12 Mistakes To Avoid While Going On A Vacation With Children

Vacation With Children

A vacation with children in tow is akin to setting off on an adventure into the unknown—exciting, unpredictable, and filled with potential for unforgettable moments. However, without careful planning and consideration, the dream of a perfect family getaway can quickly unravel into a series of avoidable mishaps. The key to a seamless vacation lies not just in the destination but in the meticulous attention to detail before and during the journey. Gatlinburg, with its stunning natural beauty and family-friendly attractions, presents an ideal backdrop for creating those cherished memories. Yet, even in such a welcoming setting, common vacationing oversights can dampen the experience. Here, we dive into the crucial mistakes to avoid, ensuring your trip is nothing short of magical.


The dilemma of what to pack can lead to suitcases filled with “just in case” items, resulting in heavy luggage and unnecessary stress. The art of efficient packing involves focusing on essentials and versatile clothing that can be mixed and matched. Remember, most destinations, including Gatlinburg, offer laundry services or stores for picking up forgotten items, allowing you to lighten your load and enjoy the journey with ease.

Underestimating Travel Time

Traveling with children often means frequent stops, whether for bathroom breaks, meals, or to stretch little legs. Failing to account for these delays can lead to a rushed and stressful journey. When planning your travel itinerary to or around Gatlinburg, factor in extra time for these pauses. This not only ensures a more relaxed pace but also allows for spontaneous exploration, turning travel time into part of the vacation adventure.

Choosing the Wrong Accommodation

The place you choose to stay can significantly impact your vacation experience. Opting for child-friendly accommodations like the Laurel Inn Condos in Gatlinburg can make all the difference. These condos offer the comfort and convenience families need, from spacious layouts that accommodate restless sleepers to kitchenettes for easy meal prep. Selecting the right base for your adventures in Gatlinburg means balancing practicality with the perks that can turn a good vacation into a great one.

Overloading the Itinerary

It’s tempting to pack your days with back-to-back activities to make the most of your time in Gatlinburg. However, an overloaded schedule can lead to exhaustion and diminish the enjoyment for both children and parents. Instead, aim for a balanced itinerary that includes major attractions as well as free time to relax or explore at a leisurely pace. This approach ensures that each experience can be fully appreciated without the pressure of rushing to the next item on the list.

Skipping Meal and Snack Planning

The importance of regular, nutritious meals and snacks can’t be overstated, especially when vacationing with children. Without a plan, you may find yourself resorting to fast food or dealing with the crankiness of hungry kids. Research dining options in Gatlinburg in advance, and consider accommodations with kitchen facilities where you can prepare simple meals. Keeping a stash of healthy snacks on hand can also stave off hunger and keep energy levels up throughout your adventures.

Neglecting Downtime

A crucial aspect often overlooked while vacationing with children is the importance of scheduling downtime. In the excitement of being in a new place like Gatlinburg, it’s easy to forget that children (and parents) need time to rest and recharge. Incorporating periods of relaxation into your vacation can prevent overtiredness and ensure that everyone enjoys their time more thoroughly.

Forgetting to Child-Proof

When staying in unfamiliar accommodations, it’s important to quickly child-proof your environment to prevent accidents. This might involve securing balcony doors, covering electrical outlets, or rearranging breakable items out of reach. Taking a few moments upon arrival to assess and adjust your living space can provide peace of mind throughout your stay, allowing you to relax more fully knowing your children are safe.

Ignoring Children’s Interests

One common mistake is planning a vacation itinerary that overlooks the preferences of younger travelers. This oversight can lead to disinterest or even behavioral issues from children who feel left out of the planning process. To foster a more inclusive and enjoyable experience for all, involve your children in the planning stages. Their excitement for certain activities, like visiting an interactive museum or spending a day at a theme park in Gatlinburg, can guide you in creating an itinerary that delights everyone.

Underestimating Weather Changes

Weather can be unpredictable, and failing to prepare for various conditions can put a damper on your vacation plans. Before heading to Gatlinburg, check the weather forecast and pack accordingly, including rain gear, comfortable walking shoes, and layers for cooler evenings. This preparation ensures that your family can comfortably enjoy all the activities you’ve planned, regardless of the weather.

Not Preparing for Health Issues

When traveling with children, it’s essential to anticipate minor health concerns, ranging from scrapes and bruises to allergies. Bringing along a compact first aid kit stocked with essential supplies and any required medications ensures you’re equipped to manage minor emergencies while on the move. Moreover, take the time to acquaint yourself with the nearby medical facilities at your vacation destination as a precautionary step.

Failing to Capture Memories

In the digital age, it’s easy to assume that memories will be captured without effort. However, failing to actively take photos or videos can lead to regrets about not documenting special moments. While it’s important to be present and enjoy the experience, setting aside time to capture family photos, especially in picturesque locations around Gatlinburg, ensures you have tangible memories to cherish. Balance is key—aim to document the highlights while still fully engaging in the joy of the moment.

Overlooking Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is often seen as an unnecessary expense, but it can be a lifesaver in unforeseen circumstances, such as illness, trip cancellations, or lost luggage. Investing in travel insurance provides peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy your vacation with the assurance that you’re covered in case of unexpected events. This is particularly important when traveling with children, as it adds an extra layer of security to your family vacation.


Vacationing with children offers a wonderful opportunity to create lasting memories, explore new places, and enjoy quality time together. By being mindful of common mistakes such as neglecting downtime, overlooking children’s interests, and underestimating weather changes, families can navigate the challenges of travel more smoothly. Preparing for health issues, capturing memories, and considering travel insurance are also key steps in ensuring a worry-free experience. Gatlinburg, with its myriad of family-friendly attractions and natural beauty, provides the perfect setting for a vacation that’s both enjoyable and enriching. By planning with care and embracing the adventure, families can look forward to a trip that strengthens bonds and enriches the lives of all involved.