Getting The Most Out Of Family Vacation Planning

(NC)A recent Travel Activities & Motivation Survey indicates that 77 per cent of Canadians cited rest, relaxation and recuperation as the most commonly sought out experiences during a vacation. But, because this is often the only time families are able to spend together, how can you take a summer trip that allows you to relax and get the most out of your time with the kids?

With research and proper planning, you can have a relaxing, enjoyable summer vacation that won't keep you up at night stressing about making everyone happy and stretching the budget.

First, make sure to involve the kids in the entire planning process. The more they feel like they have had a say about the destination and activities, the more co-operative they will be during the vacation.

Next, check out the Internet for your vacation destination possibilities. You will be able to find a lot of free planning materials to help put together the perfect trip. The majority of provincial tourism departments have travel kits complete with informational guides, brochures and maps that they will send you free of charge. Once you have compiled your information and packages, gather the family, research your options and decide where to go together.

Family vacations can be real budget-busters, therefore, plan a trip you can afford so that there are not any stressful or embarrassing moments while on the road. Know what is included in the vacation package and what will cost you over and above so that you can budget wisely. Booking early and being flexible with travel dates and times allows you to capitalize on various airlines and hotel specials, which can equal big savings.

Also, look for hotels that cater to families. National hotel chains, such as Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts, help to ensure that you will find a comfortable stay anywhere during your trip. And, family hotels like Holiday Inn also offer specific value programs. For example, not only do kids 12 and under eat for free from the restaurant kid's menu when accompanied by an adult, but this summer, until September 7, 2003, Holiday Inn can help you get the most out of your summer getaway with their new Dinner's On Us program, where adults can also eat for free, up to $24 per night.

In terms of vacation activities, call ahead to avoid disappointment. Make sure to book family attractions, entertainment and sporting adventures well in advance.

And finally, let kids help create memories. Giving them disposable cameras will not only empower them, but it will help capture more great moments from your family summer vacation.

- News Canada

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