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5 Holiday Vacation Planning Tips – By Corinne McDermott, Travel Counsellor Specializing in Family Vacations

So, are you going away anywhere for the holidays?

Yes, of course I realize we’re only just tidying up the smashed pumpkin from the driveway, but the reality is if you hope to get the best deal or the most options, you should have been planning this year’s getaway as early as last year.

But if you’ve been sidelined by, oh – I don’t know – LIFE, and have not yet started thinking about where you’d like to get away to never mind Holiday shopping (sorry), here are five holiday vacation planning tips to help ease your stress so you actually can relax once the holidays do get here.

  1. Budget
    If you’re realistic with how much money you have to put towards your vacation, you’re already one step ahead of the game. Knowing what you have to work with makes it easier to make the most of what you have – and that especially goes for your overall vacation budget. If you know you have “X” amount of dollars, determine if that will include your meals and activities as well while you’re gone.
  2. Streamline
    Though the clock is ticking, right now you really just need to make the basic decision of snow or sun ‘n’ sand. Once that decision is made, and with your budget in place, you’re in a much better position to start researching accommodation options like an all-inclusive resort or a condo, and which would be your best bet given the destinations on your wish list.
  3. Update…
    Take a moment to step away from the computer to go check the expiration dates on your family’s passports. Or take this time to actually locate the passports, if you’re like me and can never remember where that “safe” place that you store them is. If they’ll need updating before the Holidays or even shortly after, it’s probably easiest to get that ball rolling now, as renewing a passport is a much simpler process and costs less than getting a new one.
  4. Organize…
    Remember those days when you could just throw a change of underwear in your purse and escape for the night? Well, you can still do that, but you may find yourself checking out the local malls and drugstores at your destination instead of enjoying yourself and your family. Print out a detailed packing list, that leaves no item forgotten, and you can cross stuff off as you throw it on to the pile. Bonus points for you and your sanity if you follow a carry-on packing list as well.
  5. Staycate…
    I used to scoff at the idea of a staycation, but now I recognize the benefits of a mini-break or a quickie getaway in a local hotel or spa. Scan the local group discount sites for amazing deals on local properties, often including meals and/or spa treatments and activities as well. They’re a great way to get away without actually going away, and sticking close to home means you can skip step 3 – for now, at least.

Saving time these days is almost just as important as saving money. So don’t forget to share your finds – from travel deals to baby gear – and tap into your friends’ tried and true methods of smoothing out the process of prepping for a family vacation.

Corinne McDermott is a Travel Counsellor specializing in family vacations, and the founder of https://havebabywilltravel.com – an award-winning website with a mission to inspire, motivate, and help families travel with babies, toddlers, and young children. Connect with her on Twitter or on Facebook.

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