|Fort Meyers, Florida|
March is a perfect time to start planning for summer family vacation. The season has come for spring cleaning, storing away winter clothes, marking off the calendar for the last couple of months of the school year, preparing for Spring Break, and planning summer family vacation. I am very excited to start planning summer family vacation. In the past we have traveled for Spring breaks, Christmas breaks, and to meet family for special event. This year planning a summer family vacation is very important, since it is one of the only times of the year where we can spend quality time as a family. Since moving to Atlanta Georgia most of our traveling has taken place in and around the south.We have traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, Hilton Head, South Carolina Fort Meyers, St. Peters burgh, and Orlando Florida. We made a brief trip to Michigan to visit my side of the family. However, this summer I would enjoy doing more local traveling within the state of Georgia. The only trip this summer during Fourth of July weekend will take place in St. Louis Missouri to celebrate my Aunt’s 100th birthday celebration.In addition,we have a variety of different places that we have not traveled within the state of Georgia, for example Savannah, Georgia and Lake Lanier are top on my list as potential family vacations for the summer. The effort of planning ahead in Spring I have managed to narrow my planning ideas for summer family vacation to eight major steps.
8 steps for planning summer family vacation
- Brainstorm: The first step when planning family summer vacation is sitting down with the family and brainstorming what places everyone would prefer to visit, and where is the best place to travel for the summer. Brainstorming allows for everyone to have an opinion on travel options, depending on each family member’s members interests, distance to travel, budget, and destination.
- Organize: The second step is to pull out the calendar, cell phone, or tablet to mark potential dates for travel. I think that being organized is key, especially when you are planning to travel with children. I think that as a family, you should organize transportation, deciding if you are driving, flying, or a combination of both, or planning to car pool or ride on a group bus or vehicle with others that are going on the same trip. Parents have to be prepared for anything, so being organized ahead of time with tickets, passports if needed for traveling outside of the country, clothing, and snacks for children on the trip. If you are planning a summer road trip a first aid kit and emergency kit are important to have in your vehicle.
- Contact family and friends: Contacting family and friends is important to discuss any plans for family reunions, baby showers, big birthdays, retirement parties, graduations, weddings, and wedding anniversaries. All these events may require some travel time over the summer.
- Find a destination: The brainstorming session with family should help to find the destination for summer family vacation. I think that it is important to travel to a different destination every year, and make some destinations annual trips for your family. I believe that if your children enjoy going to Disney World it should be a trip taken once a year to a different park or resort location in Orlando. Summertime should be used a as a time to explore travel options and enjoy the outdoors, sometimes finding a destinations could include campgrounds that are close to home, nature walks, or botanical gardens that are in your neighborhood.
- Stay Local: The choice to stay local and explore your own city, town, or state can be very exciting for both children and parents. I have researched various travel opportunities in Atlanta,, Georgia that work all year round for families. The Georgia Aquarium, World Of Coke, Atlanta Zoo, Six Flags, local water parks, museums, activities at local libraries, music and art festivals, local farmers markets, and gardening projects in communities are great ways to have fun during the summer.
- Get great deals: I have been able to find great deals with Groupon and Atlanta Parents Magazine, and Living Social are just a few of the websites that offer reasonable prices for families.Amazon Prime offers great deals as well, for local activities in my local area. I think that after you find the great deal plan ahead, mark off your calendar, and book early for discounts on flights, hotel reservations, resort locations, or if you are very daring you can book a family style cruise in the middle of the year for summer vacation.
- Make a budget:The beginning of the new year after the holidays is the best time to start planning, and making a budget for summer family vacation. I have in mind how much my family would like to spend that one time of year for our big vacation. I plan my budget based on transportation, lodging, food, entertainment, and indoor and outdoor activities for the family. The budget can be based on funds that you have saved for a separate vacation account, or funds that you continue to save throughout the year for family summer vacation.
- Have fun: The biggest and most important thing is to have fun on family summer vacation! Our lives can become so hectic with work, school, running errands, meetings, taking care of children, that sometimes we can lose sight of spending quality time with family. Summer family vacation is the time to create memories that will last forever!
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