It is that time of the year again…the kids will be out of school for the summer, and we get to have fun! We get to visit the fun places in our local area, such as museums, fun centers and pool. Plan a summer picnic with family and friends. Play outside all day and watch movies till their eyes droop. Sure, there are lots of things to do every day, but I also love going on a big family vacation too.
I don’t know about you, but it’s not like we can afford a costly family vacation every year. That is why when we have the opportunity to do so, it is such a big deal for us. To make sure that we get the maximum fun for our modest budget, I get busy researching and planning for our trip. What do I do and where to start? There are a few key points I think about when I am planning for our trip. 1. Where do we want to go? 2. What is our budget? 3. How do we get there? 4. Where do we to stay? 5. What kinds of activities are there? Are they going to satisfy everyone? What kind of restaurants are nearby? Of course your list might contain something different from mine, or the order might be different, but for our family vacation planning, those are the things that come to mind. Let me share some examples how I planned our family vacation according to my list…The last couple big vacations we took was to Lego Land and Sea World one year, and Disneyland another year.
Because we wanted to take our children to those places for a long time, the answer to the question No.1 was easy. The No. 2 question on the list… budget… Mr. TRH and I already had a budget, but we decided to add a bit extra just in case (which turned out to be a good thing… on one of our trips, our van broke down after we got to our hotel, we needed repairs and that cost us over $300!). No.3 on the list “how to get there?” took me a very long time, here is why. Because we drove instead of flying, I looked at the actual map and got on Google maps. I not only looked at the route from our home to the destination, after I decided on questions No.4 and 5, I went back and marked all the places we wanted to go. Then, printed out all the directions on how to get from point A to B, B to C, then C to A and such; then I put everything in a binder. You might think that this is unnecessary, but I am glad I did. Our navigator system wasn’t working, and we weren’t familiar with that area at all! That planning totally helped us and we never had problems finding places.
The next thing on the list was where we are going to stay. I started looking for all the nearby hotels. Comparing their prices, location, and all the amenities are very important. Also, some hotels have special offers such as combining hotel stay and Lego land/Disney Land park tickets. I spent a long time looking for great deals and it was totally worth it! No. 6 on the list is amenities, activities and restaurants. Since our vacations have been pretty economical ones, our family is pretty easy to please. Here are the few things I look for… a pool at the hotel is a “must”, being able to watch movies in our room, having a small refrigerator, and a microwave would be nice. I also look for other activities to do, and finding interesting restaurants is one of the exciting parts for our family. Phew… I feel like planning for the family vacation is a lot of effort and time. Don’t you agree? That is why one of my dream family vacations is to go on a cruise!
Have you checked out Norwegian Cruise Line lately? I have been doing some reading on their site and found out many awesome things about them! They offer Freestyle Cruising, there are so many activities and entertainment for people of all age groups, and the youth program seems very interesting. I have children ages 7 to 12 years old, and a 5 year difference at this age is pretty big. If we were taking our family on a cruise, I would want to make sure that we will all have fun. On their kids and youth program, there are many things that caught my eye. I know my kids will surely enjoy something like CIRQUE DU JOUR (a circus program) and many of their sporting activities. There are of course overall family-friendly ship features to enjoy too. After all, we go on a family vacation to enjoy each other and make lots of fun memories. Head over to Norwegian’s site and find out more about their family vacation options.
Now, Norwegian and BlogHer are doing a sweepstakes for one grand prize - a cruise voucher for a family of 4!! This is one prize for all the blogs in the program---not a family cruise for each blog. “What is your dream vacation for your family?” Answer in the comments section below for a chance to win!
Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. The Official Rules are available here.
Entries from all participating blogs will be pooled for winner selection; only two entries per household. This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. This sweepstakes will run from 5/7/2013 to 6/2/2013. Be sure to visit Norwegian Cruise Line's brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!
Good luck everyone!