Finding the Best Family Vacation Spots - Five Questions You Must Ask
1. How much can we spend?
This may seem like a no-brainer, but knowing how much you can spend on not just the hotel and airfare/gas, but the whole shebang, is imperative. You may find that an all-inclusive resort is a better choice for your family, or that you should stay at a less expensive hotel so you have more to spend on adventure and learning activities.
2. Does the hotel offer freebies for kids?
Good family hotels want you and your family, and they want you bad. When choosing your hotel, ask about or research whether or not the hotel offers freebies for kids. Not only can these perks be tie-breakers when you're debating two places, but their very presence means that the hotel staff won't roll their eyes when they see your brood. The best family vacation spots love families.
3. What will we do there?
Whether you're planning a beach resort trip or a sightseeing excursion to Europe, the best family vacation spots have so many things to do, you won't be able to do it all. Have a talk with your family ahead of time about what activities you all want to do -- this can be an excellent lesson in compromise and "trying new things" for the little ones. Knowing what your family wants to do in advance will help you budget and schedule the trip, and it will help you choose money-saving packages and even hotel locations.
4. How much does the childcare cost?
Hotels always either have, or can recommend, childcare or babysitters to watch your kids. You and your spouse or significant other will want (and deserve) time alone during the trip and should plan to have at least one dinner on your own. Ask how much the childcare costs at a hotel before making your decision. In the some of best family vacation spots, it's free!
5. What will we learn?
You can't go on vacation every day, so don't waste the opportunity for your kids (and even yourself) to learn something outside of their normal realm of awareness. The best family vacation spots have programs for kids, whether it's museum tours or ecological learning centers. Or, maybe you can all learn a new skill, like scuba diving or snowboarding, together. Just make sure you all come back knowing something you didn't know -- that's the kind of family vacation memory that truly lasts a lifetime.
Photo by amishsteve via Flickr.