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Make Your Family Vacation Cheap And Fun In A Way Most People Don’t Know

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Make Your Family Vacation Cheap And Fun In A Way Most People Don’t Know

When you travel with the whole family, getting from one place to another is a little more complicated. Keeping everyone in the family safe and happy is an important consideration. So, try these tips to make sure that you complete your trip tired and happy, but completely sane.

1. Accommodate the kids.

Jet lag, the difficult adjustment from one time zone to another, happens to everyone. And, if it is bad for you, it is even worse for little kids, who do not have the capacity to understand what has happened to the time.

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When you plan to cross several time zones, you have no choice but to adjust your family’s eating and sleeping schedules. That is, unless you plan to have dinner at 10 a.m. and go to bed at 3 p.m.

The first day you arrive, you should plan to keep the schedule fairly light. That day, Melinda Wenner Moyer of Slate suggests that you switch to your preferred schedule in the current time zone. Everyone may be tired and grouchy, but, if you adhere to it that day, subsequent days should be a lot easier.

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2. Take advantage of services.

Governments understand that taking a big trip with children is more complicated than flying alone or with other adults. That is why they also take steps to accommodate you and your kids.

It starts with the flight. Take a moment to investigate the features and upgrades your airline offers for travel, especially with small children. When you see a special line for parents with children at the airport, do not hesitate to take it. The Transportation Safety Administration makes it clear how its employees screen children differently from adults. Do your homework now so that you can be prepared and sail quickly through security.

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3. Make a schedule.

Taking a casual backpacking trip through India with your spouse and teenage children may be a dream you have had for years. And, with older kids, it is an option you could certainly consider.

However, when your children are younger, you need to have your itinerary laid out before you leave the house. According to Dr. Laura Markham of Aha! Parenting, toddlers and young children thrive best on a regular routine. So, even if you plan to travel, you should try to keep mealtimes and the sleep schedule as close to your kids’ routines as possible.

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Children this age do not appreciate unpleasant surprises, including the inability to find a hotel with vacancy. Instead, make your reservations early. You will save money by booking ahead of time, and you will have many more options available to you. You might even find yourself staying in a tent on a sand dune in the Thar Desert, or in the Kerala Backwaters.

4. Consider the climate.

Anyone who has traveled to a place with a very different climate can tell you that it is difficult to really know what the weather will be like. However, that should not stop you from trying your best to prepare. For example, if you are planning a trip to India, you should know that it likely will be hotter and more humid there than you are used to. World Weather Online describes the weather in Mumbai as “oppressive” in summer and difficult to manage during monsoon season. Once you know what to expect, you can plan to pack clothing which is appropriate for the climate. Or, as AZ Central recommends, you may choose to purchase a few items locally, since they will accommodate the weather best.

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Traveling abroad with kids of any age can be tricky. But, if you plan ahead, keep to your routine and take advantage of services available to you, you might just have a wonderful time.

Featured photo credit: Family Vacation via i.huffpost.com

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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