Just because a vacation is popular doesn’t mean it is the one for you. Also, it does not mean that it is the best one for your family. It largely depends on the age of your children, who, including grandparents, might be traveling with you, and the amount of both time and money you have to spend, and that’s before you try to fit all your travel gear into a suitcase.
The vacations you might enjoy also depend on the time of year you plan to take them, and the weather where you plan to go. Spring break can be a tough time to travel whether you plan to ski or to bask in the sun, as the weather in March can be quite unpredictable. If you want to have plenty to do inside as well, you may have to explore even more options.
This means that just searching sites like Expedia for the best family vacations. You need to know more about what you are looking for in the first place. Here are four creative family vacation ideas that you and your family will both love and can afford.
We often think of vacation ideas as ones that are passive and restful, but if you have a family, these can also be extremely costly. Think of what it costs to bring two adults and two children to a baseball game, a movie, going to a theme park, or even just going to dinner somewhere special. And those activities don’t always lead to family bonding as much as being active.
Active vacations can include things like hiking, camping, rafting, ropes courses, zipline courses, cycling, fishing, and more. These tend to be the moments when you spend time together as a family, talking rather than sitting.
Often the best part about this kind of vacation can be where you go. National parks, spectacular mountains, even places in your state you do not often visit can be great spots to stay. If you are camping or doing other active pursuits, the money you save can even be used to travel abroad and explore these activities internationally with you children, broadening their perspectives.
Look at Packages
While sometimes it is cheaper to research separate deals for car rentals, lodging, and flights, often it is cheaper to book these things together, especially to popular destinations and resorts. The attraction you are visiting will often have deals with both airlines and hotels to get you there.
You can also search sites like Expedia and other travel sites for package deals. If you don’t want to do all that work yourself or simply don’t have the time look into having a travel agent book things for you. They will often have inside deals, and also insights on what to do and where the best places to stay are in an area.
Flights are always a tricky part of any vacation, but there are ways you can be more comfortable when flying economy class and having devices and entertainment for your kids when you are on the plane can keep your time in the air from being a nightmare.
Booking everything together will save you money if you plan ahead well. Which is the final key to packages. Book early, during the off season. Things will be cheaper and nearby attractions will not be sold out. If you do use book online with a travel website, they will also often have a lower price guarantee: if the prices drop between when you book and when you travel, you will get a refund of the difference.
Take the Beach Less Traveled
There is nothing like a beach vacation for your family. Nothing else quite stacks up for parents or kids, but if you are headed to a really popular beach destination, be prepared to pull out your wallet and empty your savings. This does not mean you cannot go to the beach, it means you get to be strategic about it. Visit beaches that are not as popular as the ones in Orange County, California or Miami. Instead, choose somewhere along the Oregon coast or between South Carolina and Florida on the east coast.
The right time of year, the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico can be very nice as well, like those in Alabama and Texas. The cost of hotels alone in these places can be half of what they are in major beach destinations, not to mention the reduced cost of food and other activities around the area.
Choosing the beach less traveled, especially if you can get a package deal, will pay off well for you in the long run in both your budget and family relaxation time.
Take in a Working Vacation
No, this does not mean to take your work with you on vacation. Instead, you can use your vacation time to do some good with your family. This can mean volunteering for environmental cleanup projects, going somewhere to help with disaster relief, or giving of your time and energy in other ways.
This also does not mean your entire vacation has to be spent working. There are plenty of great things you can do while you are in those locations that are fun as well as helpful to the community you are visiting. Visit local attractions and restaurants when you are not working and support the local economy.
Agencies who are doing work in those areas will often provide you free passes to those attractions, or even discounts as a thank you for your efforts. Lodging is also often inexpensive or even free. Not that these things should be your motive for doing good, but you can have a great vacation while teaching your kids about civic responsibility.
When planning a family vacation, it is often easy to get overwhelmed or run out of ideas. Use these four creative ideas to get you thinking about different ways to spend your family time off together. You can have a great time, stay in budget, and bond as a family in new and exciting ways.
What are your best creative family vacation ideas. Leave us a comment with your thoughts in the section below.