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School is out and you are ready to get away. Planning a family vacation doesn’t have to be hard. But, planning carefully can help your family have the best vacation ever!
When we don’t plan methodically, it can be easy to spend too much, get too tired, and wish we would have just stayed at home. Don’t come home from your trip more tired than when you started, and with a huge credit card bill.
I think the most important step in planning a trip is to consider the budget. Moms and Dads should definitely decide together the budget allowed for a family trip. Be realistic and don’t do more than you can afford. Vacations shouldn’t add more stress to your life.
When your budget is decided, then it’s time to consider the vacation destination. Your budget may limit choices, but that doesn’t need to be a negative. There are wonderful vacation ideas for any budget!
Picking your mode of travel could open up different possibilities. You may drive, fly, rent an rv, or take the train. Each has their pros and cons. Driving can be more tiring or stressful, whereas riding on a train can be slower, but more relaxing.
Whether you’re camping at a national park or flying to Europe, it’s important to plan a flexible itinerary. You’ll omit mistakes in your planning, if you write it all out and pay attention to the details.
Looking for travel deals is a great way to save money on your vacation. You may have a rewards credit card that helps you save on flights. Using memberships like Sam’s Club, AAA, or AARP, will offer you discounts on hotels, car rentals, and much more. You can get rewards through sites to get free gift cards or cash for online travel sites. Many memberships can help you even get cheaper attraction tickets.
When you plan carefully and use discounts, you may be able to do more than you had hoped. Don’t forget to also plan the dates of your trip with caution. Seasonal rates can vary and some attractions can be much more crowded on holidays or weekends. Consider all these when you pick the dates.
Here are some fun ideas for your next vacation:
- National Park – Camp, RV, or rent a cabin and explore the beautiful park
- Cruise – Book very early or last minute to get some great deals.
- Staycation – Locate some fun (and free) local attractions: historical, cultural, and fun.
- Waterparks – Indoor and outdoor parks are popular with kids
- Amusement parks – Be careful to check the total prices, not just the admission ticket
- Beach – Shop around for accommodations and use all the discounts you can find.
- DC – museums with free admission
If you want to save money and eat healthy, pack your own food. Most hotels have a refrigerator and microwave. Taking a large cooler enables you to eat cheap. It also helps so much if someone in the family is a picky eater or has food allergies.
If you’re taking a vacation with children, check out the Homeschool Insight’s Resource Library. We have prepared many pages in the Summer Journeys printables. You can download these and help your child keep track of all their fun vacation memories. Just subscribe to the newsletter to get access to the ever-growing Resource Library!
What are your favorite vacation planning tips? I would love to learn your great ideas, too.
@2018, copyright Lisa Ehrman