Are You Making These Vacation Planning Mistakes?

For most of us moms, the bulk of vacation planning can become our responsibility. 

You may love planning vacations, or you may find it’s stressful, but either way, one thing is certain—you want your family to enjoy the trip you plan, and you also want to enjoy it. 

There are certain vacation planning mistakes that can either lead to unnecessary stress or higher costs than you need to pay for a trip.

Are you making any of the following common mistakes when planning family vacations?

Not Taking Advantage of Package Deals

Package deals are a great option for family vacations, particularly if you’re going to visit several attractions wherever you’re visiting. For example, if you were planning a trip to Pigeon Forge and you wanted tickets to a dinner show and other family attractions, the cheapest way to get them is typically to book them as part of a larger package. 

Booking each activity or attraction separately from one another is almost always going to cost more than finding a good package.

Booking Too Early or Too Late

It’s tough to find that perfect time to book your vacation plans—is it better to be early or late?

While there can be deals on either end of the spectrum, sometimes it’s best to book some time in the middle. 

If you book something like airline tickets too far in advance, you might miss out on sales or special pricing the airline will offer when they want to book up a flight. 

If you wait too long, there may be a limited number of seats available so the airline can charge more. 

Usually around six weeks before a trip can be a good time for airline tickets because airlines are more likely to discount unsold tickets. 

There are tools that will predict the price of airline tickets too, which can be helpful. 

Not Factoring Fees Into Your Budget

Fees when traveling can add up quickly and can cost nearly as much as your entire trip when all is said and done. 

For example, if you book a resort and you get a great deal, but you pay an extra $100 a day in resort fees or other charges, it’s not such a great deal.

The same goes for airlines and in particular, budget airlines. 

Sure, you’ll get a great deal on your fare, but how much will it end up being when everything is calculated with seat selection, luggage fees, and other upcharges?

Ignoring fees can cause you to spend way more than you were planning to so go over the fine print before booking. 

Not Being Flexible

When you’re planning a trip with kids it can be tougher to be flexible with your bookings because of school schedules, but whenever possible, be flexible, and you might save money. 

For example, if you can fly on days like Tuesdays, that’s often going to be cheaper than a Friday. 

Hotels also tend to be cheaper on the weekdays, and many hotel companies and travel companies will offer deals to people traveling mid-week. 

Overbooking 

Going on a family vacation can be expensive, and you want to feel like everyone is getting the most out of it, and you’re maximizing your time. 

You might want to ensure everyone is occupied and as part of that, you could book a lot of activities when you’re in your destination.

While it’s understandable to want to make the most of a vacation, overbooking can backfire.

It can become stressful, and your entire trip might be centered around a rigid itinerary rather than relaxing and enjoying family time. 

Book a few things in advance, but give your family plenty of time between activities to savor your destination rather than worrying about what’s next. 

Not Using Apps and Rewards Programs

There are so many ways to save money on travel at this point that it’s definitely a mistake not to take advantage. 

There are apps that help you do everything from finding the cheapest gas and parking spots near you to finding last-minute hotel rooms at great prices. 

There are also many rewards programs that you may even be a part of, but you never use the special offers or the rewards you’ve accrued. 

Additionally, there are ways you can save on things like checked baggage fees depending on the different credit cards you might have.

Take your time and make pricing comparisons before booking anything. If apps or rewards programs are available, take advantage. 

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