Organizing and Planning a Successful Family Vacation Planning a successful family vacation can be tricky when you're trying to work around your family member's busy schedules. Coordinating requested time off from work with school vacations and summertime activities can be a daunting task. Get your family actively involved in the vacation planning process. Everyone wants a trip to remember, and by obtaining input from each family member as to what they enjoy, what they'd like to do and where they'd like to go, it can be successfully planned. Your children may surprise you with some of things they suggest to do on vacation. Once you've got your plan mapped out, keep your kids involved by putting them in charge of at least one aspect of the trip. They may be good with landmarks and direction. If that's the case, have them be your navigator. Maybe they love to take pictures and would love to be the official vacation photographer. You'll feel less overwhelmed by everything that needs to be covered during the trip, and they'll feel a great sense of accomplishment in tackling their assigned project. It's highly unlikely that your time or monetary budget will allow you to do every single thing that everyone wants to do on the trip. Work together to narrow the list, and place those things that everyone would like to do toward the top. After the location, time frame, and activities have been settled, it's time to make the to do list. Figure out what clothes need to be packed, which neighbor or friend is going to check your mail and water your houseplants, and what bills need to be paid prior to your leaving. Put your children in charge of figuring out things like how much dog food you need to bring along for a vacation that will last for ten days, and make them responsible for locating their swim trunks, travel games, favorite books and music CDs. With a little forethought and some careful planning, you can have the family vacation of a lifetime and live to tell the tale.