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5 Essential Tips for Planning the Perfect Family Vacation

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Wanderlust has officially taken hold, and you're ready to plan your next vacation. Not only do you need to find out which days work best for the school calendar (never mind your own), you also have to decide where you're going, how you're getting there, and what you're going to do once you arrive.

But wait. Don't stress! Studies show that planning and anticipating a vacation can actually make you happy! And booking your next vacay is especially hassle-free with the help of Tripping.com, which offers more than 10 million vacation rentals worldwide.

Here are five essential tips for planning the perfect family getaway, complete with the kids (and all their gear) in tow. So go ahead—relax and concentrate on creating new memories with the fam.

1. Create a Realistic Budget

While we would all like to plan a vacation using unlimited funds (hello, lottery ticket!), that kind of flexibility isn't always available. That's why it's important to set a realistic budget. Plan for the cost of transportation to and from your destination, as well as how you'll get around once you're there. How much will you allocate for restaurant tabs, trips to the gas station, tips and various attractions? Be sure to check online visitors' bureaus and public transportation sites for deals.

As far as vacation rentals go, with Tripping.com it's easy to see price points as well as price comparisons. The site conveniently lists more than 10 million properties from the world’s leading vacation rental sites so you can easily compare places and prices and book the home that’s perfect for your family.

2. Location, Location, Location

Did you know that when asked 53 percent of moms prioritize location over size, kid-friendly features and a pool, according to a survey conducted by Tripping.com? With that in mind, make sure you're choosing vacation rentals that are close to the places you and your family want to visit. Can you walk there? If not, are you close to public transportation? Is it stroller-friendly? With Tripping.com, you can find out exactly where vacation rentals are located with a handy map, alongside photos of the locations themselves. Just click the home icons on the map to take you to the listing you'd like to see.

3. Packing Doesn't Need to Stress You Out

Seventy-five percent of moms agree that "packing" and "the journey" are the most stressful parts about traveling with kids, according to the Tripping.com survey. That's why it's important to pack smartly. Pack clothes with the same color palette so that it's easier to mix and match.

Travel blogger Emily Kaufmann suggests making a "boredom bag" for children, complete with crafts and other activities that can get them through hours of sitting. Don't underestimate what's available at your local dollar store. Be sure to also pack a change of clothes, snacks and any comfort items for the kiddos.

4. Remember to Relax

While you might want to visit every landmark or Instagram hot spot during your trip, don't overdo it—especially with the kids. Give yourself time to take in the sights, and schedule a day with nothing to do. Vacation is the perfect time to relax and take time to enjoy being with your family away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

If you're taking a road trip, make time to explore the unexpected. Why not veer off course to check out those 45-foot-tall dinosaur sculptures or the eye-poppingly colorful landscape art you can see from the interstate? You'll eventually get to where you're going, but you'll have the chance to stretch your legs, see something fabulous and maybe even get a cool Instagram photo in the process.

5. Don't Be Afraid to Invite the Grandparents

While 88 percent of moms don’t feel comfortable leaving the kids with a new babysitter during a vacation, according to the Tripping.com survey, 78 percent of those moms would invite the grandparents as built-in babysitters. So go ahead, invite Grandma and Grandpa along for the ride. They'll log some bonding time with the kiddos, while parents get some much-needed moments to themselves.

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