Planning a Family Summer Vacation

1 June 2022

With reports of more complete work forces, travel during the summer of 2022 will probably be more accessible.  If you are planning something, here are some things to consider.

If you have not already decided on a location, it is high time you made up your mind.  If you have budgetary restrictions, you may be more limited.  If you are coordinating with other friends or family members, you will need to select a site that is relatively convenient for everyone.  It is also important that you find a location that has something that everyone in the group will enjoy, or at least as much as possible.  With luck you will find something in your price range that will be satisfactory.

Transportation

In addition to deciding how you will travel to your location (plane, vehicle, train), think about how you will get around when you reach your destination.  If you have selected a resort, they probably will have a van that can get you from the airport or train station to the facility.  If you have opted for some other accommodations, then you will need to decide about renting a car.

If you are in a big city like Chicago or Boston, there is a lot of good public transportation that can get you from the hotel to whatever you are going to see.  If not, price out the cost of taxis versus rideshare versus a rental car (including gas and insurance).  You may be quite surprised at what you find.  Whatever you decide, increase it by 10% on your budget, just in case.

Accommodations

There are a lot of options for a final destination accommodation.  Before you arrive, if you are driving to the location, be sure to add in motel rooms for overnight stays.  Even with multiple drivers, it is a good idea to plan on a decent night’s rest between here and there.

For a family there are choices of staying with family or friends, booking a hotel or motel, staying at a resort or villa, airB&B, or finding a timeshare to rent.  Each has pluses and minuses including privacy, amenities, convenience, and price.

Food groceries

Food and Drinks

Unless you are staying at an all-inclusive resort, food prices can mount up quickly.  In addition to three meals a day, there are snacks and soft drinks and water in between.  Even if you are able to cook in your room or suite, you will need to find groceries.  Even if you chose and all-inclusive facility, you will want to go out a night or two for a special meal.

Entertainment

It is unlikely that you will have traveled somewhere just to sit in a hotel room and stare out the window.  Even if your primary goal was to sit on the beach or play golf, there will be times when you want to explore the area or take in a show or concert or museum or tour.

With the miracle of the internet you can have a pretty good idea of how much tickets will cost and the amount of time to allocate.  If you are dealing with an amusement park, include time for standing in line and who will be included in what activities.  If you have a family with a range of ages, this can be tricky.

Souvenirs

One of the highlights of a vacation is buying things you don’t need and probably will never use again, called souvenirs.  Give each of the kids a prepaid credit card and let them know the limits.  A parent should keep the card in a safe place and only dole it out when the child asks and you have approved of the purchase.  If you decide on a large, heavy or bulky item, see if the shop will ship it to your home.

Safety

Make safety a priority.  Most larger resorts have at least a registered nurse on duty.  If not, be aware of the nearest urgent care facility or hospital.  Take along a spare pair of prescription eyeglasses.  Be sure you have more than enough prescription medications in case a pill gets dropped or your stay is extended.

Remember that a vacation is supposed to be refreshing and restful.  Good luck!

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