Overwhelmed trying to plan a family vacation?
Chances are if you typed this question into google, you were given a billion places to start searching for answer.
Can't tell you how many times I see people taking the road straight to crazytown as they plan their vacations. Even my own "Friends" on Facebook (uh...Hello?!)
Just this past Saturday I saw this in my feed....
"Need your help FB - the hubs and I want to take our 3 kiddos to an all inclusive resort in Mexico. We've never been and have no idea where we should stay - help!"
32 replies followed with pretty much 32 different suggestions for hotels all over Mexico. So I replied:
"Lots of great suggestions here FB! I know because I've stayed in all of these resorts and know them well. The only problem is none of these resorts are family of 5 friendly. As per the rules, families with more than 2 kids would require 2 rooms. There is no guarantee that these rooms are connected and this will double the cost of your vacation. DM me - happy to help"
One phone call and a couple of emails later, Pam, the hubs and their 3 kiddos were on their way to the perfect all inclusive resort that was family of five friendly, had a kids club for their 3 year old, included the nonstop flights they wanted with seats all together, airport transportation sorted, passport questions answered, tips given on the best best snorkeling spots and I even arranged for surprise welcome gifts for the family upon arrival.
Facebook, google, friends and family offer general advice and suggestions.
Travel agents qualify your family's specific needs then give you a customized plan!
Without a plan it's like heading to the supermarket hungry on your way home from work without a list. You come home with a ton of junk, not the proper ingredients to make dinner and end up calling out for pizza.
When you crowd source family vacation ideas like this you'll get thousands of opinions for "what's best". What's best for one family may not be best for the needs of your family.
The place to begin planning a family vacation is to start building a list of answers to very some specific questions. This this will help you focus your search - otherwise you'll head down a black online hole and everyone will end up watching cat videos for vacation.
Here are the most important, travel planning 101 basic questions you need to define for every trip.
- What are you travel dates - departure & return
- Number of adults and children traveling
- Children's ages (at the time of travel)
- Where will your be leaving from?
- Where do you want to go or what type of trip are you interested in?
- How do you plan to get there/transportation?
- What's your travel style?
- Last but certainly most important...what's our budget?
Most people don't understand how travel agents work. In most cases, travel agents don't cost extra. They actually save time and money. When you consider the price of your precious time and sanity, think of all the better things you could be doing instead of getting frustrated doing google searches or listening to well intentioned FB friends.
Answers to these questions are like the jigsaw pieces to your vacation puzzle. If you're missing one piece then you can see the perfect picture. For example, if you're not sure of your exact dates due to the possibility of your oldest son's baseball tournament then pricing may change and affect your budget. Deciding between a relaxing beach vacation or a ski trip will change your destination, transportation and pricing.
So instead of trying to plan a DIY vacation on google, save yourself a ton of aggravation and plan a family pizza party and write down the answers to these questions. Then schedule a 20 min chat with one of our family travel advisors who knows exactly how to take care of you and your family.