Family Vacation Destinations To Visit On Your Next Getaway

For people around the world that have to deal with either a demanding work life or even just really awful weather, there is nothing they look forward to more than going on vacation. As the time gets closer to break out, you and your loved ones start putting together a list of potential family vacation destinations in the hopes that no matter where you actually go, everyone will find their own personal oasis.

The toughest part of choosing where to go on vacation with your family is narrowing it down to one location somewhere on the planet. Once you’ve gotten past the areas of the world that are either inhabitable or out of your budget, you still have whole areas of Earth to choose from. It can be a daunting task, and when you travel with family, there can be other considerations so that all parties involved in the trip are happy.

In the event that you’re looking to start your own family vacation planning, here are a few destinations to add to the mix:

Carson National Forest – Carson National Forest is one of five National Forests in New Mexico and covers over 1,000,000 acres and has its highest peak hit heights over 13,000 feet! The weather in the area allows for people to enjoy the entire year, which is great for those looking to vacation but aren’t sure if they can take time off during what would be nicer weather times of year. Visitors can enjoy great activities such as fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, and, of course, skiing and snowboarding.

Taos – One of the most interesting places in the United States, Taos has earned a reputation for being one of the greatest places to ski anywhere in the world, and that’s saying something! However, residents of Taos, as well as visitors, can tell you that there is more to see and experience than just skiing and snowboarding. You are, of course, able to explore the legendary Rocky Mountains, one of the many beautiful landscapes you will encounter. The town also boasts one of the most vibrant art scenes in the country. Taos is also an amazing place to explore for those interested in the original inhabitants of the area, the Pueblo tribes. An area as rich with culture as Taos is, it is no wonder that the area has one of the most impressive tourism statistic anywhere.

Angel Fire – If there is one thing to say about Angel Fire, it’s that there is actually something for everyone throughout the year. Given the usual reputation for Angel Fire to be more of a skiing destination, Angle Fire has made a place for itself during every season of the year. Temperate weather during both the colder and hotter times of the year, great sunshine and clear skies for stargazers, tremendous spring blooming, and an actual Autumn make for one of the nicest places to simply get away from it all. What’s nice is that while ski resorts are very much a part of life in the area, Angle Fire prides itself as being more small town than resort area, something that certainly bodes well visitors. With the Rockies surrounding the town with over 11,000 feet of mountain heights, you’ll really get a true sense of the word ‘getaway’.

Family vacation destinations should be about one thing – family. It can be really easy to get caught up in the minutiae of everyday life, and this is certainly the case when planning a getaway of any kind. It’s always important to never lose focus on spending time with each other & cherishing the little moments that make any family vacation memorable.

Five Texas Getaways To Inspire Your Summer Vacation Plans

Sure, there are some of you that will scoff at the notification of publishing a list of possible summer vacation ideas because we're essentially halfway through the summer. It is for this reason that this list will specifically focus on Texas getaways because if you're looking to get the most out of an ever-narrowing window of travel, the Lone Star State is the place to be.

Here are five Texas getaways to inspire your summer vacation plans, even if you think you do not have sufficient summer left:

Central Texas – Some of the major cities you'll find in this area of ​​the state are Austin (official state capital, and also referred to as the "Music Capital of the World"), San Antonio (home of The Alamo), and San Marcos. Whether you explore the Texas government buildings or try to visit the ridiculous number of colleges in the area, you've got plenty to see. Wanna try something fun? Try finding a t-shirt depicting some of the area's coolest mascots, which, of course, includes the Hutto Hippos.

North Texas – While the area of ​​North Texas encompasses a large portion of land and population, most everyone sees Dallas County and Tarrant County as the overwhelmingly official scope of the area. That said, emerging counties such as Collin County and Grayson County have started to make their mark due in part to tremendous gains in business & higher education facilities.

