Stick with the Plan, Stan - When you are thinking of what to do on vacation, having a plan helps. Deciding ahead of time what you will do (and where you will do it) will get everyone planning ahead on what to take and what to expect. The sooner you can do this, the better because your family may come up with some good ideas to incorporate that might need some pre-planning and investigation. Don't miss out because you checked on something too late or didn't know when was the best time of year to do a particular thing.
Be Adventurous - Now that you have a general plan, make sure to leave holes to be spontaneous and adventurous! If you are on a road trip, stopping somewhere that looks interesting or eating at a place you didn't plan on, or maybe even checking in at an out of the way motel so the kids can just swim all day, might make the trip more exciting. Moments here and there won't throw off your plans--just add to them!
It is Better to Give - Find a way to give back during your vacation. Offer to go somewhere to help some family member with a project, or volunteer somewhere for vacation or go out of your way to offer to help at an animal shelter for a few days. There is great satisfaction in helping someone else and teaching your family the value of giving back is important.
Practical Parenting - Make sure you have snacks ready to go (hangry people aren't fun to travel with!), plan some fun traveling games to get rid of the boredom and have some quiet, calming music for longer trips when little ones (or bigger ones) need to rest along the way. Plan for easy stops so that the restroom doesn't become an issue and ALWAYS have extra(s) in a bag you can easily get to: (extra clothes, diapers, books, drinks, chargers and cash!). Being prepared will help with a multitude of issues ahead of time!
Make Memories, Ditch the Debt - The most important thing about a family vacation is the memories you will make with each other and the time that is spent together. You can have a wonderful time doing fun things without breaking the bank! Going in debt over family fun makes you less likely to have that time together as often and before you know it, the kids are grown and family vacations are a thing of the past. So make sure that you make TIME together the priority. You don't have to have the most perfect "inclusion package" to enjoy each others company, learn something new, make a difference along the way and be ready for simple adventures! Its these things that will make your vacation one for the record books!