probably a familiar territory for your children, so they will feel comfortable. First things first, don’t neglect safety, especially when you travel with babies and toddlers. Make sure each young child has a proper car seat as well as a stroller. If you check out some new baby travel systems, you’ll see that they are light and foldable so you can easily pack them in your trunk and get them out when you arrive at your destination. Also, road trips can last a long time, so make sure to prepare well. Let every child fill a backpack with things they want to take with them like books, crayons, games, and toys and don’t forget to stock up on the snacks. Gas station food is expensive and you won’t have a huge variety of treats and snacks to choose from.

If you’re traveling to a faraway destination

Planning a long family flight to a faraway destination is a bit trickier. What if your kids act up? What if they spend the entire flight kicking the seat in front of them? Well, these are all a possibility, but there are ways to boost your chances of a successful and smooth flight. For instance, make sure to fill your carry-on bag with all sorts of games, treats, and toys. Traveling with teens will be a breeze, especially if you have in-flight Wi-Fi, but kids will need some more tending to. Picking a night flight is also a great idea since youngsters are “slaves” to their circadian rhythm and will probably fall asleep as soon as you take off.

If you’re up for an active holiday

If you’re a couple that loves a vacation full of exploration, physical activities and adventures, traveling with kids might be a bit demanding. However, if you plan everything well and make a few tweaks, you can have a great family adventure. Hikers can opt for sturdy trolleys that will allow their kids to hop inside whenever they feel tired. Another great idea is to rent bikes or bring them from home. There are great kid seats and trailers that will ensure your kids can enjoy your active vacation to the fullest. Plenty of sunscreen, water, and snacks will come in handy if you have to slow down your tempo and allow kids to rest.

If you opt for a safari

Safaris are amazing for kids all ages and they can familiarize your children with different flora and fauna, allow them to meet new people, explore new cultures and see truly breath-taking things. There are various family-friendly safari trip agencies, but most of them agree that kids over eight can have a great vacation (safaris require a lot of patience, silence and bumpy rides which toddlers can’t handle). Just remember that you might need to take malaria vaccines and other types of vaccines prior to the trip. Another thing you should do is keep kids engaged. Grabbing a cheap camera for kids and providing them with age-appropriate guidebooks is a great way to keep them occupied. This way they will get to create their own memories and learn a bunch about animals. Make sure to pack cozy safari clothing, grab practical bags and bring plenty of reusable bottles for everyone.

Traveling with kids can be very fun and smooth. All you need is some planning and plenty of patience and your entire family can have an unforgettable holiday!