Family vacations are some of the most poignant memories of childhood, and that’s why parents work so hard to save and plan for them. They remember when their own parents did the same for them. Here’s how you can make sure you squeeze in a family vacation this year, and , and make memories to last a lifetime, even when time and money are short:
One of the best ways to save money on travel is to look at the calendar year a year ahead of you. Most family vacations are prescribed by school schedules, such as winter and spring breaks, so it’s easiest to pick the break, get the time off, save money, and get good deals if you can plan up to a year ahead. Then you have all that time to look forward to the trip, and anticipation can be just as much fun as the trip itself.
Inclusive packages are a great way to cap costs for a family vacation, whether you head to a theme park or an Old World city or a tropical island. Take the time to search for family-friendly packages that include meals, accommodations, and activities. Often airline fares are not included in packages. Be sure of getting the best ticket prices by planning way ahead and looking for good deals.
There are so many more ways to gather airline points these days than just gaining them by flying. Some families put all their monthly charges on credit cards that offer points and then pay off the balance at the end of the month. If you do some research and planning, you may be able to arrange all your flights for points. Remember: Many airline points programs have blackout dates for points, so check yours carefully before booking.
If you know you have an upcoming trip to a pleasant destination, why not bring the family along. Most companies don’t object to using your vacation time to supplement a trip. Your family can join your trip and play while you work (taking advantage of free hotel accommodations), or meet you at the end of your business trip, saving you on your airfare.
If you can’t afford to take the time off or afford a longer trip, you can always opt for a shorter vacation. Try out a 3-day weekend or get away for half the week instead of the whole 7 days off. If your work is high pressure, several smaller vacations to nearby destinations can be just as fun and memorable as a full-scale getaway. You can get the kids involved in researching places to go that are closer to home and make the planning a family project.
The fabled family road trip is still the all-time easiest way to get up and go. This is the best way to be spontaneous. Just pack up the van or SUV and pick a direction. Kids can get involved with planning the trip or charting travel progress on a map. It’s a great way to see and learn about the country. No need make it a stressful, long-winded summer vacation and bring everything but the kitchen sink. Keep it simple and just head out of town for a couple of days, and be open to what the open road brings.
Whether you are going by airplane or hitting the highways, the Kids and Baby’s TSA-Compliant Travel Kits from Convenience Kits International are an easy way to take the headache out of packing toiletry bags for children. Each kit is packed with five to ten items and is ready to go. No need to worry about getting stopped in security for non-TSA-compliant items. And the travel bags come with plenty of games to keep your little ones occupied on the journey. Tic-tac-toe, anyone?