Those standard New Year's resolutions to lose weight and get in
shape are good for you but not much fun to keep. So why not make a
resolution that is good for your whole family and fun to boot?
That's what you get when you resolve to travel more. Getting
away from the daily grind gives you a chance to focus on family,
connect with kids and recharge your battery.
So here are a couple of ways to help you realize that resolution
1. Start saving now.
Travel, especially travel with a couple of kids in tow, can be
expensive. So it's important to plan a
family vacation on a budget. Start saving today--$10, $25, $100
per week, whatever your family budget can afford. Then you can
figure out when you want to travel and you'll know exactly how much
money you can spend on the trip.
2. Do your research.
Yes, you should cruise the Internet to figure out whether you
would rather head to Plymouth Rock or Puerto Rico. But the World
Wide Web can do so much more. It's chock full of travel deal sites.
Once you find one (or more) you like, sign up for regular e-blast
newsletters so you'll always know when there are
too-good-to-pass-up deals for the vacation you covet.
3. Practice packing lighter.
The vast majority of travelers take way too much of home with
them when they hit the road. If you're flying any airline other
than Southwest or JetBlue, every one of those big suitcases will
cost you--checking four bags on a one-stop round-trip flight could
add $400 unnecessarily to the cost of your vacation.
Even if you drive, someone has to unpack and repack all of those
suitcases every time you stop to check into a hotel.
So save your money and your back by packing lighter. Limit every
family member to one carry-on, roll-aboard bag. (Even a
kindergartner can pull a small rolling suitcase.)
Think you could never travel with just a carry-on? Then practice
ahead of time. Figure out what you would take on the family
vacation, then practice packing it all into the carry-ons. Rolling
clothes tightly is the best way to pack more and ensure the clothes
arrive wrinkle-free. Plan a coordinated wardrobe of items that do
double-duty. Use scarves and accessories to change the look.
Once you have chosen the interchangeable wardrobe and perfected
the packing, actually live out of that suitcase for the same period
of time you'll be traveling (i.e., if you're planning a one-week
vacation, do it for seven days). You can test your packing prowess
well within your comfort zone: At home, where you can add or
subtract clothes as needed.
Cindy Richards is the mom of two who gets her muse from traveling the world, usually with kids in tow. She also writes for TravelingMom.com, where she also serves as editor.
See more of Cindy's stories here.
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