Day Trips · Travel

15 Tips for Planning Your Next Family Day Out

With Summer just around the corner, excitement for those longer days and sunshine are giving people the hope they need for a return back to normality. With the hope of restrictions easing, people are ready and keen to get out and about with their family. To have something to look forward to and enjoy. Whether it be a longer holiday to somewhere like these family holiday places in Norfolk, or somewhere a bit closer to home, people cannot wait to go out and about with their family.

Even if all they are looking forward to is a quick break with their loved ones, having something to look forward to is what is what are keeping people going!

A family day out to somewhere like these Maize Mazes in the UK, is the perfect way to relax and unwind after a busy week of work. A family day can be a load of fun and mean that you can all have a special time together, whether you are just going out with your partner or children, there is nothing better than spending time together with your loved ones.

However, for people who have young kids or who like to have everything planned out properly before embarking on an adventure, then it can be a little bit of a stressful time making sure that everything goes smoothly.

When planning a day out, you need to keep in mind who you are going with, what interests they have, the age group of the children you are bringing, their interests and the options you have around you. Once you know all this, you still need to stick to your travel budget and plan your day out carefully.

Your day out with the family should be fun and enjoyable, but remember it needs to be enjoyable for every member of your family. Luckily, there are plenty of different venues and places for a fun day out with the family. You could visit a zoo, go for a picnic, explore the loveliest castle in the world, plus so much more!

If you want to plan an awesome day out with the family, then follow these 15 tips for planning the perfect day out:

  1. Plan Ahead
  2. Discuss with your Family What They Want To Do
  3. Research Everything
  4. Choose the Outing Carefully
  5. Note Down Any Requirements
  6. Stick to a Budget
  7. Check the Weather
  8. Don’t Overschedule
  9. Family Needs
  10. Food and Drink
  11. Toilet Breaks
  12. Buy the Tickets in Advance
  13. Don’t Force Them
  14. Prepare the Night Before
  15. Remember to Have Fun

If you can follow these top 15 tips and you will have the perfect family day out!

Let’s look into these tips a bit further, just to help you have a really good idea of what you need to do to ensure a perfect trip out with your family

1. Plan Ahead For Your Family Day Out

When you know that you have a few weekends free, or are planning what you’ll be doing with your kids during the summer holidays, then you should probably start planning as soon as you can. If you can start planning a few weeks earlier, and can decide a time and day that suits everyone then your trip out won’t be a hassle at all.

The real benefit of planning ahead, is that it adds to the flexibility of the program though. You’ll have plenty of time to visit several places or you could find one fantastic place to explore such as the Thornbridge Hall Gardens (highly recommend you visit these gardens btw)!

You’ll want to make sure that you plan ahead for everything through. Plan ahead for when your young kids will have a nap during your family day out (if needs be), plan your food times, plan how long it will take you to get from A to B.

You might find that often having the perfect plan is a bit of a trial and error, but the more prepared you are, the easier you will find your trip will go. If you are worried that you might miss out an important step, then write everything down and have a checklist.

This will be a big help the first time you go out on a planned family trip, but the more times you go out the easier things will get and you’ll know exactly what you need to do to have the perfect family day trip!

2. Discuss with Your Family

As with any family, it’s important to discuss with every individual what they actually want to do. Different members of your family will have different ideas of what a fun family day out will be. So make sure you have some time to talk with everyone and find out what they like.

This might be that some want to just go out for a nice meal, others might want to go out to the cinema, the zoo, or want to spend the whole day at the beach with the family. There are so many different options that you and your family can do to have a good day out, so make sure you discuss with your family what they want to do.

Everyone has different interests, castles or traveling to historic houses for example, some like going to a quiet garden, others a more busier park. Some people’s interests depend on the weather, the time of year and season can all be factors to determine what your family want to do.

3. Research, Research, Research

There is no such thing as too much research when it comes to planning a family day out. Before you go anywhere, the best thing that you can do is go on the web and see if there are any special events or venues around. There might be fairs, playgrounds, parks, festivals, nature museums, or even your next favourite castle!

Once you have an idea of where you want to go, it’ll be easy to research the area and figure out what you can do there. You’ll want to look for places to eat, how you would get there, how busy things will be (if there’s an event going on at the same time). Every little detail will help make your trip so much better!

You don’t want to turn up in the middle of nowhere with your children and find that there are no toilets or no places to eat. This is not something that you want to happen when you are out in a new area, so make sure you do your research before you go on your next family trip.

4. Choose the Outing Carefully

You should make sure that wherever you are going, that it is suitable for every family member. Not only should it be suitable, but also it should be a place that every family member will have fun at. What are their interests? How do they want to spend their day? These are all things that you need to think about.

