Family Travel Planning - brainstorm and research

Its January, the perfect time to start planning those trips for 2018. Use the cold winter months to get ahead on planning so that you can make the most out of travel budget and travel time. 


Dreaming of where we could go is always fun but man is it easy to get carried away when your bucket list is as longer than your time and money allows! And with Instagram now a huge inspiration for travel destination, sometimes it can feel hard to narrow down the choices. 

So many places to see, and so little time!

It’s at this point that knowing your budget and when you can travel comes in handy, it can help you narrow that very long list! And since we have done those two steps, lets move onto my very favourite part. 


Step 3: Brainstorm

Photo by  Deanna Ritchie  on  Unsplash

Where to start?

Here are some brainstorming questions to help get you going: 

  • Do I want one big expensive holiday or lots of smaller holidays?

  • Do I need to fly? Flying often increases the overall cost, particularly if you must travel on certain popular dates—can you go by train or car?

  • Is there a specific destination that can make the most of my budget?

  • Do I need to go in high season? Summer destinations like Portugal are also a great option for spring and autumn travel when there are less people around.

  • Can I reduce my accommodation costs by getting creative?

  • Do I want luxury or would more basic accommodation suffice?

  • What are my top three must-haves? Do I need a kids club? A pool? Air conditioning? Near public transport?

  • Am I looking for a city trip? Nature holiday? Beach holiday?

  • Do I want a relaxing holiday or do I want to explore and be active?

  • Do I want to be able to walk to local attractions? Do I need to rent a car? Can I use public transport?

  • Do I want to use a travel agent for all or part of my trip?

Answering these questions can help you to narrow down what you actually want from your holiday before deciding on a destination, and also help set expectations within the family too. Having a conversation within your family will help keep the peace and avoid disappointment.  I may have a certain idea built up in my head, but hubby or the kids may have something completely different.

Set expectations now! 

After brainstorming and you've created your 2018 bucketlist, start narrowing it down and create a short list of potential destinations. 


Step 4: Research    

Photo by  on  Unsplash

Now with your short list created its a lot easier to jump in and start researching. There are so many options out there and its easy to get distracted. So keep those brainstorming answers next to you while you dive into the endless number of options. 

Here are a couple of places I like to get inspiration from

  • Facebook Groups - check out groups like Swiss Family Travel (my travel community!) and chat to others members for inspiration.

  • Chat with friends - Who better to give you a recommendation that your friends?

  • Family Travel Blogs - Blogs are a great way to find tried and tested destinations.

  • Social Media - Use it to your advantage with Instagram’s search function to find your location. Looking through you will find hotel recommendations, restaurant recommendations, and places to see. Save them for later or have a notebook handy. You can also check out Pinterest - it’s not just for crafts and recipes!

  • Ask the kids - you would be surprised to hear what your kids will come up with. Take inspiration from family traveler extraordinaire, Eric Stoen. He lets each of his kids choose a destination every year.

I like to keep either a separate notebook or excel document going as I research and find things. If I don’t write them down or save them somewhere I tend to either have 100 tabs open on my browsers or just forget about the things I have found. 

Don’t worry too much about details just yet. All you are looking for right now is a destination, transportation, and accommodation.

Just thinking about this has me super excited to get onto the computer and start researching! 

If you missed the first two steps you can check them out here, and don't forget to pop back tomorrow for the next two

How do you choose where to travel? What's your favourite site for travel information?