We had a large (20 people) family vacation that I organized for a major birthday. To say that planning was involved would be a complete understatement. There was planning the “hotel” reservations (actually timeshares) for everyone – which was tricky enough to find a place where we all could stay. Then there was the usual car rentals and flight reservations.
This was far from a “let’s just take it easy vacation” to more of a “let’s plan it all” vacation. We really had to plan because we went to Disneyworld. Pre-reading really gave us some great tips, like checking out sites for various things like crowd calendars, where to find discount tickets, and dining options.
The last time I went to Disneyworld my children were probably 8 and 10. In 20 years things have changed, and there are more international visitors too! Back then we just wandered around from one exhibit to the next. Now we had to plan what rides we could go on based on very young children’s heights, and then actually decide which ones were more important to get Fast Passes (new Disney system to get into a faster lane thru “time reservations”.)
For Disney trips
Then there was the online planning through the My Disney Experience app and touring plans app which tracked our dinner reservations, sent reminder messages, and even told us line wait times for various rides. I liked the old days of just walking around. But planning dining reservations seemed to be a must if you didn’t want to wait hours to eat!
General Vacation Organizing Tips
Because there was so much just from everyone’s timeshare reservation, car rentals, plane flights, crowd calendars, weather, dining reservations, etc.; I actually found that using a notebook with plastic/vinyl dividers helped to organize all the aspects of the trip.
For your summer vacation, be sure to plan – between reading books, Excel spreadsheets, a binder, and apps, it took all resources to plan this trip, and there was still things we didn’t do. Don’t forget the raincoat and sweatshirt! Mother Nature doesn’t care about your plans; she changes her mind – it was cold and rainy some days. Oh, and don’t forget the medical phone numbers and meds, we still had to order meds due to new problems. Planning helps, but the unexpected happens.