It’s finally here. You’ve paid the deposits, booked the hotel, and set your out-of-office message. You’re taking the whole family on the ultimate getaway to your dream destination, and you can’t wait to unplug.
Like most of us, I’m sure you’re crazy busy during the year, so you can only take a break once in a while. That means you want to make sure your trip is just about perfect when you finally get on that plane.
When it’s time to relax, do so in style. Use this guide to planning a family vacation and start thinking about where you’d like your trip budget to go. Make sure you prioritize what’s important to you and don’t shy away from ensuring you’re getting the best of the best.
(Vacation) Home is Where the Heart Is
First, choose a good place to sleep. If you and the fam doesn’t sleep well, no one going to be happy. If you need a second from all the holiday hoopla, you’ll want a safe and cozy oasis to escape to often. Look for plenty of space and comfortable beds.
You can explore these features by reading past reviews from other guests or by phoning the hotel itself. When you’re investing a large part of your vacation budget into a beautiful hotel or resort, don’t be shy about researching or asking questions. Also, don’t be shy about negotiating! Check third-party websites for the best rates, and let the hotel know if you discover lower rates anywhere other than the hotel website. The property will want you to book direct and might add a few perks, like free breakfast, to keep your business.
Make Memories but Avoid Souvenirs
I can say with certainty that I can no longer find any of the trinkets I bought during my early travels as a child, teenager, or young adult. Beautiful turquoise jewelry, intricately painted postcards, and even expensive local artwork have failed to endure the test of time. I wish I’d used my hard-earned trip funds to take some luxury tours and indulge in more stress-free moments instead of buying one more knock-off purse that someone swore was made from real Italian leather.
The same goes for the kiddos on vacation. You’ll want to make memories with the brood more than you’ll want to buy them crap they don’t need. Teach the kids how to snorkel and spot Dory in the wild or take a helicopter above a twinkling city skyline. Have your mature older child try their first spa treatment or take a cooking class together.
Enjoy High-End Local Delicacies
I don’t know about you, but I remember the best meals from each place I visit around the world. I think food is the simplest way to connect with local traditions and form lasting memories of your destination. Plus, there’s nothing worse than committing to an all-inclusive resort and being stuck with sub-par buffet food. It’s a crying shame that people spend all this cash flying to a new destination, staying at a five-star resort, and only eating familiar dishes from home. Getaways are opportunities to take little risks and try something new.
If you can’t splash out every night, make sure you book at least one evening at the best restaurant in town, with or without the kids. By the way, this is a great reason to invite the in-laws so you can stuff your face with local delicacies the little ones won’t touch!
What do you love about your once-in-a-lifetime vacations? Where do you spend most of your vacation funds?