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How to Have Your Best Family Vacation Yet

Domestic CEO gives 3 easy tips to get the whole family involved in planning your next family vacation. Plus—bonus tips to save you money while traveling!

By
Amanda Thomas
May 8, 2013
Episode #016

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How to Have Your Best Family Vacation Yet

Family vacations.

When you hear those words, you probably have memories of road trips, dividing the back seat with masking tape, playing the alphabet game with billboards, and sleeping in the back window of your parents’ Buick (because who needed seatbelts before the mid-1980s?).

These were common summertime experiences for many of us, right? As a kid, the only thing we really cared about was if the motel we stayed at had a pool, but our parents had plans to make sure we got lots of pictures with cheesy tourist attractions, like concrete dinosaurs and Jolly Green Giant statues. If you are from the Midwest, you probably know exactly where I’m talking about and have your own pictures to match.

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But now that we are the adults, it’s time for us to be the ones putting extra thought into the family vacations. How do you make sure everyone has fun? How can you keep the kids from killing each other?  How can you actually get a little time to relax so you don’t end up needing a vacation FROM your vacation? With a little bit of planning, and these 3 tips, you can soon be enjoying your best family vacation ever!

Tip #1: Set Your Budget

Nothing is more of a buzz kill on a vacation than realizing you have officially run out of money. Suddenly Mom and Dad are telling the kids no ice cream, no water parks, and no more souvenir shot glasses. Prevent this from happening by making a complete budget, and then committing to it.

First, decide how much you want the total trip to cost. Then, determine how much it is going to cost to get you to your destination. Whether you’re going to fly, drive, take the bus, or the train, calculate what that cost is going to be for everyone involved. The cost of a plane ticket or a gallon of gas may fluctuate slightly, but you aren’t going to be able to go on vacation without getting to your destination. So that’s priority number one. So figure out what that cost is, then subtract it from your total budget. The remaining amount will be what you have to work with for the rest of your trip.

With that remaining amount, decide what your budget will be for each day. This can go up and down dramatically depending on a few key decisions, so consider your priorities. First, where will you be staying? Are you staying at a fancy resort for beaucoup bucks, or with a relative for free? Second, what is the main purpose of your trip? Is it to go to Disneyland? Then you better factor in the significant ticket price. Is it a family reunion? Don’t forget to include the cost of the hotdogs and bratwursts. Remember to also factor in the cost of getting around, whether by rental car or public transportation, and of course, don’t forget all your meals.

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