Travel Planning Secrets
The success of a family trip to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) doesn’t just rely on being able to seek the best hotel deals or saving on airfare. It also lies in ensuring that everyone joining the trip has a great time.
Hosting this kind of gathering entails thorough planning and preparation, especially if you’re traveling with people belonging to different generations. If you just wing it, it is more likely that some of your family members would feel left out and fail to have a good time.
If it’s meant to be a bonding trip, you need to plan it around the things that everyone will enjoy. Want to ensure that happens? Here are six travel planning secrets that could help:
1. Know your family’s unique interests.
When planning a trip for your clan, you need to consider each family member’s unique interests and styles. Just because you’re related doesn’t mean you have the same preferences or share similar interests.
For example, your kids may not share your love for art. In most cases, children prefer spending a day in amusement parks in the UAE rather than visiting the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Or, if you have older generations in your group, you may include a trip to the Qasr Al Watan or the Sheikh Zayed and other culture-centric destinations.
The bottom line is that you must find out what everyone likes and try to incorporate activities that interest them. Sure, you may have a good idea of what that is, but it would be best to fill in any gaps by asking them directly what they would like to do on your trip.
2. Choose activities that are accessible to everyone.
Since you’re all together on the trip, you also need to ensure that everyone can join your planned activities. Keep the activities not only accessible, but also enjoyable for everyone.
For example, if you choose to bring along children, your activities must be child-friendly and engaging at the same time. Little ones, in particular, have unique needs, so make sure you account for that as well.
Similarly, elderly members of the family who wish to join the family trip may have some medical restrictions to be considered. If they have trouble walking, experience painful joints, or simply get tired quickly, choose accommodations designed for people with limited mobility.
If you’re spending several days in the UAE, you can dedicate half a day or a whole day for each generation to enjoy. All it takes is a bit more detailed planning.
3. Get the kids involved.
Getting children involved may not be your first choice, but believe it or not, doing so can make the trip less stressful.
Children have different levels of interest when it comes to trip planning, but they will surely become enthusiastic once they begin exploring all the fun options you can choose from for the trip. Youngsters also get bored or agitated less if they have a say in what comes next.
In addition, this means they would become more engaged in the trip, making it a lot less challenging to please everyone.
Depending on your children’s ages, you might want to get them involved in the following steps in travel planning:
- Choosing activities and destinations. Try to research all the things to do in Abu Dhabi. Watch movies about the desert, read books on camels, or browse pictures of the Qasr Al Watan Palace online with the entire family before deciding what to include in your itinerary. You can also use a chalkboard or whiteboard for your kids to write their ideas on, which can also serve as a visual reminder of the fun and build anticipation for the trip.
- Creating vacation rules. Don’t be afraid to make rules for your trip, as they’re meant to help you all feel safe and secure. Just remember to talk it out with everyone in your family. This way, everyone would feel less inclined to break them, especially since they had a hand in defining the consequences attached to the rules.
4. Give each member a role to play.
Like creating rules and choosing activities, assigning a role to younger family members also helps them feel more responsible for the trip’s success.
Parents often take on the travel planning tasks, thinking it’s their responsibility. However, this mentality can make traveling with kids more stressful than it needs to be and, sometimes, much less fun for the youngsters who are perfectly capable of pitching in with their ideas and efforts.
Children love to help organize a trip. It makes them feel like they own it, making them more invested in ensuring its success.
Here are a few roles you can assign to your family members:
- Happiness Coordinator – perfect for younger kids to pre-teens.
- Chief Navigator – can be assigned to a young adult or a teenager.
- Finance Manager – for teens who are already predisposed to handling money (those who can budget their allowance well).
- Event Organizer – can be the eldest child or anyone with a knack for leadership and authority.
Conduct a “meeting” with your kids about the different skills necessary for each role. Then, consider who is best suited for each task and why. You can also put it to a vote.
5. Deal with potential trip issues together.
A trip with children – especially little ones – won’t be free of issues. Of course, those matters would be easier to deal with if you had already thought of a solution before traveling.
There are many things you may not be able to control, like terrible weather, lost luggage, delayed flights, exhaustion, and irritating bugs. However, you and your kids can cope faster if everyone is aware of those possibilities and prepared to deal with them.
Sure, it may not always be 100 percent smooth sailing, but it pays to be prepared to overcome these problems. To do so, make sure you brainstorm about all the possible things that could go wrong, like:
If you do this, you not only gain more information and possible solutions to the issues, but you also help your kids prepare mentally for the possibilities and make it easier for them to cope.
6. Practice close to home.
If it’s the first time some of your kids will be away from home for a while, it would be best to give them a chance to practice being out longer than they usually have.
Spend the night in a relative’s home nearby. Or you can even try camping out in your backyard – this is perfect for last-minute practice as it is available at a moment’s notice and doesn’t require much effort or money to arrange.
A Fun-Filled Family Trip for All
Planning a family trip that is enjoyable for every member of your clan doesn’t need to be difficult. By getting even your kids involved and trying out the secrets listed here, you can have the most fun-filled family trip that all your companions will love.