It’s that time of year where everyone is itching to book those summer vacations. Some of you are going for that annual beach trip, others are googling something new.
I was talking to someone yesterday about vacations and how to choose what’s right for your family and I came up with a few tips I thought I would share.
- Are you wanting to relax?
I find a lot of people have a relaxing easy going vacation in their heads, but then they plan their trip in such a way that makes relaxing impossible. Theme parks- especially places like Disney World(unless your kids are old enough to hit the parks on their own while you relax in the room) . Theme parks are expensive and you don’t want to pay $100 per person to spend a day somewhere and then sleep until 10. It is possible to both relax and have something fun for the kids to do. You just have to make sure you have the right plan.
2. Are You Making the Most of Your Budget
When people tell me they are choosing a hotel room in (insert tourist city) over a condo at the beach because the hotel room is so much cheaper. I always point out sure, but once you get to the beach- you’re “fun” is free. Your kids can play all day on the beach with $15 worth of sand buckets and shovels all week long. Not to mention most beach houses/condos have kitchens. Buying groceries is much cheaper than going out every night. Even if you choose to eat out instead of cooking at supper, having breakfast, snacks, drinks, and lunch in the condo can save you big time.
If you go to a tourist city and stay in a regular hotel, you’re going to have to “pay” for fun. Every day you’re gong to be buying tickets to an aquarium, a theme park, a show, a play house, etc. You aren’t going to be able to keep your kids entertained in a regular hotel room all day, I don’t think. So that “cheap” hotel room might not be as cheap as you think.
3. Is there Something for Everyone?
I hear people complain, “it would have been nice if “child’s name” was a few years older.” I hate to be rude, but I’m thinking of course it would have. Why did you think wandering around a city and catching cabs with a three year old was going to be enjoyable? Especially for someone who isn’t used to “city life.” Just because a city has a zoo and Children’s Museum doesn’t make it a “kid friendly” vacation spot. Not only do you want to make sure there is something for everyone, you want to make sure that transportation to and from those places doesn’t make you suicidal. You don’t want to plan to be at a theme park on a weekday at 9 o’clock in the morning in metropolis traffic either. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean the rest of the city is.
4. Are You Missing Out on Good Vacations because they aren’t the norm?
Obviously the world is huge and even though it may seem that way, Disney World and the beach aren’t the only places you can vacation. It may take a little research-and I will blog about this on my next post, but there are fun places that no one thinks about. Everything from Dude Ranches and the Grand Canyon out West to Indoor Water Parks and Niagara Falls up North. You don’t have to go to a big city to find an interesting vacation. Small towns in other parts of the country even offer things you’ve never done. You will be surprised what 15 minutes on Google will find you( or wait for my next post for some cool ideas). There is nothing wrong with doing the same thing every year if that’s what your family wants to do, but if you find yourself bored-look around. Even if you love the beach and must go there-pick a new beach. You don’t have to visit the same one every year.
5. Do You Know Enough About Where You Are Going?
So I just encouraged you to find something new and now I’m back tracking, right? Ha! Not exactly. I still encourage new places, but I know that trying something new can easily be ruined by not having a clue what you are doing. Sure life is busy, and you don’t have time to “study” for your vacation, but make time to read a few blogs or have a conversation with someone who has been before you go. You’ll be surprised at how sometimes the smallest tips can save your whole vacation. So make sure you are informed and pack as many tips and tricks as you can.