Start Saving Up For Travel If Needed
Saving is an important aspect of travel and can influence the kind of vacation you eventually end up having. The longer you save before going, and the more money that goes into your savings fund, the more things youll be able to do while away. Be realistic in how much you can save per week this can be done individually, or in a special family vacation account. The great thing about saving is that the sooner you get serious about it, the sooner youre able to meet your goal!
Insider tip: Beaches Resorts makes family vacation planning super convenient with their layaway program that enables guests to pay for their booking over time. Once you set foot on the resort, no extra expenses are needed. Airport transfers, the water park, Kids Club, magic shows, drinks, high-quality food at up to 21 restaurants per resort, ice cream, cotton candy, mac and cheese – its all included, always unlimited. Parents can even drink unlimited cocktails mixed with premium liquors at the swim-up bar!
Breathe And Enjoy Your Vacation
Flexibility is important for a stress-free vacation experience. Even if there are a lot of different things you want to do with the kids, like going to a theme park, a zoo, or just exploring downtown, try not to schedule more than two activities a day. Factor in how long it will take to get to each place and wait times in between.
Make sure theres room in between these activities to relax, and potentially even return to the hotel for a breather, or to change. Parents will know best how many activities are suitable per day for their kids, depending on their ages. If your kids get cranky, dont force them into activities. Find the balance between relaxation and fun.
Pro tip: If you plan on travelling to a destination where its summer, try not to have the kids out too long in the hottest hours. Keep an eye out for potential sunburn and apply lots and lots of sunscreen.
Be Flexible With Scheduling
You have picked a great city with ample opportunities for entertainment, now let everyone enjoy it! Be mindful of everyone’s unique tastefor example, if you are on an outdoor adventure trip, some may prefer to opt-out of the tougher hikes or ski trails in favor of leisurely walks or hot cocoa in the lodge. Don’t insist on everyone doing everythingwe all need time to ourselves, even on a fun family vacation.
Don’t overschedule your time, says Airoldi. Plan on some togetherness, but realize that half the fun lies in spontaneity. You are traveling with grown-ups now and when a fun, new experience presents itself, you should all feel free to take advantage of it!
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Limited Experiences & Closures
Some of the normal experiences guests are used to at Disney World are not running right now. Since a Disney World vacation is not cheap, this can be a huge factor in deciding whether its worth the cost at this time.
Some of the things missing are:
- Some Stage Shows
- Limited Restaurants
- Fewer Park Hours
Thankfully, we have seen the return of fireworks to the parks on a nightly basis and dessert parties to go along with them. Some character meets are open again, even though they are a modified version of the normal greets.
On top of that, its unclear when things like the Disney Dining Plan, Extra Magic Hours, After Hours Events, & Free Dining might come back, though its possible we could see them again in 2022.
Extra Magic Hours/early Theme Park Entry
Extra Magic Hours allows Disney World Resort hotel guests to have access to the theme parks before or after the general public. This is one of the biggest benefits of staying at a Disney World Resort hotel with guests experiencing fewer crowds in the parks.
EMH runs on a rotating schedule with a different park increasing the park hours every day. Parks either open 1 hour earlier in the morning than usual or stay open 2 hours later in the evening.
So far in 2022 Extra Magic Hours are not running, however, Disney has come up with the Early Theme Park Entry service which works in a similar way but only in the mornings, and 30 minutes before the parks open. Its unclear if EMH will ever return or if Early Theme Park Entry is here to stay.
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Consider Putting In The Work
And one of the most overlooked things when considering a vacation, consider rolling up your sleeves and putting in the work.
Now I don’t have any sleeves on, but they’re already rolled up. It’s natural. It comes with the territory. While we think of vacation as taking a break from our responsibilities, there are additional ways to save money if you don’t mind putting in the work.
Getting groceries and cooking meals for yourself can save you a lot of money versus eating at restaurants all the time. You can also save money riding public transportation versus renting a car or taking Lyfts and Ubers from place to place. If you work remotely, you might even consider taking a work day during your vacation. This may save you a day or two of paid time off and still allows you to jump right back into a relaxing vacation after you clock out.
How To Plan A Family Vacation According To Travel Experts
Summertime is just a few weeks away, which means family vacations are likely on the brain.
The idea of planning a vacation with kids in tow can be intimidating. Sure, the actual vacation is supposed to be relaxing , but getting to that point can be a maze of hotel recommendations, travel blogs, flight seat selections and more.
