March and April are big spring break vacation times. We’re not talking about college spring break in Cancun with the wild drinking and parties but rather family spring vacations. This is the time many of the schools are out and a great time to take a break from the long cold winter that just passed. It’s mid way between the Christmas break and the end of school so it’s a popular time to get away.
The New York Times Travel contributer, Jennifer Conlin, asked travel agents at 3 different agencies to put together some sample vacations in 3 different price points for a family of 2 adults, a 6 year old and a 12 year old. Their budgets were:
Over the top—no budget and let’s get real—- it’s not happening to 99.99999% of us.
Agency 1, Liberty Travel, was assigned “budget” travel, which meant keeping the price to under $4,500 a week for each trip, not including airfare. Agency 2, Martin’s Travel, was given the moderate price range of under $9,000. Then, for the fantasy factor, we asked Bill Fischer of Fischer Travel Enterprises, a high-end agency in New York City, to give us the voyeurism of three trips for which cost would not be an issue. While nearly all these trips — with the exception of the two packaged cruises and the luxury trip to London (where private access to royal life is about connections, not cash) — could technically be pieced together by individual families, the value in booking through travel agents is their inside knowledge, access to discounts and, of course, the fact that they do the legwork for you. In general, the prices for each trip include accommodations and most activities, a rental car when one is needed (the case for nearly all of the budget and moderate vacations) and varying stipends for meals. Some optional items, including many of the evening and “splurge” activities, were not included. To that end, we have tried to point out when an activity will cost extra.
We asked the agents not to include airfares since prices vary depending on the departure cities of our readers.
The budget vacation packages ranged from an Orlando Theme Park vacation, to a 7 night Bahamas cruise from New York City to an outdoorsy ski vacation to Banff, Canada. Please remember that BUDGET was $4500 for 4 people.
You can certainly read more here, but the most interesting was the bashing that the writer and the travel agents received in the reader comments. While My Vacation Lady was not interviewed for this article, we could have come up with a few choices in the “budget” range of $4500 without airfare that might have offered a lot more value and and inclusions than the ones offered in this article.
There’s a whole world out there to explore! While the vacation ideas in the article may not have been your choice in a family vacation, for some families they might have been great.
My Vacation Lady takes the time to get to know our clients so we can recommend the right vacation for you based on your dreams and budget. Contact Us for help planning your next family vacation.