Family vacay getaway plan

Carl Robinette

Fri July 25, 2014 11:00am

When the recession hit, many families were forced to postpone their big vacation plans, some for several years. Now families have regained the confidence to book the vacation they have been dreaming about, according to Bob Pavon, an Eastlake travel agent with Carefree Vacations. To help make sure your plans go smoothly we have five travel tips that will make that dream vacation a reality.
Book early
The earlier you book, the better prices you get on travel and rooming. Booking early gives you the opportunity to get the trip you really want so you don’t have to settle for the next best thing. One example is the family favorite Disney cruise. There will be five Disney cruises leaving San Diego in 2015 and all five ships are already nearly filled a year and a half early, said Pavon. While the Disney ship may have already sailed, it is not too late to book your stay in the city and hotel of your dreams, but time is of the essence.
     Go all-inclusive
       “When you start pricing out three meals a day, drinks and water for the kids, it adds up really fast,” said Pavon. All-inclusive trips may be more expensive up front, but when you add it all together they are a much better value, Pavon added. Many package deals include meals, drinks, activities and even non-motorized water sports such as kayaking and paddle boarding. Cruises are usually a great value too and while many are not 100 percent inclusive, meals and activities are often included or very inexpensive compared to piecing it all together on your own.
Find something for everybody
Six years ago you may have thought the Disney World vacation was a perfect fit for the whole family, but the recession hit and you had to wait. Now your little ones are teenagers and it might not be your best bet. Include the kids in the planning to make room for everyone’s interests. Cruises are often an easy answer to this quandary with a huge variety of things to do in one spot. Also consider CityPASS, a company that offers package deals on a variety of attractions in cities across the United States at majorly discounted prices.
Choose the family experience not the destination
Remember that the point of a family vacation is to get away from school and work, to reconnect and create memories together. Airfare will be the most expensive part of any trip so while a European tour might be your dream destination it might not hold the family experience you are hoping for. Consider trips to closer environs that offer cultural and scenic beauty such as Yosemite, San Francisco and the Redwood Forest, Lake Tahoe and any number of fantastic spots to visit without spending your entire savings just to get there.
Consider a travel agent
You might think you can find the best deals online, but how do you know the hotel you are booking has functioning plumbing or that it’s not undergoing major construction. Agents get paid for their strong relationship with hotels, resorts and airlines so they have an inside view of what is really going on. And often travel agencies will let you book a trip on deposit and make payments before the date of your trip.