Planning the vacation of a lifetime for the whole family

2013-02-08T00:00:00Z 2013-02-08T12:02:05Z Planning the vacation of a lifetime for the whole familyFamily Features nwitimes.com
February 08, 2013 12:00 am  • 

There are so many options for a great family vacation that it can be hard to decide on where to go. One thing that will help you decide on a destination is to think about your family’s vacation personality. Is your family laid back, or adventurous? Do you enjoy exploring on land or experiences at sea?

Once you know your family’s vacation personality, you can plan the vacation of a lifetime. Here are a few exciting ideas to get you started on your ultimate family getaway.

Family Cruise

Twenty-five percent of cruisers sail with children, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). And today’s ships offer a wide array of onboard features and programs for all ages — not to mention exciting ports of call along the way.

When choosing a family cruise, you want to make sure that everyone, from grandparents down to the toddlers, has something they can enjoy.

For example, Disney Cruise Lines’ cabins are designed with families in mind, with extra storage space and split bath design. There are plenty of family-centered shows and activities available, ranging from lively deck parties and Broadway-style stage spectaculars to water-based fun on deck with pools, waterslides and splash zones.

When choosing a cruise, make sure you look for ports of call and excursion options that fit your family, too. Alaskan cruises are great for families who enjoy the outdoors. You can go fishing for salmon, hiking on a glacier, take railroad and helicopter tours, and ride with sled dogs.

With most cruises, all your meals and most onboard entertainment and activities are included in your stateroom price. And with many convenient U.S. ports to sail from, such as Galveston, Texas and Miami, Fla., getting to your ship is simple.

Family Adventures

With guided adventures, you can explore and experience places and cultures you’ve only dreamed about — and you have the benefit of experts to make it enriching and easy.

When choosing a family adventure, make sure the itinerary will satisfy the energy levels and curiosity of the different age groups in your family. For example, you can explore the American West in Wyoming by whitewater rafting down the Snake River, touring Yellowstone National Park, going horseback riding, and staying on a dude ranch.

Family adventure trips mean you can enjoy an adventure without many of the hassles of pulling it off by yourself. Guided tours such as these can also provide special access to places and experiences you can’t get on your own.

Resorts

Many families love the advantages of all-inclusive resort packages. You get to enjoy a wide variety of activities without worrying about expenses you weren’t counting on.

You can find family-friendly resorts that feature variety of water sport activities, resort amenities such as spas and lounges, and sandy beaches perfect for relaxing with a good book. Tour desks often offer excursions for an additional charge. Popular excursions include swimming with dolphins, catamaran snorkel cruises or visits to local museums or galleries.

All-inclusive resorts are convenient, but before you book, make sure you know exactly what is included and what is available for an additional cost.

To find out more about taking your ultimate family vacation, and to receive a free planning DVD, visit www.disneycruise.com or www.adventuresbydisney.com.

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