At this point, New Englanders are clawing at the opportunity to hop on a plane and fly away to a warmer land. Florida. Mexico. Anywhere warm. Anywhere with a beach. Anywhere without snow! If you don’t live in New England, you likely heard that we have had a record breaking cold, snowy winter. We deserve some warmth.
Now, you’re probably looking at the headline thinking, “Yes, of course I need a vacation RIGHT NOW.” But this post isn’t about planning a vacation for this March (after all, the month is almost over!). It’s about planning a family vacation for next year. That way, when next March arrives, you’ll be packing your suitcase en route to Punta Cana with the kids.
First, think about budget. If you’re trying to be frugal, there are ways to save. Use airline miles on flights, or book an affordable house on AirBnB or another home exchange site. Most of the time, these places tend to be more affordable, and provide more space for the kids. Also, if you book early enough, you can secure better deals, especially during busy spring break periods in March. By planning ahead and saving money now, you’ll be comfortable with spending the money while you’re on vacation.
The second step to planning the perfect family trip is getting the family involved. If you want to avoid hearing ‘are we there yet’, ask them for ideas. I recently came across a great online tool to help with finding the perfect family destination. The website, MiniTime, is like the Trip Advisor of planning family vacations. If the destination has already been determined, have the kids do research on the location and get involved in planning fun things to do together. Look to see if there is a book or movie that ties into the destination. This will keep everyone engaged and a fun family activity to do in preparation for your trip.
Next, make sure you’re securing the appropriate time off from work, and planning in accordance with school vacation weeks. If planning a vacation during a school vacation week, make sure you’re booking early to avoid the rising costs of airfare and accommodations.
Lastly, have fun leading up to the trip. Put milestones on the family calendar – Two months until Punta Cana! This will keep everyone engaged, and on their best behavior.