Plan for a successful family vacation

Prices on private rentals may be comparable or less expensive while providing travelers with more space

Metro Service
“Experimental travel,” or visiting locations that stray from the norm, has grown in popularity.

■ Metro Service

Vacations provide a chance to rest, recharge and experience new locales. Family vacations also provide an opportunity to make lasting memories parents and their children will remember forever.
“Experimental travel,” or visiting locations that stray from the norm, has grown in popularity as people are more concerned with experiences than simply seeing a particular location.
Family trips are one of the fastest-growing segments of the tourism industry. Families traveling together can heed the following advice to ensure their next trip is successful.

Be flexible with travel dates
Traveling during off-peak seasons can mean fewer crowds and lower prices.

Consider a vacation rental
Look beyond the traditional hotel for accommodations. Prices on private rentals may be comparable or less expensive while providing travelers with more space. This is especially valuable to large families who want a little more breathing room. Kids can retreat to one area while the adults hang out in another, something that may not always be possible in standard hotels. Renting a condo or home with a kitchen also means families can prepare their own meals, which helps to curb costs.

Encourage input from all
One person’s idea of a good time may differ from everyone else’s. Poll family members regarding their vision of a dream vacation and spend time trying to cater to at least one of these ideas per person. Make certain children have a say as well, as they’ll be more likely to go along with plans that they were involved in making.

Extend the fun to others
One way to maximize enjoyment is to plan vacations with other families. This way children have a group of friends with whom they can share the fun and different experiences. What’s more, parents can enjoy adult time with friends. Some resorts discount for large groups, so this can be a cost-saving measure as well.

Expect some hiccups
Vacations can be relaxing, but getting there sometimes can be a challenge. Go into the vacation process recognizing the potential for traffic or airport delays and plan accordingly to keep children occupied. Pack plenty of snacks as well.

Family vacations are an entertaining way to spend time together. With advanced planning and some patience, the end results can be well worth the work.

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