Traveling with the family can afford some of the most memorable vacations for years to come. With proper planning and research, you can ensure that your family vacation pleases even the pickiest member of the group. But with so many choices available, how does one choose the perfect travel destination? Budget, location, activities and amenities are all factors that help determine a travel destination that the whole family will enjoy. The following five travel tips will get even the most inexperienced travelers on the road to their ideal summer vacation in 2006.
Plan ahead. Accommodations can be sold out or unavailable by early summer. The Travel Industry Association of America, who conducted an online survey of 1,519 U.S. adults aged 18 and over in January 2006, reports that 21 percent of Americans who are planning to travel this summer had already arranged lodging at their destination at that time. The rest were either exploring their options for where to stay (28 percent) or had not yet selected the specific destination for their trip (32 percent). The age of the internet makes research and booking easy and fairly painless. Chamber of Commerce websites make finding destination activities and outings simple. Getting the whole family excited about a trip can be as easy as spending 20 minutes around the computer looking at travel, toursim, and lodging websites that bring the destination right into a home.
Select appropriate lodging. A family of five can spend less on one Breckenridge condo than on two adjoining rooms at some nearby hotels, with more family-friendly space and a kitchen that alleviates the need to dine out for every meal. The amount saved on lodging may allow more of the vacation budget for activities and area attractions for the entire family to enjoy.
Look beyond the “usual suspects”. Travel destinations where summer may be the off-season can offer lots of family fun and unique summer vacation experiences. Ski resorts offer fabulous lodging deals and a lot of family activities to draw summer travelers. Top destination resorts such as Vail, Colorado or Park City, Utah offer great packages and bargain rates in the summer.
Be as specific as possible. Searching on the Internet for specific requirements that you have will provide much more fruitful and productive results. The more specific the search, the more targeted the results. For instance, a search for “Lake Tahoe Family Vacation” will provide much more relevant results than a search for “California vacation”. If you’re not finding what you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to look to the big sites. One strategy to help ensure a great vacation is to read destination and rental reviews at one of the review websites such as Tripadvisor or Openlist.
Don’t succumb to teen angst. Nothing can ruin an outing of family togetherness quicker than a teen determined to whine and mope the entire time. Engaging in a new activity or destination can morph a perpetually bored teen into an active and willing participant. Charter a yacht in the San Juan Islands to give them an up-close view of whales and sea lions, or plan a Central Oregon adventure trip alive with rafting, mountain biking, canoeing and horseback riding.
All in all, a memorable family trip is contingent on planning and the willingness to try new things. Apply these tips and a successful summer family vacation lies just around the bend.
Carrie Hill and Mindi Cabe – Blizzard Internet Marketing, Inc.