Planning Summer Vacation

Summer.  The elusive months of the year that we look forward to time off from school, from work, vacationing, sitting by the pool or at the beach all while dreading the inevitable struggle to prepare for the beach ready body.  Or is that just me?  UGH.  

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One thing about summer is that it has been 10 years since I've had a summer "break" from school so I don't factor it in too much when I plan my vacations.  I have had to consider school schedules for children in the past and it truly makes a difference in planning ANYTHING.  Of course, you want to optimize their summer vacations but travel expenses rise during the summer plus just about anything you think you want to do will be majorly crowded.  Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do about that (or spring break trips) when you do have school aged children.

For now, the hubs and I are free to plan and ironically we just booked multiple trips this past week for the balance of the year!  We love to travel, near or far.  You don't have to ask me twice.  I would pack a bag on a whim if needed.  My make up and passport is truly all I need, though the rest of the items in my large suitcase do help. =)

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So when we plan for a summer-time vacation we tend to consider the following:

1. Will it be crowded (generally and with families)?  If we're seeking something more laid back and relaxed, we'd likely choose something more quiet.  Plus, if it's a destination that is not heavily booked for family summer vacations, then it will likely cost less AND I always look for places we can potentially utilize low cost flights using award miles.

2.  What will the weather be like?  We suffer through Houston's heat and humidity each summer so we tend to not rush off to a tropical vacation during the summer months.  Would I turn down a beach trip?  Absolutely not.  But, if I had to choose how to plan an escape from the 90-110 degree weather it would be to cooler climates and save the tropical trips for our cooler months.

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3.  Do we want to explore somewhere within the US or another country?  What does it cost to just get there and what is the travel time?  If it's a weekend to four day type of trip, it doesn't necessarily make sense to spend a majority of that time in an airplane or at the airport nor to spend a lot on the flight.

4.  What types of activities do you want to do?  Wine tasting?  Theme parks?  Outdoors?  Indoors?  This helps us consider which location is most appropriate and also to consider those costs.  It's hard for me to stomach a really expensive yet short trip.

5.  Can the trip be tied in to anything else you need or want to do like visit a friend or family member?  Attend a wedding?  Attend a family reunion or work meeting?  If you need to go to something already, why not pack up the family and go?  Consider what is nearby in the city or a neighboring city you can drive to after the event and make it a fruitful trip!

What things do you consider when you plan a summer vacation?  Any tips or tricks to share?

I'm linking up with Shay and Erika to share my monthly "How we...plan a summer vacation".

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Wishing everyone a wonderful Wednesday and rest of the week!  We're heading out of town to cooler weather. ;)  

See you all back here on Monday.