Searching for the Best Family Vacation
Honeymoons and retirement celebrations are not that hard to plan. In truth, however, when you add a carload—or a planeload—of kids or grandkids to the mix, things get a little more complicated. Sometimes it is difficult to find a vacation spot that works for the entire family. Vacations are shared events that families look forward to for months, indeed often for an entire year. It is one thing for a weekend trip to the lake to get washed out by thunderstorms. It is entirely different when the annual summer adventure turns out to be an epic fail. Complicating the issue is the reality that almost everyone in the family has something unique and special in mind for this grand, week-long celebration. The different ages, genders and interests of the family travelers always have a huge impact on what makes a vacation worthwhile. Here are a few helpful insights to assist you with your vacation planning.
The Dream Vacation Site
Of course, there are those locations that check all the boxes regardless of the different desires of various members of your family. If you wish to simplify the planning process and be the hero in the household, you could score a Disney World tickets discount that is occasionally available. The big question, if you chose that popular route, is whether to keep the destination a secret until you thrill everyone with the big reveal or let everyone in on the plans and enjoy amazing cooperation. Since this is pretty much everyone’s dream vacation site, it should be on your vacation bucket list whether this is the year you go or you decide to wait. Lots of families make regular or even annual trips to Disney World, so the discounts come in handy.
Trends in Family Vacations
When making your family’s vacation plans, it is always good to know how other folks are approaching the annual excursion. Research by Forbes indicates several noteworthy trends to take into consideration. For starters, pretty much everybody is going somewhere every year. Surveys indicate that 90% of families plan annual trips. The percentage of families driving rather than flying has increased and overseas travel has declined. When they do drive, more families are taking the family bus because inventories of rental cars tend to be in short supply. Destination prices for the necessities of trips—like food, gasoline, lodging and tickets—are higher as well, which makes it worthwhile to look for bargains, like package discounts. Finally, some of the well-attended destinations may place limits on attendance. So it is a good idea to get advance booking or else face some really disappointed co-vacationers.
Have you started your list of necessities for the big trip? Every journey planned by every family is unique to be sure, however, there are some “must-haves” needed by virtually every family that is taking some time off together:
- Good weather. Sure, nobody writes a script for the weatherman, but you can investigate the typical weather patterns for the locations you will be visiting. If regular inclement weather is a factor, you can at least pack an umbrella.
- Trip insurance. If you do fly or if you plan an expensive excursion, trip insurance is a good way to make the most of sudden, unexpected changes.
- An itinerary. At a certain point, “are we there yet” gives way to “what are we going to do next?” Tour plans do not have to be cast in stone, but they lend an air of structure to the trip and, when you deviate from them, it yields a feeling of rebellious freedom.
- Side trips. How often has it been the case that a chance encounter turned out to be more memorable than the big event?
- Travel tech. There is no question that everyone with a smartphone will be taking it along. Remember that there are other forms of electronic media that can entertain and enhance the whole experience.
There is Always the “Staycation”
Yes, staycation, also called a “holistay” or a “nearcation,” is a real thing. The idea is to plan out a series of family events over a period of a week or so for your family to experience without having to find lodging apart from your home. Of course, camping out in a backyard tent is technically non-bedroom lodging. While a staycation definitely will not be as exciting or as eagerly anticipated as a vacation anywhere else, there are definite benefits. Staycationers will spend much less on travel expenses and lodging. They will not be at a loss for local information and will never have to worry about their five-star hotel room accidentally being assigned to someone else. In general, as the family planner, you can only count on getting by with a staycation once and then only if you promise a “real vacation” to an exciting location next year.