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Tips for Planning an International Family Vacation...

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We try to vacation in a different location with our kids every year. We have our old stand-bys, our favorite places that we travel to often, but we also try to choose a new location every year. It makes planning family vacations fun, and it allows us to see more of the world.

To start you off, our friends at Thinking Nomads have put together a list of their top ten family vacations to give you some fabulous ideas for to visit around the world with kids.

Planning a family vacation can be fun, especially if you get the entire family involved. Here are some tips to help you get started.

~ Always set your budget first. It's wise to know what you can spend before you get all excited about a trip that you might not be able to afford. There are come amazing resources about traveling on a budget, some that even highlight travel destinations as low as $20 a day to explore. You can also find some really helpful and interesting podcasts on the topic of budget travel, like this one about how to afford luxury travel on a budget.

~ Talk with your kids about what they'd like to see & where they'd like to go. Kids learn about different places in school and they may have heard about places or things that they'd like to see. If you can incorporate education into your planning a family vacation, all the better!

~ Do your research before choosing a final destination, or destinations. The internet allows you to "visit" many places without every leaving the comfort of your home. Once you narrowed down your choices to a handful of destinations, find a reputable blog or influencer for itinerary ideas.

For instance, our friends at A Greek Adventure have put together a multitude of fantastic vacation itineraries in Greece, as well as for destinations all over the world, Have your kids help you narrow down to a final vacation location and make the planning a group project.

~ Think outside the box. If your family vacations always consist of a flight, hotels, and a beach, consider doing something completely different. How about a road trip? Or camping? Or a yoga & surfing retreat? You might consider renting an RV and traveling across the country. Different can be fun, especially when it comes to vacation.

~ Book all reservations far in advance. This will help you to make sure that you don't exceed your budget, and will give you peace of mind that everything is taken care of long before you leave. I always feel better when everything is ready to go and paid for before we even leave the house.

~ Consider non-vacation spots. Many people get stuck in a rut of thinking the only good places to go are the standard vacation destinations. This is absolutely not true! There are lots of great places to see that you may never think of as an ideal vacation spot.

For example, we once went to the Dakota's on vacation. It's not a real hot vacation spot, but we had a great time exploring the bad lands, visiting places that Lewis & Clark had explored, seeing where the cowboys & Indians fought, and even visiting Mt. Rushmore. Don't write off a destination just because it doesn't seem like a typical vacation spot.

We've had the most successful vacations when we've allowed our kids to get in on planning the family vacation. I think it's because they feel like they have a say in how we'll be spending our time as a family. It also helps them to understand the total cost of us taking them on vacation and they ask for less while we're traveling since they understand what it's costing us to travel.

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