Let’s discover and travel! First on the to do list is to pick a place. There’s so many destinations that are kid friendly like the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, and almost anywhere in the Caribbean! If you have really young children and haven't traveled much it's especially important to look for locations close to you. When my girls where between 1-3 years old we traveled mainly between NJ & Miami, a few times to the Bahamas, and Turks and Caicos. To be honest, it was just easier, flights were short and because it was most familiar to us it became a routine. Cruises are another great option for kids because everything is easily accessible and you can see a lot of countries and not have to move any luggage or baby gear. I remember being pregnant with Luna and taking a two week cruise in Europe with my husband and two girls who were 3 & 4 yrs old at the time. We saw a lot of places and were occupied by many kid friendly activities onboard, not to mention great downtime for naps in-between ports. If your kids are older then definitely start venturing out! Decide if you want mostly site seeing and relaxing like Guatemala vs an adventure like Costa Rica or a little of both like Turks and Caicos. I also find that every country has a little of both relaxation and adventure you just have to look for it and plan accordingly. I absolutely love Europe and South America but flight times and days you have available for vacation comes into play- you don’t want to be traveling 2 full days if you only have 5 days to spare. https://www.lonelyplanet.com/ is a great website to look around and choose your next location. They have insights into different countries and so many great places to explore!
Once you have picked a location, start crazy Google and Tripadvisor searching on what there is to do in that country. I always make sure I choose activities or excursion that we can do with my 5 year old since she’s our youngest. Nothing is worse then planning an itinerary come to find out it’s not doable for all in your group. Always plan down to your lowest age then work up vs planning for adults. I’m dying to go to Peru and India but realistically my kids are too young for these places and we will have to wait a while.....but it will happen!
Next on the list, start your flight search-ticket prices can help dictate where you’re heading. Generally the further you go the more expensive the flight. I usually start on Expedia and Kayak to compare the best flight deals. Afterwards I go directly to the airline to see if their prices are less but I find that they’re usually not with the exception of Jet Blue. I’ve also heard booking on a Tuesday night helps with prices but haven’t been able to prove it-lmk if it works for you! Booking early is also huge on savings. If you know when you have vacation days try looking for flights early so there’s plenty of availability or use search engines to notify you when there’s low prices. Since I know when my girls have vacation, I start planning our journeys far in advance! I may be crazy but I already planned December and I’m starting to think about February’s break.nA lot of schools have similar days off for vacations so I've found that the longer I wait the less availability there is for hotels or houses (I’ll get into housing in a later post) and the higher ticket prices will be.
I took a trip down memory lane (sniff sniff) and included some pictures from previous vacations with my minis including Paris, the European Cruise, Turks and Caicos, Guatemala and a staycation in the Florida Keys.
Remember, any place worth getting to is never easy, so start early and happy planning!