There’s a common theme among my friends going into 2016 – either they’re not making resolutions at all (having learned how well most stick) or they’re making a general resolution focused on attitude rather than a specific event. For example, I’m seeing more friends saying they want to travel more, spend more time with family, get back to nature, rather than, say, lose 10 pounds.
Travel is expensive. It costs more money to leave your front door than it does to stay in your house, it’s true. But it doesn’t have to be a budget-breaking endeavour that leaves you stressed and in need of a vacation from your vacation upon your return. Travel can and should be fun and hassle free. As a Marriott Residence Inn Blogger, I’ve learned a few tips on my own and through this brand.
Here are a few ways to travel with the family hassle free in 2016:
1. Get the Family Involved
While the kids may scream “Disney World!” the minute you ask where you should vacation, giving the kids a say in what you do can help alleviate issues down the road. When kids have a say in what their vacation involves, it helps them take responsibility and feel like their voice is valued. If Disney World isn’t in the budget this year, suggest ways the family can save for it down the road, while focusing on something closer to home that appeals to them too. Having a vacation goal (like Disney for example) also keeps the kids in check throughout the year, I know this from experience!
2. Research Before You Go
It seems like a no-brainer, but there’s a method to researching to help you find the best deals on your vacation. I like to use the airport code on Twitter as a hashtag (#YQR for Regina, for example) or the city as a hashtag (#Regina) in a search to see what others are talking about. Local restaurants and family venues will often advertise promotions this way. You can always email a planned venue or restaurant and ask if they have specific family nights or deals for families ahead of your visit.
3. Pick the Right Accommodations
As a family of 5 we have learned that it’s worth the extra cost to book a suite for extra space instead of being piled on top of one another in a hotel room that “sleeps max 5” which really means 2 people would enjoy it comfortably. Staying at a Residence Inn by Marriott is a perfect way to ensure a top-quality stay with ample room for everyone to relax, because it’s almost like being at home, but smaller! Featuring a separate kitchen, living room and bedrooms, you’ll be able to truly relax on your vacation (and yes, maybe sneak in some work too if you need to, I get you, I do!)
With 22 Residence Inn by Marriott locations right here in Canada (and hundreds more in the US and across the Globe), it’s easy to find a location.
4. It’s All About the Points
I’m a huge fan of rewards and loyalty programs from my favorite stores, brands and even credit card rewards (ensuring that you pay your credit card debt monthly). My RBC Avion Visa gives me points for travel on every purchase I make, and we therefore put most everything on it monthly to scoop up as many rewards as we can! Staying at a property like Residence Inn by Marriott and enrolling in Marriott Rewards means you earn points for your stay, to use on future stays and more.
5. Leave the Souvenirs in the Store
With iPhones in our hands, we’re able to take more photos than ever to capture memories from vacation. When stopping by the local souvenire shops, really ask yourself if you’re going to wear that t-shirt 6 months from now, or if your child really needs that plastic toy with the resort name on it. If you can resist souvenires you have more money for family adventures down the road.
Happy travels to you, wherever you go, in 2016!