Fun, Affordable Vacations For Families of All Sizes

Over the past 5 years, my family has been blessed enough to take a vacation every year. And every year I am faced with the challenge of putting together a fun, memorable vacation that everyone will love and that is affordable.

When our family was smaller, this process was a little easier because it seems like the whole world is based on your family size not exceeding FOUR! Well, we are now a family of 6 and the standard hotel room with 2 double beds is just not an option; at least not for stays longer than 2 nights. Airfare would eat up more than 1/2 of our budget, food would take up the other ½, and I will not even start on the theme park tickets. So what is a family to do?

Step 1– Choose the theme of your vacation: adventure, relaxation, beaches and sun, theme parks, or history and culture. Adventure vacations and sandy beach vacations are by far the most cost-friendly vacation themes.

Adventure vacations include low-cost outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, bike riding, and camping. This vacation theme is perfect for older children.

  • Top Adventurous Destinations
  • Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington
  • New Paltz, New York
  • Mount Hood, Oregon
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
  • Park City, Utah
  • Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
  • Yosemite National Park, California
  • Moab, Utah
  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, California
  • Glacier National Park, Montana
  • Olympic National Park, Washington,
  • Hood River, Oregon

Acadia National Park, Maine

Sandy beach vacations are also extremely affordable and include surfable waves, sandcastle building, great dining, and mile long boardwalks. This vacation theme is great for all ages especially babies and toddlers.

Best Family Beaches in US

  • Coronado Beach, Calif.
  • Nantucket Island, Mass.
  • Newport Beach, Calif.
  • Santa Barbara, Calif.
  • Panama City Beach, Fla.
  • Siesta Key, Fla.
  • Poipu Beach, Hawaii
  • Duck, N.C.
  • Hilton Head, S.C.
  • Kiawah Island, S.C.
  • Myrtle Beach, S.C.
  • South Padre Island, Texas

Waikiki, Hawaii

Wailea Beach, Hawaii

If you decide to take a theme park vacation, find out if your bank or employer offers discounted tickets. Avoid purchasing tickets on eBay or Craigslist, unless it is from a reliable seller or broker. Also, many theme parks now offer the convenience of child swap. With child swap, one parent can wait in line with the older children while the other parent goes up the handicap ramp with the smaller children. When the other parent gets off the ride, you swap and get right on the ride without waiting in line again. GENIUS!

Step 2 – Choose your means of transportation: fly, ride the train, or load up the car.

Your most affordable option would be to drive. Even if you find a great deal on air fare, chances are you will still need to rent a car once you land, so cut out the middle man and drive. However, if you do decide the fly and rent a car, go to  where you can ‘Name your Price’ on airfare and car rentals and …

Kid Friendly Family Vacation Destinations – Family Vacations Are More Enjoyable When the Kids Are Happy Too

Kid Friendly Family Vacation Destinations - Family Vacations Are More Enjoyable When the Kids Are Happy Too

Kid Friendly Family Vacation Destinations – Taking kids on a family vacation when they are very young is usually not a simple matter. However, when you follow the tips provided in this article, you will find your next family vacation will run smoother than you imagined.

One of the first things you will want to keep in mind is something you may not spend much time thinking about, but people get grumpy and act up when they have basic needs that are not met in a timely manner. What this means is that if you are meeting your children’s needs, they will be much happier and easier to get along with.

For example, if they have been sitting in the car most of the day, chances are they will start to get crabby because their basic need to run and burn off energy is not being met. Children typically have a lot more energy than the average adult and they will certainly have a much harder time trying to sit in a car for numerous hours. To deal with this problem be sure to plan to stop frequently at parks and other areas to let the kids out for awhile. You will add a few extra hours to the drive, but it is certainly better than keeping a crabby kid stuck in the car and ruining the entire trip.

As an alternative, you could skip the long drive and choose to vacation at a destination close to your home. If you are fortunate enough to live near a large city, there are surely many wonderful family vacation packages you can take advantage of. There are also bound to be an assortment of amusement parks, stores, museums and much more all within a couple of hours of your home. Even staying in your hometown can be fun when you plan an overnight stay at a hotel and take an afternoon to visit an amusement park or a night out for a play or other activity.

Another time when kids can become extremely crabby is when they start to get hungry. If you plan ahead and pack some snacks for them, you will be able to avoid this problem. Always keep a bag on hand that has some fruit, crackers and water to hold them over until it’s time to eat. And of course, when everything else fails, bribery is usually a parent’s best defense. Keep some candy stashed in your pockets for this special emergency. Most kids will be cooperative and pleasant if they are allowed time to run around and be active and they are not hungry. When planning your next family vacation, be sure to keep the needs of the youngsters in mind and you will all have a great getaway. …

Expert Travel Agents Offer Helpful Travel Hints

Expert Travel Agents Offer Helpful Travel Hints

Think that figuring out airfares these days is a little like being lost in a maze where no one’s even left you a clue?

Expert Travel Agents Offer Helpful Travel Hints

Most domestic flights offer two types of service: first and full fare coach, which have very few restrictions attached. Overseas flights may also offer unrestricted business class fares. In addition, there are many other types of discounted, promotional coach fares with many restrictions and, often, route a traveler may be able to choose among several airlines offering many different flights at many different prices.

To choose among the alternatives, you must first determine your priorities. A businessperson’s priority may be to get from New York to Los Angeles in time for a luncheon on Monday, while a leisure traveler might rate budget a higher priority.

Airlines reserve some seats at full fare for business travelers who must book on short notice and cannot look for bargains. Other seats are cheaper, with the biggest bargains offered at the least traveled times and days, with minimum and maximum stay requirements, a Saturday night stay-over requirement, advance reservations and payment, and cancellation penalties from 25-100 percent.

