Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Family Vacations Gone Wrong: 4 Things to Avoid

Family Vacations Gone Wrong - 4 Things to AvoidFamily vacations are supposed to be fun, but they sometimes go wrong. Stack the deck in your favor by avoiding common mistakes.

Improper Planning

Some travelers enjoy spontaneity, but planning ahead can avert disasters like needing someone to help with your hotel injury because you failed to book a reputable place for your stay ahead of time. If traveling by car, make sure it’s roadworthy by getting it professionally inspected beforehand.

Always leave a copy of your itinerary with a friend or family member at home. Check the weather forecast for your travel route and destination to make sure you won’t be stuck unprepared in bad conditions. If traveling to a foreign locale that’s prone to tropical storms, earthquakes or other disasters, find out what kind of alert and communication systems are in place.

Not Packing Important Items

Many travelers get so caught up in clothing choices that they don’t think about important items. Don’t forget pertinent documents, extra prescription medication, and a contact card with important names and phone numbers (in case you lose your phone). When driving, also pack a disaster supplies kit to keep in the trunk. This should contain a first aid kit, battery-operated radio, flashlight and high-protein snacks.

Reliance on Technology

Technology has made life easier in certain ways, especially in regards to cellphones and navigation gadgets. However, solely relying on gizmos when driving can lead to problems, particularly when they fail to pick up a signal. Avoid getting lost or stranded by bringing a paper map. To make this more fun, you can even turn the map into a keepsake by adding personalized notes or stickers that relate to the places you visited along the way.

Legal Difficulties

Getting injured in an auto accident or another circumstance while on vacation is something nobody wants to happen. The unfortunate reality is sometimes it does. Be sure to consult an experienced legal professional regarding help with your hotel injury, auto accident injury, etc.

Aside from an injury, not much else can put a big damper on vacation fun as a run-in with the law. Make sure to know and obey the rules and regulations of your destination, especially when traveling to an exotic location. Even when staying closer to home, simple traffic regulations, such as right turns on red lights, can vary from state to state. Even if you only get a ticket, this will put a dent into your vacation budget, and you might even have to travel back to the place of jurisdiction for legal proceedings.


Even with careful planning, expect the unexpected. However, don’t get so hung up on details that you can’t enjoy life along the way. Allow your family members to relish the experience, and use the vacation as an outlet from daily stress instead of adding to it.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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