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New Year’s resolutions: Planning a family vacation

Christina Holt is a blogger and freelance writer who lives in Southern California with her husband and three boys. Christina uses her love of design, adventures in parenting and teaching background as inspiration for her writing on numer...

Make this family resolution and keep it

Don’t wait until the last minute to plan a family vacation! Make it a New Year’s resolution for your family and start planning now to maximize your experience, save money and actually go.

Family vacation

Planning a family vacation

One of the first things you should do in the beginning stages of planning a family vacation is look at the ages and stages of your children. Pick a vacation spot that each family member can enjoy and consider bringing a family member or babysitter to help with younger children.

Do's and don'ts of traveling with a nanny >>

Family vacation checklist

Pick dates: Schedule your trip around other important events and dates, such as testing week at school, dance recitals, sports tournaments, etc. Plan your family vacation during the on- or off-peak season or during the weather you would like to vacation in.

Plan length: Don't plan a long vacation if you don't think your family can handle the length of time away from their familiar surroundings -- and sleeping together in the same room. Do plan a long enough stay so that you are not stressed and cramming too many activities into each day. Try to find a happy medium that will accommodate everyone in the family.

Plan expenses: One of the best ways to vacation with your family is to plan an all-inclusive trip. Paying for meals and activities up front can eliminate the over-spending that families typically do while on vacation. If the location doesn't offer an all-inclusive option or you would rather not pay the extra money ahead of time, create a budget specifically for your vacation.

Budgeting for a family vacation

To properly plan a vacation budget, you need to know where you are going and for how long. After the location details have been set, research the restaurants, attractions and activities that you would like to do while on vacation. You should be able to get a good idea of additional costs by calling around, checking online reviews and websites, and asking friends or family about their personal experiences.

Shop around: Check with travel agents, destination deal sites and specials directly from the destination for the best deal.

Save in advance: Set aside a fixed amount each week or month to help cover costs and fun money.

Tip: If your children are older, have them save their allowance for spending money while on vacation. This not only teaches responsibility, it takes the pressure off you to buy all the souvenirs.

9 Tips for a budget-friendly vacation >>

Popular family-friendly vacation spots

Consider these well known and loved vacation places that take family-friendly to a whole new level!

Read more about family vacations

8 Budget-friendly family vacations
How to save and budget for a vacation
Frugal family vacations

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