School Vacation Travel Tips

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School vacations present a wonderful opportunity for kids to let loose, adults to cash in on some much needed relaxation, and for the whole family to get the bonding time that’s so hard to squeeze in this time of year. Plus, after a long winter, we can all use a getaway, whether its to the sandy beaches of Oahu or to the Big Apple to visit the New York attractions you know and love.

This year, plan a family vacation that’s fun, affordable, and hassle-free for everyone. While this may seem like a challenge, you’d be surprised how fun the process can be when you stick to some pretty easy guidelines and use convenient attraction passes. Try implementing these travel tips on your next vacation for smooth sailing all the way through.

  1. Know your budget.

    It’s important to remember not to fantasize you have more in your vacation savings than you do or to underestimate your expenses when figuring out your budget. The last thing you want is to come back from your vacation to the reality of an empty bank account or to blow your budget during the first few days of your vacation only to be empty handed with two or three days left. Take into consideration the cost of transportation to your destination, ground transportation at your destination, accommodations, food, attractions, and souvenir shopping or other entertainment costs that will undoubtedly add up quickly.

    Your vacation destination is important when working out your budget. For instance, Oahu might be your dream vacation, but Miami could be a lot close and a lot less expensive if you can save on airfare. Don’t mope about Oahu, focus on the

    Flamingos doing what they do best at ZooMiami.

    Flamingos doing what they do best at ZooMiami.

    incredible Miami attractions you and your family can visit, like Jungle Island and Zoo Miami.

  2. Let everyone have some input.

    While letting your kids plan your entire vacation might not be the best idea, it can be helpful to let them have some input ahead of time. Plus, you might be surprised how good your kids are at researching places on the internet and finding good attraction deals. Your children are more likely to enjoy the vacation if they have a say in it, and nothing puts a kink in a family vacation like brooding kids. Perhaps everyone in the family can pick a top attraction to visit, or each member will plan a full day of sightseeing. Whatever you decide, giving everyone a say will likely make for a happier overall experience, even if you don’t get to do everything your way.

  3. Think carefully about transportation.

    Depending on your current location and your destination, you may want to look at options other than flying for your method of transportation. For instance, if you live on the West Coast and you’re planning to vacation in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or San Diego, you’ll be better off ditching the added expense of airfare. Weigh your options carefully: Train and bus services are improving all over the country and often offer deals that make the extra travel time worth it. Driving can also be a good option for families because the car provides a sort of “home base” and has extra space for toys and snacks.

  4. Be flexible.

    Although planning is important, it’s every bit as important to be flexible—especially when you’re traveling with your family. One bad mood can bring down the whole group, so try not to get too worked up if things don’t go according to plan. Remember, some of the strangest mishaps make the best stories later, and some situations that seem like inconveniences could turn into a chance for spontaneous amusement. Treat every challenge or perceived nuisance as part of the vacation adventure.

  5. A LEGO recreation of a space shuttle (which you'll find life size versions of at the Kennedy Space Center).

    A LEGO recreation of a space shuttle (which you’ll find life size versions of at the Kennedy Space Center).

    Take advantage of discounts.

    The days of cutting coupons are over, for the most part, but discounts and sales are more readily available then ever before. When searching the internet for deals, be patient and do your fair share of research. For attraction discounts, look into city attractions passes and check local daily deals websites when you’re in town. Whether you’re planning last minute or months in advance, Smart Destinations offers discounts in multiple cities that are available immediately. From kid-friendly Orlando Attractions like LEGOLAND Florida to family-favorite San Diego attractions like the San Diego Zoo, you’ll save on admission prices, helping you to keep your overall costs down.Visit Smart Destinations to see all of the destinations and attractions offered with our attractions passes.

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