Jan 22nd
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Before You Go

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Before you go!
...ideas to help make the most of your family vacation!

    Your family has chosen a great getaway (see Great Family Vacations).             
    You are now ready to:  research the history, culture, economics, language, geography, attractions, events and local happenings of your specific destination.  You’ll often find an assortment of travel books and publications at libraries and book stores.  You can surf the internet, from web sites to chat rooms; send for information from tourism offices; watch travelogs and presentations; and talk with people who have traveled to your selected vacation spot.  Being informed about where you’re traveling adds to the success of your family getaway.  Be sure to include the kids in this valuable part of your trip planning.  
    Now, armed with a better understanding of where you’re going, you can visit with a travel agent. Hopefully, your agent can give you first hand advice. If not, ask him or her to consult with someone in the business who has recently visited your destination.
     Research weather ( .com) for when you’ll be vacationing.  Purchase appropriate clothing.
    If you are traveling internationally, check with the National Passport Information Center (900-225-5674) if you need passports; also with the Department of State’s Consular (202-647-5225;; Office of Overseas Citizens Services, Rm. 4800, Dept. of State, Washington DC 20520-4818) for information and any travel warnings for the country you’re visiting.  The Center for Disease Control (www.cdc. gov; 202-512-1800 for Health Information for International Travel booklet--$20) lists the immunizations and precautions to take for that country.  If you need immunizations, consult a travel physician immediately; some immunizations have a long lead time.    
    Whether by car, train or plane--plan your route.  Booking ahead can usually give you a greater selection of schedules.  Try to arrive at your locale during the daytime.  Inquire about transportation
from airport/train station to your accommodations.  Rent a car or buy rail passes ahead of time and inquire as to the location of the car rental office.  Reserve child car seats if you’re not planning to bring your own.     
    Book ahead condominiums and /or hotel rooms depending on your family’s list of wants and needs. Reserve cribs, extra cots, and address any special requests, like late or early check-in.  Alert the hotel staff if you will need babysitting services.  Check availability of restaurants, wheth-er advance registration is needed for the kid’s clubs, and nearest grocery store for stocking the condominium.                    
    From the list of attractions, sites, and events that you’re interested in seeing and attending, find out the dates and times of showings, hours open, and if tickets need to be purchased in advance.  Try to plan each day’s activities around your children’s normal schedules like meals, naps, and bedtimes.  Keeping to these schedules usually assures a smoother trip for all.
    Travel insurance is usually advisable; this can be purchased through your travel agent.  
    Plan and book as much as possible in advance.  New places can be exciting and fun, however, the unknown can be intimidating.  Becoming familiar with the vacation locale and taking care of the logistics of the trip beforehand usually assures a relaxed vacation with plenty of family fun time together.  I’ve found that when the kids feel secure and have their family around them, travel is fun and memorable.


Where is the O'Conner family?

When the lakes freeze over, the O'Conner family are having winter fun at this unique hotel. Where is the O'Conner family?
Click here to find out.

Tips, Tricks & Tactics

Dream Vacation Ideas
Your dreams can come true...
Plan that dream vacation now!

Discover how fun it can be to plan that dream family vacation. Find a variety of ideas to help create your own dream list of fun adventures... take to the open road, hop a train, set sail, pitch a tent, stay in a resort, join a tour, learn about a new culture, and oodles more. Choose from a multitude of possibilities. Dreams are as endless as are vacation ideas. So, go ahead and Dream a little... 


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