Family Vacation Tips

Best Family Resorts in Fiji

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 16, 2019 6:00:00 AM / by Sally Black posted in family vacations, Family Vacation Destinations, Family Vacation, family vacation ideas

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Is it Worth Hiring a Tour Guide?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 9, 2019 6:02:00 AM / by Sally Black posted in Family Vacation Destinations, Family Vacation, family tours, Guided tours

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Whenever hard working parent plan a vacation, they want to be certain they are getting the best vacation possible for every penny they spend.  Often from the outside looking in, people think vacation planning is an easy DIY project that if they invest the work, they will save some coin. This is especially true when deciding to hire a tour guide.

Before I worked in the travel business, I’d research our family vacation for months – hoping to uncover the places that locals loved. I would crowdsource  vacation ideas  and try to connect with locals that could offer up some secret intel.

I’ll be honest with you, back then I  was on a very tight budget and was trying to scrimp every penny so that my family could take a vacation. I didn’t see the value of hiring a guide or working with a destination specialist. I was convinced I could do it all on my own - without the help of a trained professional.

I was a single mom with 3 kids at the time.  The first trip where I acted as a tour guide was our summer road trip to New England.  It began as a disaster on several levels. 

With the best of intentions, I was trying to prepare my kids for their American history classes the following September.  I tried cramming my U.S. history facts into their sweet little brains with engaging car conversations that fell upon deaf ears accompanied by sarcastic eye rolls.  The Freedom Trail in Boston instantly deteriorated into a bickering fest that was only interrupted by the trauma of a pigeon pooping on the head of my youngest.  By day two of our 7 day historical odyssey, I was out numbered, overwhelmed and exhausted.  This wasn't fun for any of us.

As a parent, it's hard enough to get your kids to listen to you on any given day so why did I think they would want to listen to me playing tour guide?

By day 3 I surrendered and bought us guided tour tickets in Salem, Massachusetts.  I really didn't want to spend the money but I was defeated.  To everyone's delight, our guide was incredible!  He walked us through town, told us stories about folks buried in the cemetery and pointed out fascinating facts in the witch museum that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. He took us to Nathaniel Hawthorne's "House of the Seven Gables" and showed us hidden bookcases and rooms where people hid during the witch trials.  My kids were so engaged, hanging on his every word.

My kids loved listening to him and guess what? They didn't have to listen to me for a couple of hours. Instantly I became a participant in my own vacation. I could relax and enjoy my kids learning what I had intended from the very beginning. They could enjoy me having fun with them!

  I  immediately booked us into guided tours for our next three stops of Plimoth Plantation, Martha's Vineyard and a mansion tours of Newport, Rhode Island. I spent more than I had originally budgeted for this vacation but the result was the vacation that far exceeded what I had originally envisioned.

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Best Reasons to Take Your Teens on a Caribbean Cruise

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 2, 2019 6:31:00 PM / by Sally Black posted in Affordable Family Vacations, Teen Vacations, Family Vacation, family vacation ideas, Caribbean Family Cruises, Best family cruises

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1. Save Money!

This is the reason parents love most. Cruise ships, unlike hotels, charge by the number of passengers sharing a cabin - period.  The cost has nothing to do with age.  At many resorts, once your child turns 13 they will need to pay the "full boat" adult rate.  On a cruise ship, the first two passengers in the cabin (aka - mom & dad) will pay first and second passenger rates. No matter how old your children are, if they are sharing the cabin with you they will pay 3rd, 4th, 5th passenger rates which are lower (aka - kids rates).  Of course the number of passengers sharing the same cabin is dependent on the occupancy limits of your particular stateroom. Also be aware that when a cruise line offer "perks" like free drink or specialty dining , this discount applies to the first and second passengers only. Any additional passengers sharing the cabin would need to pay for the cost of these perks.

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Where Do Family Caribbean Cruises Go?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 2, 2019 6:12:00 AM / by Sally Black posted in Affordable Family Vacations, Family Vacation, Disney Cruise Line, family vacation ideas, Caribbean Family Cruises, Best family cruises

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The Caribbean, Mexico, the Bahamas and Bermuda are certainly the most popular cruise destinations for American families.  These family friendly ports of all offer fun experiences for kids of all ages. Depending on the specific sailing you choose, your family can visit a several different countries and Caribbean islands on a single cruise.  Ports of call and the length of time your ship will be docked in port will vary between different cruise lines.

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10 Things to Know About Family River Cruises

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 18, 2019 8:58:38 AM / by Sally Black posted in family group travel, celebration vacations, Best family cruises, family river cruise

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If your family is looking to really  connect with one another in a memorable way, then a river cruise may be the right choice for your next vacation. It's the ideal choice for families looking to enjoy  history, cuisine and culture of exotic locales or fairy tale European cities in a peaceful, scenic and enriching way.

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Best Time of Year to Take a Family Caribbean Cruise

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 11, 2019 6:00:00 AM / by Sally Black posted in Best family cruises

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They quick answer to this question is - your family can enjoy a Caribbean Cruise Anytime!

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How To Plan a Family Heritage Trip

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 4, 2019 6:00:00 AM / by Sally Black posted in family vacations, Affordable Family Vacations, Family Vacation Destinations, family vacation ideas

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A great way to teach children their place in this word is to show them exactly where they come from. If you're looking for inspiration for your next family vacation, consider a family heritage trip.  Imagine your family walking in the footsteps of your ancestors. 

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How Much Does A Family Dude Ranch Vacation Cost?

[fa icon="calendar'] May 28, 2019 6:00:00 AM / by Sally Black posted in Affordable Family Vacations, family adventure vacation, family vacation ideas

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A family dude ranch vacation can be the perfect vacation choice for families looking for....

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Best Family Summer Vacations 2019

[fa icon="calendar'] May 21, 2019 5:50:00 AM / by Sally Black posted in Affordable Family Vacations, Family Vacation, family vacation ideas

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If you're a busy parent juggling life who just realized your kid's team won't be making this year's baseball playoffs or your daughter decided not to attend summer camp then you need to make some last minute family vacation plans - it's not too late. That's the good news.

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Family Heritage Vacation

[fa icon="calendar'] May 14, 2019 8:39:16 AM / by Shellie Bailey-Shah

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Why go?

While we are an American family, my children’s ancestry represents opposite sides of the globe.  My family is from The Netherlands; my husband’s family is from India.  Guess whose gene pool won out?  Yes, my two sons have brown eyes and brown hair without a trace of my fair complexion.  My in-laws also live close to us, allowing my sons to experience Indian food and culture on a regular basis.

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