We are approaching Thanksgiving holidays in a couple of weeks and unlike most years I have not planned our travels. In fact I haven’t made any plans for the new year holidays this year. As you know when we book late we pay more and go to destinations that might not be on our hot list of places to visit. So while we might not make it to our dream destinations this year – I am planning out the next few years.
When you have children travel planning becomes very easy for the following reasons:
1) Age: Age as a factor alone can define the type, duration and distance of your trips. You cant possibly take a 2 year old to Galapagos but you can make this trip when your tot is 6 – 7 years old. Also you might want to visit closer/domestic destinations when your child is very young and save the adventures for later when your tot and you can endure it
2) Temperatures: My son and I loves warm weather, but my hubby cannot endure very high temperatures. This helps me choose destinations based on historical average monthly temperatures
3) Holidays: A holiday calendar for your family can help define the duration and in return the nature of trip. If your tot is attending school or if you are working the holiday calendar is preset for the year. You want to minimize missing school days or days at work so you know the pockets of holidays you can leverage.
4) Ability: Age and abilities go hand in hand. You will enjoy a relaxing holiday when your tot is young and save the hikes for when your tot is older. I am going to postpone Yosemite till my tot is at least 5 years old and travel to the Caribbean while he is 3
5) Budget: Traveling with tots can be expensive – so you can plan out the year with a combination of low budget and higher budget holidays. Booking your hotel and flights (if you need to fly) in advance can lead to huge savings. Also some destinations get booked at least a year in advance and cancellations are possible at least a month prior to your travel dates (keep your cancellation dates on your alert list so you don’t miss it)
6) Who are you going to travel with?: Once you have kids – its great to travel with family, friends or other families. If you have your year planned in advance its easy to invite others to join you. Tots love to travel with other tots and it can be a huge relief for the adults as you are not entertaining your tots at all times. With other tots around your tot will be open to trying new things as well
Creating my holiday plan for the next couple of years has really helped me decide if I should spend a significant amount of money traveling to a non-hot list destination vs. saving that money for a dream trip I wish to make next spring.
Somethings are worth not doing on the go, plan ahead of time and enjoy your vacations as a family.