Dream Up Your Next Adventure

Published on April 23, 2020 - Updated on April 24, 2020

Finding Fun In The Planning Process

I'm always eager to get a research head start prior to travel. The planning element is one of my favorite parts of vacation. It also ensures access to the fun things we enjoy doing as a family upon arrival. While traveling is not on the immediate agenda, there is no better way to lift your spirits than organizing the details of a perfect adventure.

I’ve always derived energy from coordinating future travel, even when the ultimate departure seems far in the distance. Obviously step one is to determine your destination. Encourage your friends and family to join in the fun by asking for travel inspiration, or just plan a fun family meeting with your little tribe to dream up a potential vacation following the restraints of COVID-19.

Choosing where to stay is a very important part of the travel planning process. We spend a lot of time traveling, and depending on the circumstances motivating our travel we mix in camping, RV excursions, hotels, and local property rentals. Variables such as who we are traveling with and the goals associated with the trip impact where we stay significantly.

planning a trip

When our daughter was a newborn, we generally followed the path of least resistance and sought out hotels for the amenities. At the time we wanted access to an elevator to haul the gear, common areas to hang out, a pool, and multiple restaurants. Avoiding unnecessary juggling was a high priority.

Now that she’s a bit older, we are more adventurous and adjust to transitions with greater ease. As a result, we weave camping and house/apartment rentals into our lodging plans. Variety is fun, and the option to prepare a few meals is easier and less expensive than depending entirely on restaurants. If multiple residence styles are viable at your destination, hone in on a target neighborhood first.

When performing neighborhood research, discover what the area is best known for whether it be art museums, a river walk, beaches, skiing, culinary delights, or historical significance. Uncover what the community is most proud of. Plan to balance tourist type excursions with experiences that give you a sense of local life. Finally, incorporate activities that each member of the family loves, so the trip is special for everyone.

Priorities Of My Neighborhood Research Missions

travel with kids

  • A walkable playground.
  • Beach, pool, splash park access (seasonally specific).
  • Breakfast/coffee shops.
  • Walking, stroller running paths.
  • Children's museum, zoo, or other local adventure space.
  • Biking options. When driving, we bring bikes and helmets, but if we're flying, we scope out bike rental shops. Pricing and availability vary, and not every location has bike gear for children. In some cases, it's even necessary to pack your kiddo’s helmet!
  • A library. Check out the local library programming in advance for a potential rainy morning.
  • Local cuisine. Is your destination known for avocado toast, burritos, corn dogs on the boardwalk, pizza, or baked goods? Food is my love language and no travel is complete until I experience food through the eyes of the locals.

You will have fun visualizing yourself there through your research! Meanwhile, locating the specific area that best appeals to the wants and needs of your family drastically narrows the often overwhelming possibilities for where to stay. Now, it's simply a matter of choosing the most comfortable and convenient lodging in your chosen neighborhood that falls within your budget!

We strive to be the most comprehensive resource to help families spend less time planning and more time experiencing life, but we haven't covered everything just yet! Local resources, such as the chamber of commerce or local township websites can offer valuable information as well.

If your hometown or favorite destination is not included on the website yet, please let us know! We will gladly utilize our resources and travel experience to gather curated information just for you. Team@happyly.com

Check out the blog for inspiration through strategies to Banish Boredom, helpful suggestions for coping with social distancing For A Teen From A Teen, or Ten Tips For Parents Working From Home.

Also, please explore this week’s happyly Survival Toolbox, including our Daily Schedule designed to create positive days at home with your family. As always, we welcome your family's highlights! Tag us on Instagram@gethappyly!

Thoughtfully captured by:
The Team at Happyly
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