# Expert Family Vacation Planning

There are some basic certainties in life, even now as we as a nation languish in demanding personal economic challenges. The children will be home for the summer, the desire to spend quality time together as a family, and finding something…anything…that will occupy the interest of the offspring. These truths are the given rites of summer, and exists regardless of our ability to easily address them.

It is also a fact that our ability to provide easy solutions to these issues has been a bit compromised by economic belt tightening, job loss and financial pressure beyond the norm. The standard vacation ideas of the recent past may no longer be in play, and yet the need remains. This can be an awfully difficult pressure to deal with, the need to provide a sense of normalcy and stability to your family. The added pressure of insulating the children from the ‘grown-up world’ and the problems living there can sometimes present. The good news, and there is good news to be sure, is that there are solutions. Remember first that your families love and admiration for you as a parent or guardian is NOT dependent on glitz and glamor. It is dependent only on your attention and inclusion. By following the steps outlined below, you will have a basis of information and structure to quickly move forward on your vacation plans.

• Asses the time available to you.
• What is the maximum number of days, in a perfect world, that you can devote to the vacation?
• What are the minimum number of days that you consider adequate to spend on the vacation?
• On two separate   columns , A and B, record these numbers.

• How many people will be traveling?
• Record the number of people in each  column , below your previous entry.
• What is the total, maximum,amount of money that you will spend?

• Record the total funds available in each  column  below your previous entry.
• Get out the Calculator and do some EASY computations.
• Multiply the dollar amount available by .25. ..this is the amount of money to be spent on travel costs.
• Subtract that number from your total dollar amount available, rounding the number to the higher dollar amount. This is your new total cash number to work with.
• What accommodations will you require?
• Camping? Multiply your total cash number by .15. This is the budgeted amount to be spent on lodging fees if you decide to CAMP.
• Hotel? For an average hotel, decide on the number of rooms needed. Multiply your total cash number by .30 for an average Hotel, and then divide that number by the number of rooms necessary. For a destination type hotel or resort, multiply your total cash number by .55 and again, divide that number by the number of rooms necessary.
• All Inclusive Resort? These vacations provide all meals, a great many built in activity options (some with an up charge), and personal service. Many also provide childcare and children oriented activities as well.Multiply your total cash number by .70. This is the total amount of money available for your all inclusive experience. Finding the per person cost is not necessary, as there will be separate rates for children and adults as well as seniors. Simply view the Resort Provider on the Web for specifics. We recommend (and are not being compensated for these recommendations) Club Med, Disney, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Starfish resorts.
• Divide the total amount you are now willing to spend by the number of people that are traveling.
ex. 2 parents, three children..so 5 people. I will spend \$100. …\$100 divided by 5. The result is \$20. You are budgeted to spend \$20 per person.

• Divide the amount of spending per person by the number of days, first in  column  A, then repeat the step for  column  B.
ex. \$20(per person) divided by 2 days( column  a)=the cost for each person per day.

• Now you have real figures to deal with. Use them

Having now arrived upon your financial platform, you are now able to make some solid decisions.You now have the following information to work with:

• Total Budget in Dollars for my Trip=
• Total Travel Dollars I can Spend=
• If I camp, the dollars I can spend on a campsite=
• If I stay at an average limited service hotel, I can spend this amount on each room=
• If I stay at a full service, resort hotel I can spend this amount on each room=
• If I stay at an all inclusive resort I can spend this amount=
• After I spend money on travel and accommodations, I can spend this amount per person daily=