Planning a winter family vacation can be difficult. You have a million opinions from your loved ones when it comes to where to go and what to do during those trips and there is always the question of money. Speaking of which, we found a quick and easy secret to saving money on airplanes. FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney says of the best time to buy airline tickets: “The optimal time is Tuesday around 3pm Eastern Time. If you’re on the West Coast, that would be noon Pacific time. ” On top of the price, there’s the pressure to create a fun-filled winter getaway that creates beautiful memories, gives you time to unwind and relax, and is fun for everyone. Here are 14 signs to consider when planning your family winter vacation.
Winter weather can be unpredictable, especially if you are traveling a long distance. To avoid tantrums when the weather slows you down, have a backup plan if you can, and also make sure you bring enough entertainment, snacks, and supplies (diapers, clothes) for yourself and the kids.
2. Flu shots
Traveling (especially by plane or other public transportation) is full of germs. Make sure your family has received flu shots before any winter getaway.
3. Book early and wisely
If you’re traveling on vacation and haven’t booked your flights yet, you’re costing yourself money. The longer you wait, the more expensive your tickets will be. If you are flexible about when to travel, the first two weeks of December tend to be the cheapest.
4. Avoid peak travel days and times
If you have to travel during the holiday rush, experts say to book your flights early. When you are the first to travel, you will be less likely to face delays at the airport. If possible, you should avoid traveling on the days before Thanksgiving and Christmas.
5. Consider a travel package
Winter travel packages mean one-step planning, and sites like Go-Today and BookIt.com offer package deals and discounts.
6. Baby safety
If you are one of the lucky ones to be traveling with a baby this year, don’t forget your portable baby safety kit. Don’t have one? Make sure you start with tape, it’s perfect for covering plugs and other risky places. You can also use a service like Babies Travel Lite that will deliver your baby’s items to your destination.
7. Book a suite
If you’re staying at your destination for more than a night or two, consider renting a suite instead of a regular hotel room. There are good prices and you will be much more comfortable with more space and amenities.
8. Snow or sun for a good trip
We know this is a tough choice for many families but see if they can agree on what kind of vacation they want in the middle of winter. Do you need a week of sun and sand, away from the cold, or do you like it and want to go skiing to spend the snowy season together?
9. Travel insurance
Travel insurance is especially important for a winter vacation. From storms to illness, things happen and you would hate to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
10. Involve the children
Make sure your children feel included in the trip planning while you decide and book the trip. They are more likely to enjoy everything if they feel they were involved in the planning process.
11. Travel agent
A travel agent can be worth the investment because they have knowledge of offers and know the best destinations based on the time of the pipe, the price and what you want. Also, if you hire an agent to plan your trip, you won’t have to spend time comparing prices and booking everything yourself.
12. Family Vacation Wish List
Why not sit down as a family and create a bucket list? The process of making and reviewing it can be an inspiration for the journey.
13. Consider a city vacation
If you’re having a hard time finding destinations with sun or ski available and affordable, consider planning a trip to a fun and historic city like San Francisco or New Orleans.
When you’re on your trip, make sure you have a list of travel resources on hand. For those flying, FlightStats can alert you to delays and weather issues while Cranky Concierge will help you negotiate last minute flight changes or cancellations as well as monitor your flight status.