How to Plan a Big Family Trip

Five ideas to consider when planning a big family vacation.

three people wearing coats and caps view glacier from boat, picture
A few considerations can ensure everyone enjoys your next big family trip. 
Andrew Peacock / Tandem Stock

"The whole idea of traveling with family is to create memories," says AAA Travel Counselor Janice Yip-Hudson.

Start early.

Getting a jump on planning helps ensure that everyone sits together on a flight or has adjoining rooms in a hotel, especially if you have a big group. "It's simple inventory," says Yip-Hudson. "The earlier you book, the better your options.

Be flexible.

Most schools let out at the same time, so traveling just before or after the closure dates can be key. "Missing one school day might save thousands of dollars," Yip-Hudson says.

Consider a cruise.

Aboard a ship, you'll find myriad organized activities to enjoy together—and child care and teen clubs for time apart.


Book a coach.

Swap a traditional road trip for a motor coach tour such as Western Frontiers, a cowboy-themed journey to Western parks and landmarks from Trafalgar Tours. A professional driver frees up parents to relax, and there are playmates for the kids.

Splurge a little.

Consider paying extra for priority boarding and guaranteed connecting rooms if it will save you stress. Buy travel insurance to protect the whole family's investment in case one person cannot travel because of an unforeseen situation such as illness.