Texas Beaches – It's summer in Texas, which means it's hot. What do you do? Head for the beach. You may be surprised at the variety of places that provide a great beach environment for all ages looking to stay cool. You've got Malaquite Beach in Corpus Christi, East Beach in Galveston, and Crystal Beach on the Bolivar Peninsula as some generous options. However, if you're in the mood for the more popular beaches, check out Rockport Beach and South Padre Island. Travel experts always note that beaches tend to be most popular when the weather turns warm, so be advised about the number of other beachgoers. Regarding South Padre Island, every travel guru agreements that March is prime Spring Break season, so it may not be a prime location for a family vacation.

High School Football Stadiums – If you're a sports fan & want to see what football really means, try visiting some of the biggest and most awesome high school football stadiums anywhere. Even if you tried visiting the top 10, you'd be traversing the entire state of Texas by visiting cities such as Austin, Odessa, Frisco, and Mesquite.

Washington County – Although much more quiet than the other places on this list, Washington County is about as "True Texas" as you'll never see. Other cities in the state tend to get more credit when it comes to their historic contributions, but no other place compares to Washington County. Washington-on-the-Brazos is where the Texas Declaration of Independence was written in 1836, leading to the establishment of the Republic of Texas.

Texas getaways are something special, and while this list of possible trips focuses on the summer months, it's important to remember that anytime you make your way to the Lone Star State is a the right time.

Vacation Home Rental Tips To Consider

People almost always go straight to finding hotels when they plan their vacation. Deals and packages for vacations often include hotel rooms, which are great for these.

Just the same, plenty of hotels are less than astounding and some hotel accommodations can be downright revolting. While the cleaning staff of hotels often try to clean rooms as much as they can, they are often unable to clean each and every crevice of these rooms terribly as Oftentimes, there are already individuals waiting in line and ready to check in.

By and large, vacationers are unaware that in the United States, there are plenty of vacation homes that can be rented out. In renting a vacation home, you will be paying much less than if you were to stay at a hotel and you get to take pleasure in the advantages of staying in a house, such as having your own kitchen.

Vacation homes are kept and maintained by their owners, and are generally rented out for a certain period of time – not like hotel rooms that get many different individuals staying in them. For this reason, vacation homes are commonly maintained, cleaned and cared for better by their owners.

Just the same, in staying at a vacation home, you get to benefit from the privacy that you get, whereas with hotel rooms, noise tends to be uncontrolled and there are times where you even hear what the people in the next room are up to . Likewise, the ideal vacation is one that does not involve having to put up with things such as these inconveniences.

Be that as it may, keep in mind that there are a few things to consider, in renting a vacation home. Usually, a contract will need to be signed, in order for insurance to cover the property of the home owner. Deposits and some such matters will also need to be made, so see to it that you read the fine print on the contract prior to leaving your signature on it. If you find anything ambiguous in the document, you may also want to consult with a professional.

You may also be able to get the home owner to lower his or her asking price. Plenty of home owners are often open to this, particularly if you intend to book your vacation off-season, and so see to it that arrangements are made a month or two ahead.

The next time you go on vacation, consider a vacation home for rent and enjoy the benefits of staying in one, instead of a hotel. Who knows? You may like staying in a vacation home so much that you may never stay at a hotel again.

Planning a Vacation to Magical Minneapolis

Planning a vacation? How about an extremely lively one at Minneapolis? Now you'd ask why, right? Well, for a starter it is more often than not tops the charts when it comes to ranking the best places to live, work and enjoy life in America. The sheer excitation and exhilaration that one can soak in the city is just mind-boggling, and why not? The way the city is made and consist of, Minneapolis can easily floor a discerning tourist in a jiffy. No matter whether you are coming here for the first time or returning on your nth visit, you'll always find an omnipresent dynamic vibe and a whirlwind of energy read to rub against your shoulders. Connected by airlines both domestic and international, you can always find some cheap flight to Minneapolis or the other.

