We can all plan the perfect family vacation right down to the very last detail. We all also know that flight delays can happen, you might end up with an awful seat on the plane, or you forgot to pack your child’s favorite “lovey”.

To help you travel better, here are our favorite travel hacks we learned from many family vacations. These tips will help you save money, pack smart, snag amazing hotel discounts, and help your family arrive relaxed and ready for an awesome vacation!

Here’s what you need to know:

Getting there.

1) Clear your cookies when searching for flights.

When starting your flight search, make sure to clear your cookies every time you search.  When you conduct searches, sites store your cookies and can increase the price because they know you are interested.

2) Set up price alerts.

Do a search for where you want to go on Google Flights. If the price isn’t right for you when you search, sign up for price alerts and follow the prices. When you see a great price come up, book it right away because the price will usually not last.

3) Get the perfect seat.

Where you sit on a flight can make all the difference. Download SeatGuru, which can help you choose the perfect seat.


Pack smart.

4) Pack lots of snacks.

Kids love snacks! Pack a lot of healthy snacks and also a few treats. You can’t image how the promise of a small treat can help to get your child to sit in their seat for just 10 more minutes.

5) Weigh your luggage before you leave for the airport.

We have all seen that family at the airport who are shoving underwear and shoes from one suitcase to another while trying to wrangle 2 kids! You definitely don’t want that to happen. Weigh your luggage on a scale at home and check the baggage restrictions for the airline you are traveling on.

6) Pack items to layer in coordinating colors.

Even though you may be going to a warm climate on vacation, weather can be very unpredictable. Pack items of similar colors that you can mix and match (shirt, pants, shorts that all coordinate).

7) Download movies to an iPad before you leave for the airport.

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but anyone who has ever traveled with children knows that an iPad can literally save the day. We went on a recent vacation and neglected to download any movies because we just figured we would do it at the airport while we waited. To our shock, the wifi at the airport wasn’t working (because isn’t wifi always soooo dependable.) Needless to say, it was a rough 3-hour flight for both kids and parents.

Finding hotel deals.

8) Compare prices from multiple sites.

Always check for hotel prices on travel sites like Expedia along with the hotel’s actual website. You can get great deals through travel sites, but can sometimes get better deals through the hotel’s site itself by using a discount for things like early bird booking or AAA.

Once you are at your destination.

9) Look into CityPasses.

Traveling to a major urban center? A CityPass can help you save if you plan on visiting multiple attractions.

10) Find free activities.

You can find free activities for most destinations, many that are family friendly. Look for a tourism booth when you get there. They will often be a treasure trove of information. I also do a search “(destination) and free family activities” online and can usually find many interesting things to do at no cost.

Hopefully, these tips and tricks can help you book smart, travel happy, and enjoy your family vacation.  Happy Vacationing!!