Ways to Organize a Multi-Family Vacation Travel Plan

Many a times it does happen that the family members are quite close to each other, yet due to various reasons such as careers, in-laws or personal preferences, it becomes difficult to find time to meet each other. The increasing busier lives of the people has made it extremely hard to make get together a reality and the rising cost for travel is also one of the major reasons for this. It is important to understand that once you are offered the chance of a family get together, you need to make the maximum use of this opportunity. All you require to achieve this is a little bit of upfront planning and then everything will fall into place.

The best times to plan together a family travel plan is during Thanksgiving and the Fall and Winter breaks. Most of the commonly visited spots get filled up fast and when you are on a multifamily vacation, there is no doubt that there maybe more than a dozen participants and thus availability will pose as a big issue in such matters. Keeping in mind, all the problems and possibilities, the following tips have been put together to help you come out with the right multi-family vacation travel plan for you and your family.

Make one person as the in charge of the vacation – This way one responsible person can coordinate different aspects of the family vacation with each other. While each of the members will be responsible for their own itineraries, but there will be one person who will look after the master schedule of the travel plan. In this manner, decisions can be made quickly without much delays and all the members will have a central point of contact which will reduce the confusion and malaise during vacation time.
Early decision on the dates, location and the venue is important – The part of deciding on the venue is the tough task as each of the members has their own likes and dislikes. Taking the opinion of the majority of the members is the best way of planning the trip. Also, each family member has their own budget restriction and thus putting together the family travel plan involves paying great attention to all these fine details.
Choosing the accommodations – Finalizing the kind of accommodations is extremely crucial in the travel plan. Depending on the average budget of each of the group members, you can either decide to go in for a villa rental or cruise or hotels and resorts.

Bon Voyage – Organized Travel Planning

Well, summer is finally here, and for many people, that means vacation time! Whether you plan to drive, fly, or travel by other means (a cruise, perhaps?), planning ahead will help your travel experience go off without a hitch.

I not only love to travel, I love to plan to travel. I can spend hours researching locales and lodging choices, preparing itineraries, packing, etc. Therefore, it seems only fitting to share some of my well-honed travel planning tips so that you can benefit from my travel planning addiction, and enjoy an organized travel experience. The 11 tips that follow may be common sense, but are not always commonly applied.

Create a Personalized Packing List – Create a packing list on your computer so that you can revise it constantly as you travel and realize what you forgot and would have liked with you, and what you could have left behind. My packing list is organized into the following major categories: Essentials, For Business, For the Beach, For Overseas Travel, For Active Vacations. It is then further broken down into subcategories that are specific enough to easily grab and check off each item without too much forethought (and certainly without that nagging feeling of forgetting something). My list has been customized over years of traveling. Make your list work for you and your family by personalizing it to match your needs.

Freshen Up Your Suitcases – Air out your bags before you pack. There is nothing worse than putting clean clothes in a stale smelling bag. (Hint: A scented dryer sheet or lavender sachet can work wonders.)

Check Luggage Guidelines – Go online and check your airline’s luggage guidelines to ensure that your carry on will fit, and that you will not be charged extra if you exceed the weight restriction.

Pre-Pack and Weigh – Print out your packing list in advance, and start laying out items so that you can get a visual snapshot of what you are bringing. It is wise to pre-pack in advance, especially with today’s strict airline luggage guidelines. I even recommend putting the items in the suitcase and weighing it. Better to know if you will make the cut at home when you can still remove things than to suffer an unexpected luggage fee at the airport.

Pack Extra Storage Bags – Pack a few storage bags for small items, like shoes, etc. Make sure that one is waterproof in case you need to pack wet bathing suits on the trip back home.

Get Your Gadgets in Order – Empty memory cards, and charge your phone and camera before you leave home. Consolidate power cords, chargers and extra batteries in your carry-on.

Refill Prescriptions – Refill prescription medications in advance, and pack in your carry-on in their original packaging in order to pass muster with the TSA. This also provides you with an easy way to remember the exact specifications in the rare event that the medication gets destroyed (melts in the sun, gets wet, etc.) or you are delayed longer than expected, and need to arrange a refill while still away from home.

Copy Important Documents – Carry duplicates of your passport and visa (if traveling outside of the country), travel itinerary, and any other vital documents that you need for safe travel, and keep them in a different location than the originals while traveling. Consider also emailing electronic copies to yourself or storing at a secure online site.

Give Your Wallet a Diet – Pare down the contents of your wallet to only what you need during travel. Only bring essential documents, such as driver’s license, medical insurance card (check to see if you have coverage if going outside of the country), passport, and credit cards.

Alert Credit Card Companies – Contact your bank and credit cards companies before you depart and inform them that you will be traveling, so that they will not be alarmed by out-of-town charges and put a security hold on your account.

Inventory the Contents of Your Suitcase – Take photos of your clothes, shoes, and jewelry, which will serve as documentation if your luggage gets lost or stolen. Download the shots onto your home computer or upload them to an online site just in case. It may seem like overkill (don’t all insurance and risk management measures seem so unless you need them?), but it will save you a lot of stress and money if your luggage gets lost or stolen, as well as peace of mind while traveling.
Now, you are prepared to travel. You can relax knowing that the essentials are in order. Enjoy, explore, and make great summer vacation memories. Bon voyage!

Benefits of Travel Planning and How to Get Started

If you travel frequently or travel a lot then you must have realized the importance of travel planning. A well planned trip really gets you your money’s worth. You are aware of your schedule, plus you are not wasting your time in figuring out (at the last minute) what to see, what to do, where to eat, etc. But still a lot of people travel with vague plans and without a complete picture. A lot of people say to me that travel planning is hard and time consuming and that if they were to wait for a travel plan then they would not be able to travel at all.

I disagree with all of them. Yes, it takes time to plan a trip but whats the point of traveling to another country or city if you are not going to see the best sites, taste the local food, or experience the top activities. Following are some of the tips that you can use to plan a near perfect trip for yourself.

First of all, zero out on a location where you would like to travel, it may be another city, state or another country.

Second, Why you would like to go there? Maybe some friend or family member went there and were full of praise or may be you read about it on internet or magazine or saw it on TV. Realizing WHY you want to travel to a particular location will help you plan the trip properly. For example, you may want to travel to the New York city to see the skyscrapers, or/and see Statue of liberty or/and may be visits the Museums.

Third, How long i.e. How many days you want to spend in the new place.

Once you have decided WHERE you want to go, understand WHY you want to travel there and decided HOW long you want to visit for, you can then begin preparing your itinerary.

You should start by asking your friends, family & co-workers about the destination that you have selected. If they have not been there, you should ask if anybody they know have traveled to that place. If yes, then don’t be shy of talking to that other person about their experience. Realize that people love to talk about their trips. This way you would learn a lot and maybe make a new friend in the process.

You can watch YouTube videos or watch Travel Channel to get ideas about the place you would like to visit.

Further, Google is your friend, you can search for the location to get tons of information about any place. There are thousands if not millions of Travelogues written virtually about all places on this earth.

Tripadvisor.com is an excellent site to research about any destination. You can ask questions, read about other’s experience etc. But the research on internet is time consuming and you should be diligent.

Lastly, you can even read the travel books, city guides by Frommer’s, Lonely Planet and Fodor’s. These are very well written and cater to all level’s i.e. Newbies, repeat, expert etc.

All these will tremendously help you plan your ideal trip and make the most out of it.

To get more tips and to see how Travel Planning Helps visit Travel Haggler’s Blog.