It may seem like summer is still months away, but if you’re planning a family trip, now is the time to start making your travel plans in order to insure you’ll get the lowest rates, plus the best flights and accommodations. As a single parent, a summer family getaway can be the perfect time to bond, rebuild relationships with your kids after a divorce and temporarily escape from the responsibilities of everyday life. The following tips will help you plan and experience the best summer vacation possible.
Tip 1: Set your vacation goals.
The word “vacation” means vastly different things to different people. The first step in planning the perfect summer getaway is to determine exactly what you want to get out of the experience. Ask yourself if you plan to visit a popular tourist destination and participated in tourist-related activities? Will you be visiting theme parks with your kids and staying on the move until late at night? Will you be visiting friends or relatives, which takes on a very different dynamic than staying at a hotel and spending time with your kids.Are you looking to find a quiet place to relax like an all-inclusive resort or cruise? Would you like to experience new activities, learn new skills and try new things? There are countless destinations that involve hiking, fishing, scuba diving, boating , or participating in an Hawaiian luau. Would you like to experience a different culture? Visiting nearby countries, such as Canada, Mexico or any part of the Caribbean can be an educational experience.
Once you determine what experience you’re looking for, it’s easier to choose an appropriate destination, set a budget and plan your itinerary. If your children are old enough, letting them participate will help insure everyone has a good time. You’ll also want to determine what type of hotel or resort accommodations you require. Will you and your children all stay in one hotel room (a strategy that’s not recommended) or will you reserve a two-bedroom suite or connecting rooms? Two separate bedrooms gives everyone room to spread out. In one hotel room with double beds, the tight space and lack of privacy will add stress to any vacation. Tip 2: Choose your destination.
Choose a destination that’s appropriate for your travel budget, offers suitable accommodations and the type of climate you’re looking for. “Because it's one of the best vacation options to help keep unanticipated expenses to a minimum -- such as typical a la carte items like ground transportation, meals and entertainment -- cruising may be more popular than ever in 2008,” said Alex Goldman, vice president of cruises for Travelocity.com.
Goldman added that due to the weak U.S. dollar, “cruising to Europe on a U.S. cruise line can provide great value and savings to travelers. With everything onboard priced in U.S. dollars, including meals, taking a cruise versus a land vacation in Europe may be a great way to save a few dollars.”