kids_car_van_mini_van_travel_vacation_roadtripIn a recent survey created by the folks who run Great Wolf Lodge, they found overwhelmingly DADs are the most likely to be the family vacation planner.

Is that true in YOUR household?

If I were taking that survey…

As a TravelingMom with a family of 5 where my husband travels heavily for work (and by heavily I mean as much as 1-2 weeks per month!) I wonder when he would have time to plan our family vacation?

Don’t get me wrong, he memorizes airports around the nation, he’s an expert at booking flights and often corrects travel agents on flight details. So I’ll give dads one point on flight bookings.

But I would venture to guess that most families have a combination joint effort on vacation planning. Especially when it comes to the big decisions:

  •  Where are we going?
  •  Should we drive or fly?
  •  Various Family Travel Bookings—flights, hotels, car rentals, tours and more?

What about all the little family pre-planning details? In your family, who …


  1. Purchases and plans out snacks & meals for a long road trip?
  2. Makes sure the family wagon is cleaned before & after travel?
  3. Determines (and verifies) packing decisions for children?
  4. Has the insight to create a vomit/car sickness kit for the backseat?
  5. Concocts a surprise goody bag, prepares it and wraps small trinkets preventing the 3-year-old’s boredom on a 5-hour flight?
  6. Preps the family dog/pets for the kennel? (Or initiates a neighbor swap of pets for alternate vacations.)
  7. Checks the tires & oil, gasses up and generally makes sure the car is safe for vacation?
  8. Loads luggage into the trunk, Tetris-style?
  9. Preps and safety checks the house to be unoccupied for travel? (Sets timers & lights, turns off water etc.)
  10. Pays any upcoming bills or schedules payments due during travel dates?
  11. Does most of the driving?
  12. Does most of the navigating?
  13. Takes care of passport details: data filled out, location of documents, photos for kids, scheduling appointments at Post Office?
  14. Verifies all medication is up to date through the vacation and as a back up packs printed scrips ‘just in case’?
  15. Copies important travel docs and stores extras in a safe place and in cloud online storage?
  16. Places a hold on newspapers, mail, cable and other daily/weekly subscriptions like a CSA?
  17. Contacts credit card companies and bank to warn about travel plans?
  18. Remembers to pack sunscreen for the beach, and extra socks for the ski slopes?
  19. Locates best directions, prints out maps & itineraries and gets advice on alternate routes?
  20. Generates music playlists or audio book files, packs in-vehicle entertainment like DVDs or maps out Redboxes?
  21. Prints scavernger hunts and packs road trip games?
  22. Determines the budget for the family vacation, goes to the bank for travel cash or prepares for international cashflow issues?
  23. Researches restaurants, museums, beaches, shopping etc. near destination?
  24. Charges all electronics, locates various chargers to enjoy a little silence when needed!?
  25. And finally … who does ALL THAT LAUNDRY at the end of the vacation?


Satellite navigation system girls-vacation
Do you divide and conquer pre-travel tasks, or is one person more in charge of getting ready to leave than the other? We’d love to know who does what in your travel planning world!