So we chatted with travel experts about their vacation planning tips so you can get that trip booked with ease. From flight hacks to safety recommendations, heres what they shared.
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Atlanta Falcons Linebacker And Kiplinger Contributing Editor Brandon Copeland Provides Tips On How To Go On Vacation Without Breaking The Bank
What’s up, everybody? It’s your boy, Brandon Copeland, aka Professor Cope, and you are now tuned in to another special episode of Cope’ing With Money.
On this episode of Cope’ing With Money, we’re talking about something I’m extremely excited to do more of, especially coming out of a pandemic: It’s travel. It’s planning that family vacation.
Planning your getaway ahead of time is not only less stressful, but ultimately it saves you money. So today, we’re going to be talking about some money-saving tips to help you plan your next vacation.
Road Trip Safety Questions
- Do your kids understand stranger danger?
- How will you make sure kids are safe at playgrounds?
- How will you make sure your kids are safe when they swim in hotel pools?
- How will you protect them from the sun?
- Are your child seats current with the latest safety regulations? Are they size-appropriate for your child?
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Tips On How To Plan The Perfect Vacation
Select Registry – December 20, 2019
Vacations are an important part of life, whether you realize it or not. Taking time off will refresh and reset your mind, making you able to return to work with a clear head, and ready to take on what lies ahead. Many people dont take all of the vacation time theyre allowed if they take any at all. Well, we need to remedy that and realize how amazing time away can be! If its been a while since you planned a vacation or you just want a few guidelines to make sure you get the most out of the time you take off, we have some friendly advice to share with you. These 10 tips on how to plan the perfect vacation will get you started on making your next getaway a reality!
How To Plan A Disney Vacation
Believe it or not, some of the most important planning steps of your Disney World trip happen as much as one year BEFORE your vacation starts, or even more.
Some things you are going to have to think about are:
- What dates do I want to go? Are those dates flexible?
- What is my budget?
- What type of hotel do I want to stay in?
- How many days do I want to go to te theme parks?
The most important suggestion we can give you is to get organized. The more work you do before your trip to plan everything out, the easier things will be for you and your family once you get there.
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Florida Keys 200 Miles 2 Stops 4 Days
US-1 from Miami to Key West, Florida, is both an engineering marvel and a natural wonder. Start off in the glitzy, over-the-top metropolis of Miami and be sure to visit its Art Deco cousin, Miami Beach. Next, follow the Overseas Highway all the way to its most southern point: Key West. Much of the route takes place over the water, including the famous Seven Mile Bridge connecting the Middle with the Southern Keys.
SUNSHINE STATE:The Best Florida All-Inclusive Resorts for Families
After your visit to Miami, head south on US-1. The first half of the route is toll roads through the swampland of Florida, but then its on to the 42 bridges of the Overseas Highway, where the first stop along the way is Key Largo, the gateway to the Florida Keys. Key Largo is known for its snorkeling and diving opportunities and is home to the nations first undersea park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Those looking for a place to overnight might consider the family-friendly Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key , one of the best Florida beach resorts for families.
Should I Stay At A Disney Resort Hotel
Staying on Disney property has a lot of perks. Not only are you closer to the attractions, but Disney hotels are an extension of the storytelling and detail from the parks. Disney offers hotels at varying price points and many accommodations offer condo-like rooms with kitchens, which can be convenient for families with younger kids.
Additional benefits include:
- During this years 50th Anniversary Celebration, youll get access to the parks 30 minutes before guests not staying on property.
- Early access to Lightening Lane reservations for attractions.
- Ability to add Magic Bands .
- Convenient rides on the Disney transportation systembus, boat, monorail, and Disney Skylinerso you dont need to rent a car if you dont want to.
- Free parking at the parks if you choose to drive.
Of course, you can still have a magical vacation staying off the Disney property. And if you only plan to visit the park one or two days, it may make more financial sense to stay in a nearby resort. But if youre going for the full Disney experience, I personally think the extra cost of a Disney hotel is worth it.
Consider Midwest Beach Vacations
Looking for an affordable Midwest beach getaway this summer? A stay at one of the Ohio State Park Lodges might be just the ticket.
Located in parks throughout the central and northern regions of the Buckeye State, the lodges offer a surprising array of beach experiences on lakes, rivers, and reservoirs.
