Traveling has become one of our favorite hobbies as a family.
“Two-thirds of Americans say spending quality time as a family is the most important part of taking a family vacation,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president of Travel and Publishing. “Whether it’s a cross-country road trip or a dream vacation to a far-off destination, travel offers busy families an excellent opportunity to share experiences and connect with each other in meaningful ways.”
AAA Travel experts offer tips for families planning vacations this year, but we can all use a little directions when it comes to booking and deciding where the next family destinations should be. Here’s a few traveling tips that work for my family.
What app do I use?
There are many apps that are available; it is really a matter of personal preference. Last year we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary and spent 3 weeks in Europe, 90% of our accommodations were at an Airbnb. This year, we are traveling to Colombia, South America; we have gone with Expedia and Airbnb (get $20 off when you book your first trip) due to ease of booking and getting updates on our phones, computers or tablets.
How do we agree on a destination?
Our family is an even number, we decide on our preference and have each family member pick the city and that city’s activities, this way, everyone has a say on what we will do. Yes, I was that mom doing zip lining and they were those kids doing Champagne tasting in France.
Wait for the perfect deal
For airfare, set up a google alert for the destination that you are interested in google-flights, we are already searching for flights for Spain in 2018 and we are monitoring pricing starting 12 months out.
Lodging, we use either Airbnb or Expedia. I prefer Airbnb because we are a family of 4, we like to have a small kitchen, and when you stay at an Airbnb you really are embedded in the community that you are visiting. In Palermo last summer, we stayed in a community and the neighbors were very welcoming. We had the same feeling in Nice, Mallorca, Santorini, all places where the hotel prices can get pricey, but with Airbnb and a home, we went to the market, we were able to cook and even do some laundry while we toured the cities. I am surprised to hear friends still feel leery about this option, however the places are usually very well kept, many times they are investment homes, and the owners are rated on the app. So do your research and you can even communicate with the owners so that you feel comfortable before booking.
A great feature that Expedia has, it sorts out our travel by date and location. It also offers suggested tours, so by the time we make it to our destination, we’ve done our research on tours and tickets are pre-purchased. Expedia also offers some great discounts on airfare, hotels and packages. But, again, this is a personal preference as there are other sites like google trips travel planner or trip it to name a few.
Pet sitting– Many times we don’t travel due to our pets at home and pricey fees. If you schedule around school breaks, consider using a High School or College student, they are always willing and ready for some extra money.
Traveling with children- check out what our #LatinaGeek sister Denisse Montalvan has to say about this, she has share some great tips for traveling with small children.
Elder Care– If you are like me, Mom and her well being while I am on vacation is important. We have scheduled her in an elder care facility. But on our last few trips, we made arrangements for our siblings to “host” her over or had one of the grand kids come stay with her and visit. This helped make it easy for me to travel and ensure mom and dad at home were being taken care of by a loved one.
Home security- First and foremost, don’t post your vacation and out of the country on social media. Criminals are out there waiting for that moment when no one is home. There are several security systems. Let’s revisit the gadgets that our #LatinaGeeks Tanya shared recently for home protection devices.
Now that you see how I’ve made travel make work for our family, make sure you treat yourself to a nice trip soon. We work hard, we’ve earned it, make your bucket list and start checking it off.