Plan Your Trip
It’s time to plan your next adventure! Here are a collection of favorite articles and websites that I use to plan our family travels:
The best travel deals come to those with flexibility. Unfortunately, managing the schedule of multiple family members make this most challenging. Step one is to determine the specific dates or date range for your trip. Or in reverse, if you have a destination in mind, this is the step for researching the best time to visit (or how far into the off season you are willing to travel to save $$).
http://www.besttimetogo.com/ This sites gives a quick overview of temperature and rainfall.
https://championtraveler.com/best-time-to-travel/ A limited number of countries are listed, but the data is extensive regarding when to visit.
https://travel-made-simple.com/how-to-make-a-travel-budget/ Good article about all of the categories you need to include in your travel budget.
https://foodfuntravel.com/travel-budget-planner-calculator-free/ Loads of budget related tips.
Trying to get the flight times or flight “deals” you desire can be daunting.
Like with hotels, I recommend using a preferred airline for maximizing points and travel hacking efforts, but when you’re open to a deal booked with a 3rd party and sometimes the airline directly, Momondo is a great site/app.
Accommodations choice is quite individual and personal. Taking into account the average cost of different types of accomodations, your budget, the size of your party, etc make it unique to each traveler.
https://businessblog.trivago.com/trivago-hotel-price-index/ This grid shows you the average booking price for dozens of larger cities.
I’m a believer in choosing your favorite brand and accruing points/rewards, etc with them. We typically stay at Hyatt when traveling in the United States. We like Hotwire for a last minute pinch or when we are feeling flexible.
When you are a family of more than 4, you may find renting an apartment is more efficient (or even the only way to not rent 2 rooms, depending on the cultural expectation). We have used both VRBO and AirBnB extensively. Just be cautious when using these sites that you do a quick search about the laws where you are traveling as they may be required to have a permit in order to rent.
Depending on your destination, this may be an easy (hello, beach vacay) or extensive part of your planning and budget. The following are some of my favorite ways to research activities:
Viator I have used Viator to book directly, but I most often use it to price compare different types of activities.
In the US, I often use the local Visitors’ Bureau to find new and different activities and places.
Eater If food is your thing and you want to understand the current food scene, Eater will show you what is hot.