As we are all moms and busy entrepreneurs it is hard to find the time to plan for your family vacation. After researching endlessly on the internet and asking friends for advice, you still want to make sure you will get an unforgettable experience. Since I’m a travel agent and have traveled extensively with my family, I have outlined a few of my favorite travel tips. Read along to find out how to save both TIME and MONEY!
- Use a travel agent. By using a travel agent you can save both time and money. This person is usually free of charge to you. He or she does all the quoting and gets you prices with a full itinerary based on your needs and wants. This cuts out on the long hours searching for travel deals, looking for flights and then trying to figure out travel insurance! Leave it up to an agent who books multiple trips a day and has visited many of these resorts. If you don’t like giving up control, you can ask for a short list of properties and research them and then have him or her book it for you.
- Plan way in advance! Start thinking about your vacation at least a year in advance. Start discussing this with family members and friends even earlier if this is something you really want to do (and if you are the group leader). This is helpful for budgeting reasons and for getting your entire family together. This is also imperative depending on your type of business you run and your kids school schedules. The earlier in advance you book the cheaper it is. You are also guaranteed the exact room type you want which is important when traveling with kids. If you are planning a multiple family trip it is even more imperative to start early.
- Is the upgrade worth it? Yes! If this is a special trip, then you might want to consider doing something to “wow” your family. Maybe you don’t need the ocean view with young kids, but getting a private transfer from the airport to the hotel might be worth it. On a cruise you might pick a brand new ship which guarantees the kids not hanging out in the small cabin. It all depends on your needs, wants and budget. Even if it is a small thing, those sometimes is what leaves your kids with the biggest impact.
- Be a group leader! Being a group leader allows you to get discounts and/or bonus amenities for you and your group members. You are a momprenuer, which means you wear many different hats! If you are the one who tends to start the travel discussion plans with your friends or extended family then being a group leader might be for you. If you are involved with your church, interest group, neighborhood etc. then you have a group of people you can travel with! A group is usually 10-12 people min. which is really only 5 couples or families. All you need to do is agree on the same dates and you can get bonus amenities and discounted rooms for various vacation hotspots! The key to making this work is hiring a travel agent to take care of all the details. The travel agent will know the best resorts and/or cruises that have competitive group offers for what you are looking for. River cruises and resorts are running some great specials for groups!
- Have an open mind. Think about a different location, a unique experience or just something no one has ever done before. If you have been going to the beach every summer for years maybe consider a cruise. If you have been doing Disney for a few years, maybe consider an Adventure by Disney which offers cool upscale stateside experiences. If you have camped the past few summers maybe it is time to splurge on a “glamping” experience out west! The options are endless once you start thinking outside the box!
- Earn and redeem your miles. When traveling with a family, the most expensive thing is always airfare. Since you own a business, make sure you are using a credit card that has a solid redemption system where you can make the most of earning miles and using them! You will be on your next trip in no time!