Summer has officially started and that means you’re probably getting ready to pack up the kids and head on an annual vacation! The transition between school ending, getting the family situated with a new summer routine and preparing yourself for vacation is always a little daunting. There’s so much that you’re leaving behind at home (Did you remember your toothbrush? Is the front door locked?) that it’s almost impossible to dedicate the time to really thinking about your vacation!
We want you to get the most out of your summer and be able to spend this time relaxing and enjoying your family. So for this week’s blog, we are focusing on summer travel tips. We want to fill you in on what to know before you go, during your trip and after you’re back home. Read on to get your summer relaxation started!
- Hopefully, if you are reading this you already have a destination in mind. So up next, you need to figure out when you’ll be going! If it works into your family’s schedule, try avoiding traveling the first few weeks of summer. These tend to be the busiest weeks of the season in most popular summer vacation destinations. By avoiding them, you’ll have a more relaxing experience and won’t get burned out by having to dodge crowds at each activity you have planned.
- Next, you should figure out your game plan for reaching your destination. If driving, get out your map and plan your route! Include some stops at any buzz worthy locations you’re passing – this will help keep the kids (and the adults) happy! If flying, consider making the trip mid-week. Shifting your travel days to a Tuesday or Wednesday can typically save travelers hundreds of dollars! You’ll also find that the airports are less crowded and easier to navigate –an added perk, especially if you’ve got the family in tow!
- Booking your accommodations is up next! Finding something that fits the needs of your entire family, but still meets your budget and vacation style can be difficult. You want everyone to have their own space but multiple hotel rooms or an entire house rental can get pricey! Once you’ve determined the right style of rental for your family, move on to your “must haves” list. When searching, try viewing accommodations that include a full kitchen – this will offer you a great way to maximize your budget by cooking a few dinners in or making your own lunches to bring on your daytime adventures. And to give you a head start in your search, VacationCondos.com has got your vacation rentals covered! Each condo style rental offers full kitchens or kitchenettes and appeals to any budget.
- It’s a good idea to set aside some time before traveling to plan your trip. Even if it’s not down to the minute, a rough idea will help you better maximize your time together as a family and help you navigate when the best time is to take each adventure. While you’re planning out your trip, research a local calendar of events for your destination. The area may have their staple attractions but there’s always different weekly and monthly happenings throughout the summer. You don’t want to miss out on a unique activity that only happens once a year!
- Once you’ve got an idea of how your vacation days will be planned, take a good look at each activity and identify areas where you may be able to get some extra perks. Theme parks and amusements parks often have special deals or family packs running throughout the summer or even offer coupons for guests to use throughout the parks. This will help you not only enjoy your activities but also get the most bang for your buck! And don’t be afraid to ask around either. Often times freebies are available to you, you just need to ask!
- It’s important to set spending limitations for yourself but also with how much you plan to give your kids. There’s always so many cool things your kids are going to want to take home from vacation. Giving them a budget of how much they get to spend on souvenirs will help them to be able to determine if this is really something they want to spend money on. You also want to have a rough idea of how much each activity you plan to do will cost. By setting aside a certain amount for both attractions and meals, you’ll be able to track your spending and stay within your budget!
- When you aren’t packing a lunch to bring for your day or making dinner in your accommodations, eat local. Food shares with us such an important part of a destination's culture and it’s something you shouldn’t miss out on! Don’t be afraid to ask locals for authentic recommendations and where you can find the best eats. And always keep an open mind for trying new things!
- Plan for a rainy day. Now obviously we know you can’t predict the weather, but you can certainly prepare for it! Have some indoor activities in your back pocket to use if/when the weather decides to change things up on you. Having a backup plan in place will help keep the fun vacation momentum on track.
- Use this vacation time to break out of your comfort zone. Step away from your home-life schedule and try something you wouldn’t normally do on your trip! Maybe you go ziplining or Jet Skiing, whatever it is, take the time to make your trip even more memorable by participating in an activity that wouldn’t always be your first choice. You’ll expand your horizons and also add an amazing memory to your family’s ever-growing list.
- Coming back from vacation and stepping into reality is never easy. Use your vacation as a way to set yourself up to avoid the post-travel blues! Take plenty of pictures on your trip and once home, upload them to a computer or TV so you can revisit these amazing memories with your family. Take time to soak up some of the things around you in a still frame!
- Find a place for your souvenirs. This will help you fill the rooms of your home with some happy reminders of the trip you just took but also the time you got to spend together.
- Start planning your next trip! There’s no easier way to get rid of your post-travel blues than by planning to hit the road again. This will give your family something to look forward too, no matter how far away it may be.
We hope we’ve got you feeling a little more prepared for how to approach your summer vacation! Wishing you all safe travels and a memorable vacation! We can’t wait to hear about it!