Would they want to visit Newark Castle in Nottinghamshire or would they prefer to spend all day in the park? What sort of outing would be perfect for everyone involved?

If you have a family where the children are all different ages, it can be tough to find a venue that is interesting for all age groups and is accessible for all. If you know that you’ll be pushing a pram around, then maybe a castle that has a lot of turrets to climb up isn’t quite the right thing to do with your family.

Talk to your family and both kids and adults to know what they are looking for in the family outing.

5. Note Down Any Requirements 

To make things nice and easy for your day trip, you might find that noting down any items or things required for your outing could be a big help! For example, if you decide to go out for a splashing day out at Cotswold Country Park and Beach, then make sure to bring a change of clothes, towels, sunscreen and plenty of water!

You’ll want to note down things like if tickets are needed, what food you might need for a picnic. But in order for this to happen, you need to decide on the venue and then you can figure out what items to take. It’s not just food that you should pack as well, but also spare clothes are a good idea particularly as you might get wet or messy!

Always come prepared! And the best way to ensure that happens is to note down any requirements before you go on your family adventure!

6. Stick to a Budget

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to worry about how much things cost. But as with most things in life, particularly when it comes to going on an adventure, things cost money and they’re not always cheap. But they don’t have to be hugely expensive either.

To help you ensure that all you costs are covered you should stick to a budget. This will help you know exactly what you can and cannot afford. You don’t need to spend thousands to have a brilliant time though. Sometimes simple is the best fun, so you don’t need to spend a lot on those family outings.

Sometimes something as simple as a homemade picnic in a nearby park, throwing a frisbee with your family can often lead to the best days out. There is no need to break the bank on a family outing, all that matters is that you are spending time with your family and making memories that will last a life time.

7. Check the Weather

This tip is super important when it comes to planning a family adventure. Obviously, you can’t check the weather weeks in advance. But you should have a good idea of what the weather will be like depending on the season. You don’t need sunshine to have the best days out though.

Rain does not limit the adventure, it is your imagination that can hold you back!

When it comes to the summer months you can normally guarantee that there will be sunshine though, but you should still come prepared. Just because there is sunshine in the morning, doesn’t mean it won’t be raining by the afternoon, so always come prepared!

If you are driving to your next family adventure, then you can easily pack the car up with all the essentials that you need. So pack your waterproofs, wellies, and then also the sunscreen and even a change of clothes, you never know when the weather might turn on you, particularly if you don’t check it before you head out on your adventure!

8. Don’t Over Schedule

A mistake that people make when they go on a family adventure is that they want to explore several places within one day. But this is a mistake as it tends to become too much for everyone. Instead you should prioritise the activities that you know your family will enjoy.

You have days ahead of you to go back and re-explore the same place. In fact, revisiting places is still just as good, if not better the second time around! So don’t feel like you need to cram everything into one single day. Your family day trip is a time where you can relax and have fun, so don’t overdo.

The main idea is to spend time with your family, and create the best memories. These are memories that you will cherish for years to come.

9. What Are Your Family Needs

This is one that you will be able to figure out pretty quickly. Does your family have small kids who might need a nap halfway through the day? Or will you be bring elderly members who might need a rest on your family day out? These are things that you will need to keep in mind when planning your family day out.

If your day trip isn’t too far away from home, you can easily come back if your little ones start to get tired. But if you are going a bit further a field then you definitely need to take in consideration what your family needs are. You don’t want your younger kids to get tired and cranky halfway through the day.

You also don’t want to tire the elderly members who are coming with you as they might not have as fun a time as they should. Schedule in plenty of rest times, and make sure that you aren’t walking too far. If you know what people’s limitations are then you can easily plan your trip out.

10. Food and Drink

The worst that can happen if you are out for the day is getting caught in the middle of nowhere and hunger strikes. When it comes to kids, they can get hungry fast and when that happens you need to be able to give them a snack as soon as possible. In order to do this, you need to make sure you bring food with you.

If you are travelling in the car, then you can easily pack a cool bag with enough food and drinks to keep everyone happy. Or if you plan everything in advance and have researched the place properly before you go, you might find that there are some excellent dining options on your travels.

If you do decide to just pop into a food place though, then remember that some in your family might have particular food choices. You should also make sure that the restaurants are kid-friendly. You might find it a lot easier to just pack some snack boxes for your kids and put them in your backpack. If your kid is fussy then make sure to bring a snack which you know they will eat!

11. Toilet Breaks

This is something which people often forget about until it is too late! When it comes to taking your kids out on a family adventure you need to make sure that you can ensure regular toilet breaks. Even if your kid says they don’t need to go, you should still take them. Just in case.

