Family Vacation Savings Tips
After almost 10 years of treks to four continents with kids in tow, I've come up with a few ways to save a buck and still have fun. Here are my top five money saving family travel tips:
1. Travel Off-Season
2. Look for an All-Inclusive (or Mostly Inclusive) Vacation
With kids, I have found that the incidentals incurred on a trip will
kill the wallet. A trip to
3. Ask for a Discount or an Upgrade
It's that simple. All travel suppliers want your business and hope you come back. If they can accommodate your request with minimal or no cost to them -- they will. If you booked your family of four into a single room, ask if they might upgrade you to a suite or two connecting rooms. You have nothing to lose and a whole lot of comfort to gain. In a hotel, consider paying for (or asking for) the concierge level. Typically, they have a lounge with snacks and drinks to keep the kids satisfied and most will have a private television room as well.
4. Travel During a Crisis
Did you hear about the H1N1 (swine flu) virus? The media and the
government sent the world into a panic.
I was in
Of course, use common sense -- be healthy to start, purchase travel insurance and take an objective look at the issue. For some, the risks may be too high for their comfort level; for others, there definitely are bargains to be had.
5. Join a Group
Any time you travel as a group, you should be entitled to some discount or amenity. It might be as small as three families getting together or something as large as a whole church congregation. Check with your travel agent; often times they will already have a group reserved and you can "piggyback" and take advantage of the pricing, but forgo the group amenities.
Look for organizations that have a common bond to your family. My
company, Single Parent Travel, organizes group trips all over the world
specifically for single parents and their kids. Your local
Undoubtedly, family travel can be expensive; but with a little common sense and a keen eye for an opportunity, you can be packing your bags in no time.
Budget tips for family vacations
Recent Vacation Ideas & Travel Destinations
We're at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, which in the year since it has re-opened has emerged as the city's top cultural tourist attraction, drawing more visitors than Alcatraz
Taking the Kids To Yosemite National Park
Fall, we agree, is a spectacular time to visit Yosemite National Park -- fewer people (some 3.5 million visit each year) and significantly cheaper rates. There's a lot to do in winter too -- tubing, ice skating snowshoeing with a Ranger, cross-country and downhill skiing, snowboarding
As Colonial Williamsburg reaches out to families with a growing array of interactive programming throughout the year, there are many more opportunities for visitors to learn and experience African-American history
If you're thinking holiday trips are guaranteed budget busters, think again. In this economy, hotels, resorts, adventure outfitters and ski areas need our business as much as we need a break and they understand that if they don't offer families great value for their vacation dollar, we'll stay home
Welcome to Beaches Resort in Turks and Caicos -- the family resort of the Sandals brand -- where kids, tweens and teens rule. Plus it's a great resort for parents and grandparents as well.
While I've camped in the western United States and in Europe as well, most of my experience is on the East Coast, and I firmly believe going on a camping trip an activity every city slicker should try at least once. Regardless, here's some wonderful campsites in the United States plus Camping tips
Taking the Kids - Seeing Some Holiday Lights
Sometimes all it takes is some ingenuity -- and the desire. To get you started, here is a sampling of places around the country with plenty of lights and holiday cheer.
Taking the Kids - Aboard the Biggest Cruise Ship Afloat
As family friendly as imaginable and ocean breezes too, as you cruise from Florida to the Caribbean and back on the world's largest cruise ship afloat -- Royal Caribbean's spanking new Oasis of the Seas
Taking the Kids: An Un-cruise Alaskan Sea Adventure
Unlike the big cruise ships, we can take our time in Glacier Bay, which offers 3.3 million acres of glaciers that calve right in front of us, wildlife -- humpback whales that jump right in front of our boat, dozens of harbor seals sprawled on rocks -- and an amazing marine ecosystem exposed by the dramatic tide swings. We're even given a chance to follow a bear's trail, explore an ice cave and skip rocks through giant chunks of glacial ice.
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- Cruise Myths Debunked
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(c) 2010 John Frenaye
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