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Family Vacations/Cruises

Dear Friends:

Are you experiencing frustration in your effort to plan a vacation this summer? Peak travel times such as summertime are heavily booked up 3 or 4 months in advance. Family-sized suites, cruise cabins for more than two people are harder or impossible to find the later you book.

There is a myth that there are last minute specials all the time. However, there are limited accommodations, perhaps the room type is sold out, there are not enough seats on preferred flights, or the ship has closed reservations for over two in a cabin.

What are your options? Well a cruise is probably more abundant than anything else, especially if you can take two cabins for your family and they do not have to connect. Seven day cruises from Miami or Fort Lauderdale are your best bet.

Universal Studio or Disney World may be available.  If your preferred rooms are not available, there are great places offfsite that are usually available with free shuttles (about a 10 minute ride) to the resorts. Some even include breakfast.

One family had never stayed anywhere at Disney World except the upscale Grand Floridian. Unfortunately they booked late for Spring break and nothing on site was available. They went to an off site property 2 miles away. When they returned they said it was great. For about a third of the rate they had more room, a refrigerator and microwave, and VIP service. The only thing not included was the meals at the park. Also, when you stay off site and have passes included, any unused portion may not expire and can be used at another time. If you can find rooms on site, you can get a dream maker that includes either 2 or 3 meals per day, or other park services, or merchandise (limited to certain items). We did get the dream maker when we went in April and found the dining options and menus exceptional.

Late booking to Mexico may be a good choice on scheduled air rather than charters, especially on midweek flights. Canada is also a good choice. It is one of my favorite countries to visit for its beauty, interesting cities and abundant recreation. Where else can you find elk grazing next to your hotel entrance? Of course, it is not for cold months.

If you are traveling with other families or with friends, you may have to choose different flights and room accommodations depending on availability.

Good luck with your summer plans. Book those school breaks in the Fall and holiday weeks early (6 months - 9 months). That will insure the best choices and price.

Many Happy Returns
Marci Zied,

A Love of Travel

Family Vacation & Cruise Photos