Disclaimer: These tips are based on my own travel experiences. I'm sure not all will apply.
Find a trip that ticks all the boxes. for us, its a trip that involves a race I can do, an interesting city my wife can see.
Its not about the kids, its about the family
Don't buy the kids happiness...give them experiences they will never forget
give them a small amount of money and make them bargain for something they want with you hidden around the corner
give them the camera and let them take the pictures
let them pay for things and count the change
Travel really lite, the less the better. Don't plan for every eventuality plan for the bare minimal.
Tripadvisor/Yelp the place before you do anything
Book an apartment and not a hotel. This way you can make breakfast at the apartment, make sandwiches for dinner and eat out if you want. Airbnb/booking.com is good for that.
Its all about the mindset. Travel is supposed to be hard, the kids are supposed to be tired and you will get into an argument with your spouse at some point. Its all part of travel. If you are not tested in someway, how will you learn anything about yourself. If you dont believe me, ask Ibn Batuta.
Resist the temptation of sending every moment to social media. this means that in order to enjoy the place you are in you need others to see it.
Travel is about learning something new, talk to locals, have dinner with them. This is the best part of travel. I have learned that talking to locals is far more important that taking a picture in front of land marks.
Say no to a $8k Disney trip. Save money where you can and travel more.
You dont need exotic locations to travel, you can drive 2 hours away and spend the night in a cheap hotel and the kids will never forget it.
Ice cream and sweets are the last resort not the first resort.
Try not to be an ifamily while travelling. Notice the "i" in iPhone, iPad, iMac, etc
The kids will learn character from the parents during travel, they will see how they react to adversity. If you are throwing around "WTF's & Holy #$%^'s" every 20 minutes, they will learn that.
You can travel with young children. You dont need to get it out of your system before you have kids. We have traveled with a 2 week old. They don't know if they are at home or in Thailand as long as their moo cow near by.
Dont buy everyone you know gifts. It wastes valuable time and energy. But if you see that perfect thing in that quaint little store that someone will just love, then you can buy that. Once you get your mom a gift, you will have to get her mom a gift, then there is your aunt, then your other aunt, and what about their kids etc. Resist the urge to splurge on gifts. Buy a piece of art instead.
Husbands who bring the blackberry with them have made a choice and its the wrong choice.
Learn as much as you can about the place before you go
Travel is about teaching yourself and kids character
Hang-up a map in your living room/family room with pins placed on where you have been.