5 Essential Must-Haves for a Family Holiday

A family holiday is perhaps an ambitious feat, especially when it’s your first time. There’s a whole new level of preparation to undertake, as well as potential for stress and conflict between you all. Don’t let it be that way. Ensure you’ve got these 5 must-haves for a family holiday in order to make it smooth sailing all the way.

must-haves for a family holiday


must-haves for a family holiday

Before you go, you’ll want to ensure you have all the vaccinations you may potentially need. Depending on the destination you’re travelling to and the ages of those in tow, you’ll need to consider whether a trip to the doctor is necessary or not in preventing any potential future illnesses.

Things such as dengue and jungle fever, as well as hepatitis and even rabies, can be vaccinated against. They should definitely be if you’re travelling to an area where these diseases are rife. Unfortunately malaria, perhaps the most common of all, is yet to receive a vaccination, so do all you can to prevent any bites once you’re on vacation.

A Safety Kit

must-haves for a family holiday

To ensure the safety of the little ones, consider preparing a safety kit for them to carry in busy areas – the airport, city centres and theme parks are just a few places where them getting lost is a viable possibility. If you create a kit for them to keep on their person, you’ll minimise the risks.

Include things such as an ID tag and your details This way a passer-by who helps your child can easily contact you. Consider putting a family photo in there, too – at least then people know who to look out for. Also, it would help to designate a recognisable location to return to should your party become separated. CTI recommends having a “what if I get lost” plan to eliminate the worry and panic of any unfortunate eventuality.

The Right Clothes

must-haves for a family holiday

Be prepared for the climate you’re heading into. Make sure you and your family will be comfortable wherever you are – if going somewhere hot and humid, opt for loose-fitting and flowy clothes to keep it airy and stop the materials clinging to your body.

Consider UV-protecting swimsuits for the kids, too. Although you’ll probably be slapping on the sunscreen at every opportunity, it’s important to ensure their safety against the beating rays as much as possible.

In contrast, if heading to a much colder location than you’re used to, be sure to bring enough layers to keep you comfortable – a winter coat is a necessity, no matter what time of year you’re choosing to travel.

An Itinerary

must-haves for a family holiday

Prepare a plan for your trip in advance to avoid any complications or disagreements in the heat of the moment. Having a rough itinerary is good in that you’ll still have space for spontaneous plans. But you will also be able to stick to a schedule to ensure you’re fitting it all in.

Don’t limit yourself too strictly with it, as you’re likely going to stumble across something that will alter your schedule. But consider having loose plans in place. It will make the holiday flow smoother and eliminate a whole bout of stress.

Get an extensive list of travel resources- including ways to create your itinerary- right in your inbox.

Balance and Compromise

must-haves for a family holiday

It’s not a tangible thing to pack, but balance and compromise is perhaps the most necessary thing to have on a family holiday. If you’re looking for peace and quiet while the kids want high-octane energy throughout the entire trip, there’s an evident conflict of interest to remedy.

Be sure to promise the little ones time for them to enjoy themselves and have fun, so long as they understand your wants and desires also. A family holiday needs to be enjoyable for everyone, so balance is absolutely vital in ensuring that.

Do you have any tips of your own for an easy family holiday? Let us know in the comments below.

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This post was made possible through a partnership with CTI. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

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5 Must-Haves for a Family Holiday
5 Must-Haves for a Family holiday

About the Author:

Hey, I’m Mackenzie, a writer, traveler, and photographer living in North Texas. Been to 65 countries solo, now taking the baby along. I blog about family travel while writing novels and binge-watching British TV.


  1. Angela Tolsma October 13, 2017 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Oh gosh vaccinations are so important!! Also when children are involved an Itinerary is a must, it’s the only way to get things done!

  2. Kayla Uimari October 13, 2017 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    Awesome tips and advice! Having an itinerary before the trip I’ve learned (the hard way) is crucial!

  3. Andrea October 13, 2017 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    SO important to be properly prepared for a family vacation!

  4. Taylor October 13, 2017 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    I brought a very intense first-aid safety kit on a recent camping trip and all my friends made fun of me. But on day 2 when they needed a band-aid who did they come to? It’s always best to be prepared!
    Thanks for sharing

  5. Karen Morse October 13, 2017 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    These are all definitely very important when you’re going on a trip, whether it’s with family or friends or just by yourself. I think vaccinations is something that people overlook often. It’s really important to have that done before you go!

