Planning a Great Family Vacation

Great family vacations like other great events don’t just happen by magic. They are the result of careful thought and planning.

Here are some things to consider:

How much money do you have available for this vacation?

This is a major determining factor. It may mean the difference between the Disney Cruise and a week at a cottage. Before you make any vacation plans, do the research. Know how much money you have available in that vacation budget line and then use Internet and/or a travel agent to create a short list.

Not all vacations have to break the bank! With some creativity and ingenuity you can plan a family vacation that is satisfying for all members of your family and doesn’t leave you paying off bills for the rest of the year.

When you are looking at costs don’t forget to factor in all the costs: travel, accommodations, meals, incidentals, taxes, etc. Don’t be left reeling with unexpected costs because you failed to do your homework.

Kid Friendly Options

While places like an all-inclusive resort, Disneyland, and a ski holiday may all be appealing some of these options may not be feasible right now. What are the ages of your kids? Will there be activities at proposed destinations for all your kids to enjoy? Is this an option that might be more appropriate when your kids are older? Again, doing some research, calling toll-free vacation destination numbers, and/or discussing your options with a travel consultant are good strategies.

Invite Family Input

Once you’ve created a list of possibilities that fit your budget and you know are kid friendly, it’s time to let family members weigh in. Have each family member write down or tell you the things he/she would like to include in the family vacation. Some of their choices might surprise you!

What is the Best Time to Go?

Given family activities, school, work, the weather in your vacation destination, seasonal cost fluctuations and other considerations, what is the best time to go?

How are You Getting There?

Your destination might mean that you go be plane and get on a shuttle bus once you arrive. Other destinations might offer some exciting options. For example, a week in a big city might offer the chance to ride a train to the city and use subway or transit buses to get around the city. Part of a vacation like this is the adventure of actually getting there.

What are You Going to Do?

One of the downfalls of carefully organizing a family vacation is over scheduling. Make sure you and the kids have some relaxing time in the hotel pool or sitting on the pier or building sand castles or enjoying a good book.