Why do the biggest bargains always seem to be sold out? The attempt to reserve one of these super bargains is frustrating because there are limited seats on any given flight set aside at bargain rates. To complicate matters further, the airlines, in order to reap the most profits on a flight, juggle the fares, resulting in the phenomenon of a traveler being able to get a super bargain one day that wasn’t available only the day before.

Maximize your opportunities to get the most economical fares, comments one expert, by keeping the following in mind:

First and foremost be flexible. Airlines charge the most for those passengers who are the least flexible. If you must travel on short notice during peak times, you’ll pay a premium.

Book your trip as far in advance as possible. The farther ahead, the better your chances of getting one of the bargain fares.

Sign up for the best Free Travel Deals of the week.…

Las Vegas As A Family Vacation – A Remarkable Blend

Las Vegas As A Family Vacation - A Remarkable Blend

Las Vegas As A Family Vacation – Also considered to be the most entertaining and exciting city in the world, Las Vagas is a place that offers experiences and luxuries that define a complete vacation, Las Vegas Vacations. No place on earth will offer the vast range of luxuries provided by Vegas which includes lavish casinos, live entertainment, fine dine, and several trade shows. It’s beauty and magnificence is truly unmatched.

The only reason people become a part of Las Vegas is pleasure. However, due to it’s vast variety of activities, it has something, or rather many things, for everyone. Casinos here are certainly one of the most famous tourist attractions of the city. But the natural wonders and man made structures offered by this terrain cannot be missed.

You can either enjoy a calm desert walk at the popular Las Vegas Strip, or you can choose to saunter downtown and witness the bizarre light show that swathes a whole street at Fremont Street Experience. However, a Vegas Vacation isn’t only about colorful streets, casinos, and the strip. You can have glimpses of some of the most remarkable creations like volcanoes, hotels with mini, but quite large, Sphinx and Eiffel Tower replicas.

Entertainment is an integral part of Las Vegas Vacations. At any time of the year, you will find many live concerts, shows, attractions, shopping locations, and top-notch resorts. For party-freaks, Las Vegas is nothing less than heaven. Most of the pubs are open from 7 pm to 6 am in the morning. However, if you are not much keen on partying, you can spend time inspecting the artworks and frescos in local museums and art exhibitions.

This city is an exceptional blend of natural phenomena’s, contemporary arrangement, ancient artifacts, and unlimited fun.

IF city life doesn’t interest you, you can opt to enjoy the life concealed behind the glittering lights and city bustle. Visit Wild West and experience the pleasure of wandering through the dense vegetation of Red Rock Natural Conservation area, Mount Charleston, and through the expanse of

Lake Mead National Recreation. Though it’s completely dissimilar from the city life, it’s just few minutes away from the Strip. You can also enjoy the natural vistas of Grand Canyon, Las Vegas Strip, and Hoover Dam from a bird’s eye view through a scenic aircraft tour.

When you are on a Las Vegas Vacation, have down pat that this city constantly reinvents itself. So the possibilities are endless here. …

Family Carribean Vacation – Montego Bay Resorts For Affordable Family Vacations

Family Carribean Vacation - Montego Bay Resorts For Affordable Family Vacations

Family Carribean Vacation – In today’s economic climate it pays to look for a bargain, but without sacrificing the amenities and the fun. For affordable family vacations in Jamaica, take a look at what the resorts of Montego Bay have to offer. With its pristine beaches kissed by balmy breezes and its clear, sparkling waters with its endless selection of water and land sports and with the wonderfully warm, welcoming smiles of everybody you meet, Montego Bay is alive with new energy and excitement for the whole family. Besides the warm silky sands and the sound of its soft lapping surf, Doctor’s Cave Beach is world famous for the magical healing power of its hidden spring which flows into the Caribbean.

This is actually where Jamaica’s tourist industry had its start, after published articles in the 1920’s claimed miracles for the waters’ curative powers, which brought osteopathic physicians and their patients from around the world to Montego Bay (although the cave itself was destroyed by a hurricane in 1932). A good bet for family fun on Doctor’s Cave Beach is the Sea Trek excursion down beneath the waves in safety helmets, which provide air and a close look at the infinitely varied sea life. And don’t miss Aguasol Theme Park, with its wide selection of water sport fun. This beach has banana boat rides, water trampolines, jet skis, wave runners, pedal boats, kayaks, snorkeling, and glass bottom boats; as well as go-kart tracks and a disco after dark.

Besides the great beach activities, family fun adventures abound around Montego Bay resorts. Tour a rum distillery with the Appleton Express, an air-conditioned bus trip from Montego Bay to the Appleton Distillery on Jamaica’s south side, which includes a tour of the distillery and a free bottle of rum for every visitor (children receive soft drinks), as well as a tour of the Ipswich Caves. Your family can also visit the Barnett Estate plantation, which offers a look back into the past when sugarcane and coconuts were the main island industries. Or, tour the Belvedere Estate, which was the first plantation to be burned during the Christmas Rebellion of 1831, and today is staffed by craftspeople in period costumes who work the blacksmith shop, clay-oven bakery, and herbal shop. Guided tours by docents in costume and horseback tours of the plantations make history come alive.

The 1831 Christmas Rebellion – which freed the slaves – was led by Samuel Sharpe, whose birthplace is on the working coffee and banana plantation Croydon in the Mountains, which also offers family tours. Some other historical sites worth a visit are the Greenwood Great House, which was home to

Elizabeth Barrett Browning and which affords a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle enjoyed by colonial slave-owning plantation families; and Rose Hall, which was formerly the home of Annie Palmer, the notorious White Witch (voodoo practitioner and husband-poisoner) which is famous for the ghostly apparitions in its bedrooms.  And the highlight of any family Jamaica vacation is the …