  6. Sincerely Ophelia October 13, 2017 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    Def agree with everything! Its a good reminder! Right clothes and itinerary is everything for me though!


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  7. Erica October 13, 2017 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    I haven’t traveled much out of the U.S. So I’ve never even thought of vaccinations. That’s a good one as I imagine it’s easy to overlook.

  8. Terri Steffes October 13, 2017 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    We were so lucky as parents to have a child who traveled well. One thing we loved to do was to find little toys or crafts and wrap them up, then gave them to her on the hour to unwrap and play with. She looked forward to the new toy and it kept her entertained!

  9. Linda Hobden October 14, 2017 at 3:35 am - Reply

    For malaria prevention you need to take the correct malarial tablets for the place you are going too. There are two types – one type you need to take once a week before, during & after yor holiday ; the other is a daily tablet for your holiday duration.
    As well as malaria, other mosquitoes carry ziko virus And dengue fever.
    Avoid stagnant water. Plenty of mosquito spray.
    Sleep under a mosquito net if provided. In Kenya, I slept under a mosquito net & I’m glad I did as a large spider used to crawl up it on the outside but couldn’t get in!!! 😜

  10. Michelle October 14, 2017 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Mapping out an itinerary is very helpful for me, especially when travelling with a big group where just deciding where to eat could take 20 minutes! 🙂

  11. Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh October 14, 2017 at 9:56 am - Reply

    These are all great tips. As someone who has never traveled far from home, I wouldn’t have thought of a lot of these things.

  12. Kita October 14, 2017 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    It’s usually just my kids and I on family holiday but we still do all of the above especially compromise. Everyone gets to pick one activity and does not complain about the other’s choice.

  13. Yona Williams October 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    I didn’t use to create an itinerary when we traveled, but do more often now. With my sweetie, if I want to accomplish something during our travels, I need to have a plan set and all my ducks in a row.

  14. Luci October 14, 2017 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    Really great tips for travelling. I don’t get to travel much but when I do I make sure to pack the right clothes and snacks.

  15. Jessica Joachim October 15, 2017 at 6:54 am - Reply

    Planning is so important, especially when you have kids. I seem to always end up over packing, but I am okay with that because I am always worried I will forget something that the kids need. I love making an itinerary, by my husband likes to wing it lol

  16. Arlene October 15, 2017 at 10:22 am - Reply

    I love the compassion tip. You never know what will happen on vacay so giving grace in the moment is always helpful

  17. Kelly October 15, 2017 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    Great list! I would say also a plan helps, especially when there are little kids involved. So hell doesn’t break loose 😂

  18. LaShawn October 15, 2017 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Yes to all of this. Especially the compromise! And I find that at least having a loose itinerary helps to make sure we see everything we want to see

  19. Toughcookiemommy October 15, 2017 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    Vaccinations are so important, especially when you are traveling abroad. I always worry about making sure all our shots are up to date when we travel as a family.

  20. Flossie McCowald | SuperMomHacks October 15, 2017 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    This post is not at all what I expected, but your tips are so valuable and spot-on. Our biggest “must” for family vacations is planning ahead – helps so much with NOT overpacking, among other things!

  21. Jennifer October 15, 2017 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    I would be lost without an itinerary. I never would have thought of the safety bag though, what a great idea.

  22. Heather October 16, 2017 at 9:36 am - Reply

    I’ve been thinking a lot about a family safety kit. We travel often and with so many horrific things happening basically everywhere from natural disasters to awful tragedies, it’s so important to have a family safety kit. We definitely need to make one.

  23. Blythe Alpern October 16, 2017 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    The itinerary is a necessity as is sitting down with your family to plan the trip. I remember so many trips with my family where my parents would forget that we were old enough to have an opinion about what we wanted to do. It made the trips not as fun when were dragged along to things we weren’t so interested in seeing.

  24. Cindy Ingalls October 16, 2017 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    A safety kit is such a smart idea, especially when you are traveling. You never know when and if you will be able to find the things you usually use so it’s better to have them with you from the start.

  25. Nicole Washington October 16, 2017 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    You definitely have to have the right clothes and attire for your trips. But these pictures are gorgeous! Especially the one with the dragonfly!

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