Tips for Family Vacation Planning, Part 1: Deciding Where to Go

Photo By Chuck

While vacations should be fun, exciting and memorable times for you and your family, they can be stressful if you have not planned well and budgeted in advance.

Deciding where to go is the first step to any great vacation.

Although you may have a few ideas in mind of where you would like to go, here are some things to think about before you make your final decision:

  • How much do you want to spend on this trip? Setting a limit on how much you are willing to spend on your trip can, in many cases, narrow down possibilities. If you only want to spend $500, Disney World will probably get crossed off the list quickly.
  • What are the ages of your children, and what will they enjoy? Think about the ages of your children and the types of activities that might be available to them on your trip. For example, if your children are 2 and 4 years old, going to a large amusement park might be too much at that age. Large amusement parks tend to involve a lot of walking, and much of the rides and entertainment are geared more toward older children and adults.
  • How long will your trip be? This is very important because, you don’t want to plan a 5 day trip to go to a city where there is only enough entertainment to keep you busy for 2 days, and vice versa. Another reason to consider the length of the trip is very young children wear out quickly. Therefore, you may want to limit the number of days for the trip.
  • Will you be vacationing “in season” or “off season?” Usually “in season” is from about the middle of spring to the middle of fall, and the other times of the year are considered “off season.” Of course, major holidays, such as Christmas,  may be treated as “in season” for some destinations.

Here are a few factors to consider when deciding whether or not to choose “off season” times for visiting your destination.

  1. One reason you may not want to go during “off season” times is some places close certain attractions during this time, due to either lack of tourist or proper weather conditions for the particular attraction.
  2. One reason you may choose to go during the “off season” months is many times there are discounted ticket prices for attractions, as well as, hotel rooms. In addition, attractions are usually a lot less crowded during “off season” times.

Most of these questions can easily be answered with a little effort thanks to some research on the internet. Although, your children’s interests play important roles in deciding where to spend you family vacation, don’t forget, it is just that – a family vacation.

destI have included my family Vacation Planning: Destination Information worksheet for you to download and print. This is how I keep up with information about the specific attractions we plan to visit while on vacation.

Remember though, this is just a guide. Nothing is set in stone. You don’t want your vacation to be so tightly scheduled you can’t enjoy yourself because you are just trying to get from one place to another.

Be sure to include activities that you and your spouse will also enjoy. It’s okay if everything doesn’t particularly interest your kids. It is good for them to learn that others should have an opportunity to enjoy their favorite things, too. Happy planning!

Tips for Family Vacation Planning, Part 2: Budgeting is the next topic in our vacation series. Check back tomorrow, so you don’t miss it.

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Posted on April 28th, 2009 in Kids and Family | One Comment
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One Comment

  • Jendi says:

    So maybe planning the vacation because of a blog conference wasn’t the best idea? It did work out well. My husband and I just have to realize that it’s a lot different with kids than just the 2 of us.

    We like the off season!

    Jendi’s last blog post..Unwrapping the World of Words

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