When to plan your spring break family vacation

In the past couple of weeks (July), we’ve been speaking to a number of clients and prospective clients about traveling during the kids school breaks.

Christine first wanted to try for Christmas break.  When she heard pricing of flights alone, she asked about Easter break.  Since many towns and cities in our region have off different weeks for their spring breaks, we were a bit more hopeful but the prices were still really high.

Andrew wanted to take his family of 5 on a cruise during the kids’ Easter Break.  They wanted a suite or 2 adjoining cabins.  Andrew is more of an all inclusive resort kind of guy but his wife wanted to try a cruise.  When I told him the rates of some of the cruise options we found for him, I think he was a bit surprised.  An owner’s suite on the newest Royal Caribbean Ship was running about $17,500 for all 5 of them.  This was a 7 night cruise, without airfare.  Two adjoining balcony cabins would be a lot less- but still over $8000 without flights, transfers, tips, excursions, wi fi or tipping.  This was a rude awakening for Andrew who had never cruised before.

 

Here are some tips for planning HOLIDAY FAMILY TRAVEL 

Tip No. 1: Make bookings early.
It’s never too early to when it comes to holiday travel.  We’ve worked with clients looking to book holiday travel dates as soon as the flights come out (which is usually 331 days from the date of return).  If you are looking at April for a land vacation, the best time to book would be May or June.  As we saw, even booking in July was already pretty booked up.  Cruises may be available to book 18 months out and if you are looking for suites or adjoining cabins, the time to book is as soon as the itineraries are open for sale.  Booking school holiday vacations at the last minute will most likely be more expensive, or worst-case scenario, not even be available.

Tip No. 2: Include travel insurance.
My Vacation Lady always recommend that our clients purchase travel insurance.  Weather delays and larger-than-usual crowds can really effect the flights.  Also, when you book so far in advance, Travel Insurance can help with the unexpected happens.

Tip No. 3: Double and triple check your documentation.
Many countries have specific passport expiration requirements.  It may need to be valid six months beyond your date of travel, so it is important to check these as soon as you even start thinking of planning your holiday vacation.

Tip No. 4: Confirm whether you need a consent form when traveling with children.
If one parent is traveling internationally with children, you may need a parental consent form from the parent who is not traveling.   This needs to be a notarized consent form and some countries are very strict about these.

Tip No. 5: Consider getting Global Entry

When lines are longer than usual, it’s really nice to be able to go to the TSA check point lines and virtually skip through customs and immigration.

My Vacation Lady can help you navigate the rough waters of planning a holiday family vacation.  We’re as close as a click or phone call away.

About the Author:

Mindy Gilbert of My Vacation Lady has been helping clients, just like you, plan their dream vacations, cruises and honeymoons since 1994.