Named as one of America's smartest cities by an online magazine, 'The Daily Beast', Minneapolis certainly does live up to its title. Beautified by a hard-hitting architectural style, awe-inspiring natural landscape and a fascinating urban splendor, it is a city of surprising combinations. If you happen to be a succor for all things antiquated, Minneapolis is just the destination for you. Historical districts like South Ninth Street, St. Anthony Falls, Stevens Square, Victory Memorial Drive and Washburn Fair-Oaks offer quite an elaborate peek into the city's past. But, the same can also be done through the many magnificent museums and memorials that dot the entire Minneapolis. There's much awe and amazement to be found through its cultural avenues as well, including heritage centers and points of ethnic interest. And, when it comes to enjoying all things creative and artistic, what better than to savor them at the many galleries and exhibition centers? These places abound in unique collections of paintings and other art works from professionals and up-coming artists.

Rocking the city with all their sound and symphony, the various distinct events, festivals and shows can enjoyed through the year. Apart from all the interesting sightseeing, Minneapolis presents you with an opportunity to soak in the great intrigue that the outdoors provides. Be rest assured you will not fall short of green expanses in the city. Comprising more than 22 lakes and over 170 parks, Minneapolis is a nature lover's and an outdoor enthusiast's delight for sure. A great part of the city's excitement stems from the fact that it can be enjoyed in a least expensive fashion. You can always find great deals and offers, promotional discounts and customized vacation packages that'll have each and everything covered in a comfortable budget. Check in at a cheap hotel or stay at a youth hostel, relish local flavors at a fancy restaurant through special value-packed offers on food and drink, get entry to many prominent landmarks on a single ticket, opt for a reasonably-priced sightseeing tour and indulge in retail therapy a bit too much, courtesy the forever happening sales.

How to Plan a Caribbean Vacation in 5 Easy Steps

A vacation is something we all need or think we need at one point or another in our lives. Life may be getting stressful or you might have time away from work. Maybe you came into some money and want to get away to relax. A Caribbean vacation is the perfect thing to do with it. You will have the experience of a life time and memories that will last forever through photographs and in your mind. There are a few important steps you need to follow in order to get ready to go and everything set into place.

Get a passport. You can not travel in and out of the country without having one. You also want to make sure you have it ahead of time so that you're not stuck waiting for it to arrive and stressing whether it will or not. Some places also require a visitor's visa along with your passport so check ahead of time. This will ensure that you're not stressing out at the last minute.

Pick where in the Caribbean you want to travel to. There are a few different islands that are available to travel to and each of them has their own recreational opportunities. People who want common locations will probably hit up Jamaica while those who want some seclusion and privacy can hit up. Lucia and Antigua since they're also gorgeous places to visit.

Select the type of vacation you are planning on taking. A cruise vacation is a very popular type for people because they get to enjoy the sea while experiencing new places. Not everyone is fond of being on a boat though and in these situations it may make more sense to choose a vacation at a resort which offers all the opportunities you could hope for. Some of these vacations are all inclusive and include everything that you would probably need while traveling and give you the ultimate experience as well.

Decide the type of vacation you are going to take depending on how many people are going to be in your party. Cruises are ideal for families, singles, and couples as well since there is something for everyone to enjoy and the reserves cater to this demographic. Some resorts are also suitable for families and singles along with large groups of friends. Your family would probably enjoy spending their vacation at one of the popular resorts like the Beaches Negril Resort & Spa and the Antigua St. Louis. James' Club.

Know when your ideal vacation time is going to be. Flexible dates allow you to save money. Traveling packages are always more expensive during the winter months when people want to go enjoy the warmth. This is from December to April. The summer months of June-August will give you cheaper prices if price is an issue for you.

Be sure to have all of your clothing packed ahead of time and definitely do not forget to have your camcorder to capture those special moments.

How to Pack for a Winter Vacation

Perhaps you're looking forward to a winter vacation much like the one I've described. If it's your first time traveling in the winter, you may be wondering what you need to bring along with you. Will a heavy winter parka take up too much room in your suitcase? Where can you find a pair of comfortable boots suitable for the cold weather? If these types of questions are haunting you, fear not. Here's some winter vacation packing tips that will help you make the most of your travel adventure.

