While a vacation is a wonderful way to spend time with your family, planning one can lead to blowouts and meltdowns. Putting together an itinerary that meets everyone’s expectations is not an easy task.

Are you dreading your upcoming family vacation? We’re happy to share our top tips for a stress-free time. Take a look.

Prioritize Space

Even a spacious hotel room can feel cramped when you have toddlers running out. Luckily, there are better and more spacious options when it comes to accommodation. We highly recommend exploring vacation homes on the OBX. In addition to plenty of space, these rentals are also equipped with private pools, game rooms, hot tubs, kitchens, and other useful amenities.

Don’t Overpack

People often think that packing everything they could possibly need is the best idea, but it’s not. Do you really have to pack hundreds of diapers? Will you genuinely need twelve pairs of pants? Overpacking makes it difficult to manage all your luggage, and you may also end up paying extra baggage fees. Instead, you should prepare a checklist to ensure you are only packing the essentials. Everything else you can purchase from a local supermarket.

Off-Season Vacations

Off-season vacations promise several advantages. First of all, traveling during the off-season is much cheaper. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about navigating overcrowded spaces. That being said, remember to check the weather forecast to ensure you won’t be stuck inside because of heavy rain or snow.

Bring Entertainment

Kids have a short attention span and need to be constantly entertained. That’s why you should bring games, crayons, and toys everywhere you go. Keeping them busy is the best way to avoid hissy fits.

Carry Zip-Lock Bags

Zip-lock bags are underrated heroes of family vacations. From dividing snacks to storing wet swimsuits, zip-lock bags are a versatile essential. You can even use these to waterproof your electronics for the beach.

Pack a First Aid Kit

It’s always a good idea to pack first aid, which includes badges, gauze, antiseptic cream, bug spray, pain killers, antacid and so on.

Don’t Forget Essentials

From your child’s favorite blankie to your allergy medication, remember to pack all the essentials.

Preload Electronics

Long-haul flights and road trips are exhausting and can be especially grueling for little ones. Since internet connectivity can be unreliable, you should preload their iPads with games, videos and music. Make sure you do the same on your smartphone.

Rent Baby Gear

From a baby bassinet and cot mobiles to strollers and car seats, there is so much baby gear you might need. But who said you have to pack and bring everything for the vacation? Rather than going through all that trouble, you should consider renting baby gear at the destination. It may cost you a bit, but the convenience is absolutely worth it.

Pack Snacks & Treats

If children haven’t eaten in a few hours, they start throwing temper tantrums. It’s imperative to keep their favorite snacks and beverages in your backpack. Whether you are catching a long-haul flight or heading to the beach, remember to stock up on filling snacks.

Make Most of Apps

Whether you are going on a road trip or planning a weekend getaway, there’s an app for everything. You can find the cheapest airfare, car rentals and other deals on Hopper. GasBuddy is another amazing app that helps you find the best gas prices.

The Bottom Line

A little bit of planning goes a long way. From advance booking to flexible itineraries, find different ways to minimize the hassle of traveling. Hopefully, the aforementioned hacks come in handy for planning your next family vacation.