Global Travel Advisor Gennady Podolsky Presents 5 Quality-of-Life Travel Tips for a Family Vacation


Gennady Podolsky, an experienced global travel consultant, highlights ways to make every family vacation a success.

The prospect of a fun family vacation may conjure up images of relaxed-looking parents and cooperative children. Without careful planning and execution, however, a regional road trip or international vacation can become an exercise in frustration. Even worse, family dissension could lead to a potentially shortened travel experience. To help avoid this series of missteps, global travel advisor Gennady Podolsky offers five quality-of-life travel tips to set the stage for a harmonious travel adventure.

Plan the Trip as a Family

Although parents typically select the trip destination and make the reservations, the entire family will go along for the ride. For this reason, children of all ages should have a voice in the trip-planning process.

To avoid leaving children out, and perhaps cause lingering resentment, parents should schedule a fun trip-planning session complete with favorite beverages and snacks. Global travel advisor Gennady Podolsky recommends that every member of the family be invited to share their “must-see” experiences. Equally importantly, they should emphasize those activities they would rather avoid.

Choose a Unified Vacation Objective

Once the trip destination is set, the family should together select an objective around which they will schedule group activities. Perhaps they plan to spend a week at the beach. Family-friendly beach-themed activities can include beachcombing, sand sculpting, boat rides, and sampling beach boardwalk food.

Maybe the family plans to explore family-friendly Sweden for a week. This Scandinavian country offers a host of outdoor activities for adults and children alike. Examples include wildly creative playgrounds, nature preserves, zoos, and winter wonderland experiences.

Make Early Flight, Hotel, and Attractions Reservations  

In today’s competitive travel market, families will benefit from making reservations months in advance. Global travel advisor Gennady Podolsky explains that this practice offers two major advantages.

First, he notes that travelers making advance reservations are more likely to see better flight availability and adjacent seats. Their perks may also include upgraded hotel rooms and more favorable rental car choices. Attractions may also have more capacity when booked well in advance. Finally, budget-savvy families may be able to obtain early-bird cost reductions that won’t apply closer to the trip date.

Speaking of cost savings, Gennady Podolsky recommends that families avoid top-tier destinations with higher prices. Instead, cost-conscious travelers may enjoy a trip to a nearby off-the-beaten-path destination.

Finally, booking the trip during the region’s off-season can result in smaller crowds and a more affordable travel experience. Gennady Podolsky emphasizes that parents should consult children’s school calendars before making travel reservations.

Bring the Kids on Board

When young children are faced with unfamiliar situations, they may become anxious and even uncooperative. Global travel advisor Gennady Podolsky says parents can avoid this potential roadblock by sharing the trip details with their children ahead of time.

First, the parents should provide a big-picture overview of the road trip or vacation. Next, kids should learn what will happen at the airport, during the flight, in the hotel, and at the destination. Equally importantly, parents should state their behavioral expectations for each child during the trip.

Schedule Activities to Meet Kids’ Needs and Preferences  

When traveling with children, a steady diet of reasonably paced activities helps set the tone for a positive trip. By scheduling a single activity each day, kids will have some downtime for a snack or a much-needed nap. While the kids rest, parents can recharge for the next round.

Global travel advisor Gennady Podolsky recommends that parents book their “must-see” kids’ activities first. If there’s a budget surplus near the trip’s end, parents can add an extra activity or two. He also emphasizes that parents shouldn’t limit activities to popular local attractions.

To illustrate, each geographic or cultural area lends itself to certain types of activities. In a state or national park, kid-focused hikes are a popular choice. If the family is traveling to Italy or France, for example, cooking classes will appeal to both kids and adults.  

Budget-friendly kids’ activities can include visits to working farms and farmer’s markets. Beachcombing on a state park’s beaches, or picnicking in a national park, should involve only a minimal cost. Even popular attractions can be more affordable with discount packages and special promotions.

Pack Everyone’s Essential Medicines

Enduring an upset stomach or seasonal allergies at home is no fun. On vacation, a medical issue can put a damper on the entire experience. If multiple family members get sick, that’s even worse.

To be prepared, global travel advisor Gennady Podolsky recommends that parents pack over-the-counter (or OTC) medications they normally take at home. He suggests that parents consult the kids’ pediatrician before bringing medications for the youngsters.

Bringing all drugs in their original packages is important (especially for prescription medications). If that’s not an option, parents should bring the prescription along with the condition it addresses.

If applicable, parents should confirm that they can legally bring certain medication(s) into another country without special permission or paperwork. Completing the required documentation before the trip could prevent legal headaches (or worse).

Make a Comprehensive Safety Plan

Parents consistently work overtime to keep their children safe. Whether shopping at a local big box store or visiting a popular amusement park, parents stay on the lookout for potential threats to their kids’ well-being. Global travel advisor Gennady Podolsky emphasizes that keeping children safe while traveling requires next-level preparation.

First, navigating through busy streets and intersections will be a challenge. And if a curious child wanders away in a busy place, they should be equipped with their hotel’s business card. In a foreign country, the hotel’s contact details should be printed in the local language. This information can help return the child to their parents.

Next, parents should collect their children and point out individuals who could be helpful to them. A police officer, uniformed security guard, store manager, or museum guide are good examples. If none of these individuals are available, a mother with young children could be a good choice.

Finally, Gennady Podolsky recommends that the parents designate a central meeting spot where family members can congregate. He suggests meeting at the local police station or a well-traveled location such as a busy coffee shop in the town square.

Record the Trip’s Memorable Moments

Many parents would enjoy seeing the family vacation through their children’s eyes. To achieve this goal, global travel advisor Gennady Podolsky suggests that parents buy an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera for each older child. They should also be encouraged to talk about their trip in a simple journal. Together, each child’s observations can provide their parents with fond memories of this special travel experience.