Layer Up

It's no secret that a winter vacation will be cold as cold can be. With that being said, you are going to want to pack clothing items that provide extra layers to keep your body heat from escaping when you're trekking through the snow. For example, boot socks can be a perfect way to add extra heat to your most comfortable boots. Or leggings can be worn under your jeans for an extra layer of warmth around your leggings. Consider what you have in your closet and find creative ways to use them as extra layers on your trip.

Think Compact but Cozy

No need to overpack for a winter vacation! You may have limited suitcase space, but that does not mean you can not pack cozy clothes that will keep you warm and comfortable all day long. Whether you're doing special vacation shopping, or just raiding your closet at home, make sure to look for clothing that's compact but cozy. Also, find items that go with everything so you can wear them every day you're on your trip. For example, an insulated but lightweight coat or a pair of wedge boots will go a long way in keeping your suit light and easy to carry.

Do not Forget the Essentials

If you're going to a colder climate, you'll need to pack the essentials. And by essentials, we mean the things that will help you ward off frostbite, and keep you nice and toasty for your winter vacation. Be sure not to forget your winter gloves, hat, scarf, earmuffs and a pair of warm, comfortable boots. Having these items with you is essential, and you will not want to waste time buying them while you're on your trip. Do not leave home without them, and you'll spend less time worrying about catching pneumonia and more time enjoying your winter vacation.

Pick Warm, Comfortable Boots

Despite noting this before when speaking about essentials, the need for warm, comfortable boots is definitely something worth repeating. You will not want to get cold feet on your trip, and keeping your dogs nice and toasty is how you keep frostbite at bay. There are a variety of different winter boots on the market today, and it can be very easy to get wrapped up in all your choices. If you plan to do a lot of walking, you'll want to make sure you're looking for a pair of comfortable boots. If you're looking for a little bit of heel, we recommend going with wedge boots – they're a great way to give you an extra bit of height and style without sacrificing your comfort.

We hope you enjoy your fun-filled winter vacation! Follow these tips and you'll be all set for a great time. Make sure to take lots of pictures!

Staycation – The Next Best Thing To Vacation

What made me think about a Staycation is the cost of fuel. Prices are getting so high that many have to stay home. I love having a vacation at home, but sadly, this summer is already getting crazy busy with plans and travel. I have company through out the summer, a trip up north (to the Northwest Territories) to see family and friends, a trip down south for a family reunion, camping, and then my sister is coming home from Kenya Africa for a visit – so I will be spending as much time with her as I can. When it gets this busy, I honestly shake my head as to why I bothered planting a garden or flowers …. I will not get to enjoy them. Oh well.

Back on to Staycation. If you are planning on enjoying a lovely summer at home, there is one problem I encountered … and that is to "walk away from work!" It is a hard thing to do, but that is what I wanted to remind you to do, I give you permission to leave your laundry, your dishes in the sink, your floors unwashed on those gorgeous hot days when you should be outside enjoying them . If you do not – the next thing you know summer will be over and all you did was your normal routine. You will not have enjoyed any "recreation," you will be lacking sufficient rest and rejuvenation. After all, the root word of recreation is "recreate" or to make new again.

Make A List

The first thing I suggest is to start a list of the activities you would like to do this summer. Much like goals, if you do not write them down, they are really just a wish list, and you have nothing concrete to plan or work towards. You do not want this to be another summer of regrets. Get your family to write down the activities they would like to enjoy too.

Make A Tentative Schedule

I do not like to have a schedule when I am on vacation. As a matter of fact, the reason we loved one Resort in Mexico so much was we did not have to make dinner reservations. The last trip there they kept calling us to find out where and when we wanted to dine. I was really annoyed. I soon changed my attitude when they forgot to phone me for my reservation one night. We went to dinner and had to wait in line for 1 1/2 hours to eat. They did not phone me after that …. I was phoning them.

