2. Create a travel roadmap - Kids grow up fast, and their abilities and interests change with each passing year. If like most families you are limited to taking your trips during school vacations, that means you can only fit in 1-2 trips a year. So make your travel wish list, then think about the ideal age for your kids to experience it. For example, a trip to Washington DC or Gettysburg is more appreciated by kids who have studied American history. A cruise is a great way to experience Europe with very young children, since you don’t have deal with challenging travel logistics. Though Alaska is one of my favorite destinations, I have been waiting until my kids are teenagers so that we can have an authentic backcountry experience. Your roadmap doesn’t have to be etched in stone, but I personally find it less stressful to have some idea of where I am going over the next couple years, rather than trying to figure out where we are going only a few months ahead of time. And you almost always save money planning earlier rather than later….which leads to the next resolution.
4. Find a trusted travel advisor – If you plan to make travel part of your lifestyle, take time to research & interview travel advisors. By building a relationship with a professional you trust, you will save time and money in the long run. A good travel advisor takes time to get to know you and your family, so they understand your “travel personality.” No more wasting time trying to sift through the vast amounts of information on the internet (which can be unreliable or outdated). Instead you can relax & let your travel advisor tap into his or her industry network to find the hotel, cruise, tour guide, etc. that is the best fit for your family. And because you have shared your travel roadmap with them, they can keep an eye out for opportunities to make your travel dreams come true.
And last, but absolutely not least:
5. Buy travel insurance – Or at least buy it when the amount of money you could lose due to a last minute illness, injury, death in the family, cancelled flight, etc., is more than you care to stomach. A good policy from a reliable company is very reasonable, and the peace of mind you’ll have is priceless.
Happy New Year and Happy Travels!