Plan Excursions And Activities
Just as it is important to book your trip in advance, so too it is necessary to schedule your activities and excursions as early as possible. Doing so will ensure that things flow smoothly once you get to your destination. This should be a priority especially during the peak season, to avoid being unable to do certain things as a result of tours being sold out.
Things to book in advance include tours, theater tickets, and theme park tickets. Get your kids involved in this process by getting their input on what theyd like to do once at the destination. This can save you from spending on things they really arent interested in. Factor in how many excursions you want to book, keeping in mind some of the things that may already be available for free at your hotel or resort.
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Think About Your Electronics
This is a big one not to forget! If you are traveling abroad, youll want to look into the outlet situation you can expect in your destination and how it compares to that of your home country.
A quick Google search will show you what type of outlets youll find in the country youre visiting. Heres a great website for electrical outlets. Look at the voltage too, and check the compatibility with any electronics youre planning to bring along. A great purchase is the travel converter with adapters.
Save On Theme Park Tickets
Theme park getaways are popular with families, but they sure aren’t cheap. Happily, there are some golden rules of ticket-buying that apply to pretty much every theme park, and they can help you chip away at the cost of tickets.
Never, ever pay the walk-up ticket price at a theme park. Instead, visit the theme park website and print out your tickets before you go. Seasonal specials will appear on the website so look for those.
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Choose The Right Home Base
Hotels are fine but don’t even think of trying to save money by putting everyone in one room. A better option for families with grown kids may be a villa, condo or apartment rental in a central location. This is both spacious and convenient because everyone can get around on foot or via public transportation.
Rentals also tend to be less expensive and more comfortable than booking a series of hotel rooms. There is plenty of room for lounging and sleeping and a kitchen gives you the thrifty option of a few homecooked meals.
Try Airbnb, Vacation Rentals by Owners , Homeaway.com, or simply Google the name of the city and the words “vacation rental” to find city-specific possibilities.
You might want to leave the accommodations up to your kids to plantheir ideas and choices will be different from your past experiences and will give them responsibility for part of the trip, allowing you to sit back and enjoy.
Set Clear Boundaries On Expected Babysitting By Extended Family Members
One of the reasons many parents with young children appreciate multigenerational travel is that it often comes with built-in babysitters. My husband and I have been on the receiving end of some extraordinary babysitting generosity on our multigenerational trips over the years.
But chances are good that grandparents or other extended family members arent traveling to a far-flung destination just to sit in a hotel room and care for someone elses little ones, even if they love the kids dearly.
If you are likely to be the babysitter on a multigenerational trip, let your family members know exactly how much you are willing to pitch in to help with the kids.
Offering up a single date night or taking a younger sibling for a few hours during the day so parents can enjoy an activity with an older one is reasonable and likely to be appreciated. But dont let the default be that you are on duty the entire trip. Likewise, if you are the recipient of babysitting help , dont just take advantage and perhaps also consider doing something extra special for family members who help.
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Budget For Food Experiences
A theme of some of our earlier tips has been different ways to save money on food while traveling, with some requiring more work than others. But another element of thoughtfully feeding a family on vacation is planning for the worth-it food experiences. If you have avoided blowing money on meals when it wasnt necessary, you might be able to repurpose those funds for the food experiences that really are worth it. Maybe that is enjoying a meal at one of the best restaurants at Disney World or indulging in the best pizza in the country or something entirely different.
Avoid Google At Least In The Beginning
Google is a helpful resource when planning a vacation, but if youre at the beginning of your planning process, try to resist the temptation to hop on with your searches.
If you start with Google, its the paradox of choice, said Julie Danziger, director of luxury travel services at Ovation Vacations. Theres so much out there and you just dont even know what youre looking for.
Instead, Danziger suggested having a family meeting to learn how far everyone wants to go, what activities theyd like to do, their thoughts about hanging out on beaches vs. exploring local villages, and so on. Then, let Google help you arrange tours and plan other activities.
Erika Richter, communications director for the American Society of Travel Agents, offered the same advice about Google for families who might be overwhelmed about the thought of choosing a destination. She also noted that knowing when you want to go can sometimes help you put together a list.
Certain places and activities will be more accessible at different times of the year, she said. So once parents know exactly when and how long they want the trip to be, the choices can be narrowed down a bit.
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