So I am not suggesting you make a schedule, but what I want you to do is start penciling an activity each week on your calendar for two reasons:

So you actually plan on doing it

To make sure your list is realistically possible. You may realize it is not possible to do everything on your list, so you may need to pare it down. We get great plans in our head – but when you put them on paper, it becomes obvious that there is only so much time in a day or week.

Rainy Day Activities

Do you have some ideas or plans for those rainy days? I remember when I was young and I went to visit my big sister. She organized a treasure hunt for us, and at the end of the hunt she had hidden a game – I think it was Spirograph. It was so exciting to solve the riddle to find the next clue, it kept us busy for a couple of hours. We got to play with a new game on which I created hundreds of pretty pictures for the rest of the summer.

If you have never made a Treasure Hunt before, I quickly made one and have posted it on my website along with this article if you would like to download it. My website is noted at the bottom.

Another wonderful memory was camping in doors. Our family were not campers, that is something I learned after I married Ken. One cold rainy weekend mom turned the kitchen chairs upside down and drug out all her bedding. She turned the upturned chairs into tents, made up beds underneath, thread us comics, Barbie dolls and snacks, and we were camping for the weekend. We stayed in our pj's the whole weekend, and when we got tired of reading, we would watch TV. But I am now amazed at how she did not care that her living room was a total disaster for that whole weekend. Hmmm, but when I stop to think about it – we were out of her hair for the whole weekend …… WISE WOMAN!

Here are some great ideas you may want to include on your Staycation List:

  • Treasure Hunt
  • aint rocks in your backyard, and enjoy them in your garden
  • Learn to Sew
  • Learn to Cook
  • Learn to Knit
  • Read a fun book
  • Plan a picnic
  • Plan a hike to some nearby falls or park
  • Go berry picking
  • Make play dough together in lots of colors
  • Homemade Sidewalk Chalk and enjoy driveway graffiti and Hopscotch
  • Introduce your kids to classic movies like Anne Of Green Gables
  • Make Bubbles for Blowing
  • Make frozen popsicles
  • Spend a day at the pool – and order in pizza for lunch
  • Spend a day going to all the garage-sales
  • Spend a day at your local or State Fair
  • Plan a Mexican Party with a Pinata

Embrace your summer whether you are traveling or staying at home. It goes by fast!

Secrets Revealed – How to Save Money on Your Disney World Vacation

Now that you've finally decided to take the family to Disney World on vacation you've probably just begun to realize that the costs really do add up if you're not careful. You have to get there, stay there, eat there, buy park tickets and souvenirs. All well and good if money were no object, but do not despair, here are five ways you can make your Disney vacation more affordable.

1. When is the best time to visit Disney World?

As with most vacation destinations the time of year you visit can have an affect on the price too. While ahemepark ticket will cost you the same whatever time of year you travel, the hotels are definitely cheaper during the off-peak season. The great news is that the crowds are lower at this time too so you'll be able to experience even more in the time you have available.

The first week in January is generally the least busy time of year. Early November and early December are also good times to travel for low crowds and low prices.

2. How can you stay in a Deluxe Resort without the price tag?

Have you heard Disney's best kept secret? It's called the Disney Vacation Club or DVC and is essentially a timeshare program. And here's the other best kept secret, you do not even have to be an owner to take advantage of the deluxe accommodations on offer because many owners will be willing to rent their points to you on the years that they can not travel.

3. Do you really need to rent that car?

If you are staying in a Disney hotel then you can save money by not renting a car. Disney has transportation in the form of busses, boats and a monorail to help you travel between your hotel and the theme parks. You do not even need to worry about how to get your family from the airport to the Resort as Disney's free Magical Express coach service will deliver you and your luggage, and then take you back again in time for your return flight.

4. How do you save money on park tickets?

The biggest mistake that most guests make is that they spend too much money on their park tickets. There are a couple of things that you need to know before you buy your tickets to save those all important dollars. For starters, do not wait until you arrive at the park gates to buy your tickets, you can save money by buying them in advance from an authorized ticket seller. Secondly, the Disney park tickets are like a pick and mix, so make sure you only buy the parts of the ticket that you will actually use.

