Nancy Schretter: What worked really well for a family, your family when the kids were very small might not work so well when your kids are teens. So think about what's really important to your family and understand your children and how they tend to do things before planning your family vacation.
For instance, if you have a family with infants and toddlers, it's important for you to be able to plan something that will allow you as a couple to really enjoy yourselves as well as allowing you to able to take care of your infant toddler and have fun with them.
There are a number of resorts that really specialize in doing this type of thing. Also think about the types of travel that you are going to be doing with infants and toddlers. Sometimes flying can be really difficult. So think about whether that will work for your particular infant or toddler or whether it's better for you to drive to a beach vacation or some place instead.
Families with school age children have so many choices they can choose from for great family vacations. Just about anything works really well for families with 3 to 12 year old kids. Really focus in on what your kids are interested in and what fun things they really enjoy doing. And look for places to go that will allow you to do those types of things.
For instance, I know a lot of kids who really enjoy doing things like just being at the beach building sand castles or collecting shells. So you might want to look for places that allow the kid to do that kind of activities.
What's becoming even more important for families is resorts who have family programs. A lot of families both parents work and so they want to be able to spend time with their child together. Not so much put them in a children's program. So look for resorts that have kids programs but also family activities that the family can do together.
Cruises are also wonderful options for families with 3 to 12 years olds. Most family friendly cruise lines have kid's activities during the day and lots of fun things for kids and families to do. In addition there are a lot of great and fun short excursions that you can go on in each port of call.
Families with teens are also asking me, how can I still have a fun family vacation with my teen? Teens really need to be involved in the family planning process for their vacation. Otherwise they are going to feel left out and may adapt complaining the whole time which you really don't want.
So first of all involve your teen in the family vacation planning process. Ask them what's really important to them, what would be fun? Secondly look for places that are going to have other teens there or consider allowing your teen to bring along a friend.
There are certain resorts that really specialize in doing great things with teens. They have teen clubs, they have teen programs and they are pretty well guaranteed to have lots of teens when you are there.
Another thing that's very popular with teens is adventure types of vacations. Many teens love to be active. So take a look at in the summer, places like mountain resorts that tend to be very good budget types of vacations, with also offer lots of activates like lake white water rafting, mountain biking, hiking and other things.
Families with young adults have different things to think about. A lot of times families whose kids are either in college or out of school and working want to take family vacations together and it's important for them to think about where there kid is in their lifestyle process.
For instance kids who are working 24X7 might want to just go some place with the family and chill out on the beach break. So you might want to look at family resorts and destinations where you can go for that.
Also look at the age groups of the resorts that you are going to be going to. If the resort attracts a lot of babies and toddlers or young children sometimes that's not too popular for families with young adults.
Families with young adults often enjoy going on international vacations as well, because it's a fun way for everybody to enjoy something new together. You can do that either through a regular trip that you plan yourself via by buying air and hotel or by going on a cruise or some sort of tour that involves everybody in the process.
So that might be something that you might want to consider as well. Again it's important to have that family planning session and talk about what your young adult wants to do on the trip.
Sometimes you think the young adult really wants to go somewhere, do something all the time. When really they are really tired and all they want to do is rest and relax by the pool or at the beach.
So make sure to talk and figure out what's best for everybody.