Nancy Schretter: In looking at your family vacation you have a number of choices in terms of accommodations and lodging, and there are different things to consider for each one.
Many families look at hotels and resorts as a place to stay. When looking at a hotel, try to think about how much space you're going to need and what your family is going to be wanting to do there, and also how you might be able to save money at this hotel.
For instance, think about all suite hotels that offer kitchen facilities as well as more space to spread out. Often times there's a bedroom as well as a pull out sleep sofa in the living room and a big screen TV and in kitchen so that you can cook some of your meals and save money there, while you are staying there.
Some of them also offer hors d'uvre or continental breakfast or all inclusive in the morning, saving you more money as well. When you're looking at a hotel think about how close you want to be to what you are doing and what transportation options that are going to be available to you as well.
Look at cutting out some of the cost of transportation going from one place to another. But weighing that against what the cost of the hotel is in being close to those destinations. Sometimes it's best to stay, a few blocks away and save $20 or $30 on your hotel accommodations.
All inclusive are very popular with families, because it allows them to budget everything all at one time. They know exactly how much the trip is going to cost and they can pay for it either up front or over a period of time.
All-inclusive are found throughout the United States, don't just think they are in Mexico and Canada. So if all-inclusive are important to you, remember you have a lot of options to choose from.
Vacation home rentals are growing in popularity because of the low nightly cost that they offer with also the opportunity to cut down on money spent on meals and allow families to spread out.
This is great for families who want to spread their cost over two families by sharing a vacation home at the beach or in the mountains. And also, for families with teens which allow teens to may be have their own room or have some of their own independence and space to spread out and have time on their own.
When people think of bed and breakfast they often think ooh, thin walls, not great beds not sure I want to stay there. So not true and so not true anymore. There are so many bed and breakfasts that are family friend and really cater the families and many of them are located at wonderful destinations across the country. So when you are thinking about your possible accommodations, look at bed and breakfasts as well.
Another thing to think about but a bit long term is a home exchange. This is a great way for you to get your accommodations for free. If you're thinking about going let's say, to Europe and you live in a popular US area. