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Fun Family Vacations: 5 Great Ideas

Updated on August 22, 2013

Family Fun Vacations

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Vacation Ideas for Families

Maximizing your family vacation is important, especially when some of us only get a few or a couple measly weeks of vacation per year to spend with our family. How many times have you gotten to your family vacation destination and soon after arriving you're wracking your brain for ideas. After a couple days settling in, maybe the kids are starting go stir crazy, and maybe you're getting a touch of cabin fever yourself. And how many us feel like we need a vacation after our vacation is done? It's great to spend quality time with kids, no? But spending every waking moment with the kiddos is taxing and energy draining. So, if you're looking for family vacation ideas, I've got 10 great ones to make the best fun family vacations.


Vacation Ideas for Families

1. A Treasure Hunt the Whole Family Can Enjoy

Have you considered finding a game that the whole family can participate in? Treasure hunts are a great way to bring the whole family together. This type of activity works best when multiple families are participating. That way one or two of the adults can plan the hunt and the rest of the family members participate in the treasure hunt. Who doesn’t love following clues that lead to a big, shiny treasure? Here are step-by-step instructions to plan a great family friendly treasure hunt for a family fun vacation:

  • Find a suitable treasure (a bunch of pennies, action figures, squirt guns, balls) and place the treasure inside a small toy chest. You could also put the treasure in an ice cream pail. Presumably, you should be able to use items from around your house to use as suitable treasures.
  • Bury the treasure under the ground or place it under sand/dirt/leaves ect.
  • Write out some clues (you can do as many or as few as you like). Each clue should be location specific and the clue shouldn’t be too wordy (you want the little kids to be able to understand the clues as well as the older kids). Use colorful paper and markers to write the clues on. Use pictures as much as possible, to make the clues visual (without giving away too much).
  • Once you write out the clues, place the clues in order from the treasure, leading up to the start point. Have the first clue handy so you can give it to participants at the start of the treasure hunt.
  • Start the hunt by dividing up the family members into pairs and give every team their first clue. Make sure the teams are fair (pair up the younger kids with older kids or with an adult)

How to Participate in a Geocache Hunt

  1. Get a GPS
  2. Find the nearest geocache spot near you
  3. Go to the official geocache website and get started on a local hunt
  4. Use your GPS to lead you to the cache/treasure
  5. Once you find the cache/treasure, replace it with something of equal value
  6. Write down what you took and what you your replaced the cache with, in the provided logbook.

2. A Geocache Family Adventure

If you want to go for a high tech version of a treasure hunt, geocaching is the way to go and a great way to make a family fun vacation. You’ll need a smartphone with GPS enabled/a suitable geocache app installed or a GPS device. Geocaching is a real-life game that people all over the world have been playing for the past 5 years or so. You’ll need to look up the official geocaching website to find a geocache near your location and you’ll need to put in the coordinates into your GPS. Finding a cache will take teamwork and determination, so use the whole family and make a game of it.

A geocache adventure is something the whole family can do together, as one team with the goal of finding the cache (or treasure). The rules of geocaching state that once you find the cache/treasure, you’ll have to replace it with something of equal value. Also, once you take the cache from its GPS specific location, you’ll have to fill out the logbook that should be present at the site of the cache.

This is My Hobby: Family Geocaching

Vacation Ideas for Families

Fun family vacations should always include some downtime for everyone.
Fun family vacations should always include some downtime for everyone. | Source

3. Every Parent Needs a Vacation, From the Vacation

How many of us have felt drained and exhausted from our vacation, even after a couple days? Especially when you’ve got kids of your own to entertain/watch/keep safe. Here are a few tips to make your trip a truly family fun vacation for everyone:

  • If you’re traveling with other families, why not split the workload of keeping the kids entertained? Have the adults in your group (especially adults who don’t have kids of their own) sign up to take the kids in the group out for a couple hours each day. This would be a 2 hour commitment for each adult, not a daily commitment. By setting this up ahead of time, you will give yourself 2 hours of kid-free time almost every day of your vacation.
  • If you’re traveling with your immediate family and not with other people, you deserve a break too! Are their ways to give yourself some kid-free time? Yes, yes there are ways. You and your partner could spell one another off by taking turns each taking the kids. Perhaps you could take the kids out for an hour or two on the first day and your partner could do the same the next day, and you could alternate during your whole vacation time, or just alternate for a few days. When your partner is off galavanting with the kids, you could read your book, nap, go to the spa, go for a solo walk, get yourself a gourmet coffee or just do nothing at all for 2 glorious hours.
  • If it’s just you and the kids, you could get creative. Maybe you could plan the location of your vacation so that you stay close to grandparents or close relatives. You could work out a plan for the grandparents/aunt/uncle/cousins to take your offspring for a couple hours (or more) during your vacation for some much needed alone time. Family fun vacations should always include some down time!

4. Loads of Travel Games

Make sure you load up on lots of travel games for your kids. This doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy your family a bunch of new travel games. Why don’t you take your current game favourites and turn them into travel friendly games for your whole family? This is as simple as taking a paper copy of your game board, pinning with magnets to a metal surface (like a flat metal cookie sheet) and putting stick-on magnetic tape on the game pieces. Voila, you have a instant travel game and that makes for a family fun vacation.

Family Fun Vacations: Great Craft Ideas

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Vacation Ideas for Families: Printable Magnetic Sheets

5. Craft Ideas

There are loads of kid-friendly craft inspiration ideas on the web that makes for a family fun vacation. I’ll share some of my personal favourites for family vacation ideas as well as some crafts I’m hoping to implement into our family’s next vacation:

  • Magnetic me: use a metal pencil case and re-purpose it by printing off pictures of your kids' faces on printable magnetic strips. Then print pictures on magnetic strip all sorts of props like mustaches, funny hats, crazy sunglasses, and ridiculous hair. Your kids can make their own customizable magnetic versions of themselves.
  • Mix bags: Take a plastic ziplock bag and fill it with various play items such as playdough, various felt material cut outs, paper/stickers. These bags can provide hours of entertainment in the car or at your destination and will make for a family fun vacation.

Vacation Ideas for Families

Which family vacation ideas will you use on your next trip?

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    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      What cute ideas! I love the treasure hunt. That can be so fun. Thanks for posting!

    • joym7 profile image

      Joy 3 years ago from United States

      Fantastic ideas, thanks for sharing this Hub

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