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Do you have any easy ideas on how to organize a family vacation?

Vacations are important for every member of the family.  The best tip we have is to plan it out!  Here are some tips to getting yours organized:

1.    Decide the type of vacation you want – one with focus on the kids, travelling, relaxing, or with something for every member of the family?  Once you determine what everyone wants and needs, then you need to start your research and choose a destination. If you are on a budget, and who isn’t, find out what the off season is for your location.  Some travel spots drop prices right after Labor Day – if you can swing that time frame you could save some money.

2.    Once you determine type of vacation and your budget, and you’ve found the spot – it’s time to sync schedules to make sure everyone is available at the same time.  With summer camp, company picnics, summer sports, it is sometimes hard to coordinate timing.  Once that is settled, make sure your location can accommodate your timing.

3.    Create a master to do list at least three weeks out.  Three weeks out is shopping for essentials week – make sure you’ve purchased enough sun screen, sun glasses, hats, flip flops, shorts, etc. for each family member.

4.    Two weeks out is setting up a fun schedule for the trip – schedule in tours, horseback riding, rental of boats, skis, trip to amusement parks and tourist attractions.  Purchase tickets in advance if you can and be sure to budget and plan for transportation to and from an event.  Plan it out with the family and follow up to make sure all needed reservations are made. 

5.    One week out, get pets ready for boarders if they are not coming with you.  Let neighbors and friends know you will be gone so they can watch the house and check for any flooding or problems due to weather.  Get Traveler’s checks and cash for the trip.

6.    Vacation week! Be sure to cancel the paper; cancel the mail for a week rather than have someone come by and pick it up; set thermostats and water heaters to vacation setting – don’t waste fuel if you aren’t going to be home.   And do a final check against your packing list.  Include health care info, first aid kit and goodies for the travel period.  Put your work email on vacation auto reply so nothing major will fall through the cracks!

7.    Count on things going wrong – maybe rain on the day you were going to the amusement park.  Bring books, cards, puzzle books and games to help pass the time for those down times.  Or research the area for movie a theater or museum you could escape to! 

8.    RELAX and have fun!


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