Planning a family getaway

March 24, 2010 10:11:49 AM PDT
Spring Break is upon us and that means many people are scrambling to put together a family getaway or starting to think about their summer travel plans.

The Travel Mom, Emily Kaufmann is here to offer some advice on planning your next family vacation with a focus on affordability and ease.

Define Your Vacation Experience

Every family has their own unique personality and flavor, so it is important to select a vacation experience that fits for each individual family. "One family I know spends their entire day basking in the sun, devouring books but for my family that would seem like a punishment," Emily says.

Consider exploring the city and sight-seeing, or an educational vacation, maybe you are big sports fans or love getting outdoors and enjoying nature. There is something for everyone.

Keep It Simple

"We are a country of over-doers," The Travel Mom says. "We over plan, over schedule, over pack, and we worry about every little detail. Our kids run from school to soccer to tutors and don't just chill. Vacation is the time for that."

Keep your planning simple, Emily adds. Use one-stop websites to gather info on your destination. Check out sites where you can find places to visit, family friendly restaurants, family activities and much more. For close to home getaways, Emily recommends the Illinois Department of Tourism website www.ENJOYILLINOIS.COM/KIDVENTURES , the Illinois Department of Tourism website

Look for destinations that are stress free because they offer loads of free activities for children, she advises where admission prices for amusement parks and water parks are included in room rates.

All Inclusive Resorts are also a great stress-free family-fun spot because they take all the details and do it for you.

  • Breezes covers everything from meals to accommodations to cocktails to land and sea activities - also airport transfers and no tipping. Fourth night free and kids stay free with adult.
  • Divi Resorts on 5 different Caribbean Islands are offering all inclusives where kids stay and eat free and Wyndham Sugar Bay also is all inclusive where kids stay free.
  • Locally Ritz Carlton has a third night free with a Happy Camper program where they pitch a tent in the room, kids get free in room dining, free breakfast for two, free backpack with kids amenities and free parking.
  • Find Family Freebies

    There are SO many places that are doing all that they can to entice you to bring your family to visit, The Travel Mom says.

  • Cayman teamed up with Sponge Bob to create Summer Splash where kids stay free, eat free, have free activities like Sea School and a trip to Sting Ray City and discounted air fare of 30% when flying with an adult.
  • Also offering free air fare is Nassau/Paradise Island - when you purchase one of the air inclusive four night packages. Packages range from luxury hotels like The Atlantis to more moderate properties - most with free nights.
  • You don't have to travel far to get free stuff either - Quad Cities has an entire list of free activities for families on their web site.
  • For more information, visit these Web sites:

    You can also find more tips on family travel on The Travel Mom's website