You don’t want to be in the middle of the motorway and hear those dreaded words in the back of the – “I need the toilet…”

To avoid this, plan your route from A to B and factor in the time, where the nearest rest stops are and drink breaks. Take note of where the toilets are as well. For example, if they are only at the entrance of the venue and there aren’t any inside, make sure you use them before you go too far from them.

12. Buy the Tickets in Advance

There are two very good reasons to buying your tickets in advance of your family day trip. The first, is that it will help with you sticking in your budget, as you’ll know exactly what the price is and often if you buy tickets in advance you might get a discount. You’ll also be guaranteed entry and won’t have to worry about the place being full when you arrive.

The second benefit to buying your tickets in advance is that it cuts out all the boring bits that your kids won’t care about. If you have to stand in a queue for 30 minutes whilst your kids wait around, they could end up getting bored and start messing around.

It’ll put everyone in a good mood (adults and kids), if you buy the tickets in advance and no one will be cranky at the start of their day out. You’ll be able to flash that ticket at the guard and walk straight in. You and your kids won’t have to wait around and you can enjoy the fun part of your trip sooner.

13. Don’t Force Them

People want to make sure that when they do plan a day trip out that it’s perfect. But there’s nothing worse than planning that perfect day out and spending all that money, just to take your kids with you who don’t really want to be there. There’s nothing worse than bringing a grumpy kid, as they’ll just be miserable.

This is why it’s so important to ask your kids what they actually want to do though. Now of course you shouldn’t be catering to their every whim, but there is no point forcing them to do something that they have no interest in.

Of course, if you have several kids of different ages then they’ll probably all have different interests, so you’ll have to figure out the best options when it comes to making a decision. Hopefully your kids won’t all ask for a different thing, but if they do, you can plan everything in advance and let them know when you will be taking them on the adventure they asked for.

14. Prepare the Night Before

If you really want to have a successful day trip with your family, then the best thing that you can do is prepare the night before. Of course, you will have already researched the place, got your tickets and know exactly where you are going. But the whole point of preparing the night before, is ensuring that everything is ready.

This is things like the food and drinks you’ll be taking, the spare clothes you might bring, any toys that you will be bringing to entertain your kids in the car. Here’s a quick rundown of what you should prepare the night before, particularly if you have kids:

  • Pack a bag with extra clothes, toiletries essentials and baby items depending on itinerary plans
  • Get extra wet wipes, tissues, and toilet paper
  • Prepare, pack, and place food and drinks in the fridge, ready for you to take with you in the morning  
  • Make sure your gear is ready, e.g. child seat is installed, picnic blanket is in the car and your camera and phone are charged
  • Remember to place your bags somewhere you’ll see them

If you’re prepared, then this acts as a little bit of magic before you family adventure, as it helps ensure that everything runs smoothly in the morning and you won’t be running around like a headless chicken trying to sort everything out. It’s also an absolute must to prepare everything in advance if you have an early departure in the morning!

15. Have Fun!

With all this preparation, researching and rush panicking that the day needs to be perfect, you might forget to actually enjoy yourself when you are actually out and about. You need to let the day just unfold naturally. Don’t be annoyed if you get caught in traffic or the weather isn’t as good as you had hoped, you’re with your family and that’s all that matters.

Once you finally get to your destination and you’ve got all your bags packed and everyone has been watered, fed and been to the toilet you can go and have a cracking time with your family. You can create new memories, ones that you will cherish forever.

So, go out and enjoy that short trip with your family and have an incredible time, you’ll be so pleased when you finally get to enjoy a day out with your family!

Do you have any tips for planning a family day out? Let me know in the comments!

15 thoughts on “15 Tips for Planning Your Next Family Day Out

    1. The weather really is awful recently – when I looked out the window about an hour ago it was sunshine, now it’s absolutely pouring it down! Really doesn’t help with going on an adventure!


  1. Hi Isobel. What a great checklist for anybody planning a day out. The ‘Check the requirements’ part has caught us out before: When on holiday in Kingswear we had ‘planned’ to visit the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth – however, it wasn’t until we were actually in Kingswear (hundreds of miles from home) that we discovered that because the college is a military establishment you can’t go on the guided tour unless you have photo ID with you (which we hadn’t brought!). Doh!!.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! That’s always been one of my biggest worries, you get somewhere exciting and are hundreds of miles from home, but you’ve forgotten the one important thing! You only ever make that mistake once though so that’s a positive, but it certainly is a pain, particularly when you are looking forward to seeing something!


  2. Some really good tips here thank you! I am SO guilty of having perfectionist tendencies/stressing myself (and everyone else!) out with over planning – so found this a v useful read. Thanks also for linking to my Thornbridge Hall Gardens post.


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