5. How can you experience all restaurants without breaking the bank?

If you and your family love to eat then Disney has just the thing for you in the form of the Disney Dining Plan. This scheme allows you to pay for your food and drink in advance so that for a fixed price each day you can dine at one of the 100 restaurants across the resort, including those at theemeparks and hotels.

Napa Valley Vacation – Relax at a Spa

Napa Valley has long been a destination place, with many high-end wineries producing some of the best wine in the world. Visiting Wineries for free tastings used to be the primary goal of any Napa vacation. Now most wineries charge for tastings, and people are finding other things to do when they visit the valley.

There is no shortage in places to eat for dinner. Restaurants in Napa have exploded, and so has the quality. With a wide range of cuisines, executive chefs prepare the most exquisite meals. Of course, the restaurant can recommend an excellent wine to pair with your food, or you can bring a bottle from your days outing.

But what else is there to do?
How about relaxing at a spa. Weather getting a massage among the hills and vineyards, or getting a facial, manicure, pedicure, you name it, Napa spa resorts will certainly make you the most relaxed you've been in decades.

There's nothing new about going to Napa spas, when visiting Napa. Calistoga has been a popular destination for mud baths, with its volcanic ash mud, and mineral water, a mud bath is a true Napa experience. Now there are more options in the downtown area. New spa resorts have opened up within the last few years, and they are all trying to achieve the most relaxed, romantic and upscale experience you have ever had.

Make sure you learn about all the Napa spa resorts available before you book your trip, so that you can make the best choice for you.

The Rise of Staycations in the Wake of High Fuel Costs

In the past, loading up the entire family for a road trip for a vacation was a much anticipated annual ritual. With the astronomical prices of gas, many people are forgoing the trend of taking an annual vacation, and opting for a “staycation” instead. As the name suggests, staycations are vacations that are close to home and don’t require extensive travel. According to the Automobile Association of America rising fuel costs have encouraged travelers to stay off the road and enjoy their family vacations close to home. This trend has peaked in the wake of high fuel costs and the struggling economy and shows no signs of stopping.

High gas prices may prove a boost for staycations, even when gas prices eventually return to normal. Many families are discovering attractions and events close to home and becoming tourists in their own home cities. Some popular staycation activities include visits to local theme parks or water parks, local festivals or museums. Many families simulate camping trips by pitching tents in their own backyards. Staycations saw a rise in popularity shortly after the economic collapse of 2007, when families started tightening the belt and cutting luxuries out of the family budget. Traveling close to home has become the new “in-thing” amongst families looking to cut costs without cutting the fun.

Staycations prove an affordable solution to costly road travel. A family of four can save thousands of dollars in travel expenses such as airfare, hotel rooms, dining out and activities. No longer will they pay a premium for high season travel or feel the bite when they stop to fill up on their long road trips. Many local businesses are getting in on the act, catering to the needs of the budget minded family that enjoys a staycation. Retailers stock up on pool accessories, barbecue grills and camping supplies in anticipation of the staycation season.

Families must take care to treat their staycation just as they would a traditional “away-from-home” vacation. Many people who stay close to home on vacation find themselves checking email, returning phone calls, going in to the office and catching up on household chores during their staycations. Setting clear cut boundaries and formulating a schedule ahead of time eliminates the temptation to engage in work while on staycation.

With the increase in popularity of the staycation, many retailers see cash-strapped travelers as a goldmine. Some resorts, theme parks and amusement activities have started charging higher prices to capitalize on the increased numbers of families enjoying their staycations close to home. To avoid being overcharged, staycationers have to create and stick to a budget, just as they would on a traditional vacation.

High gas prices may prove a boost for staycations indefinitely. Just as high gas prices encouraged drivers to buy smaller cars, drive less, take public transportation and carpool, many will see staycations as a permanent ritual. The annual vacation has taken on a new face, and families are enjoying the benefits of time together without breaking the bank.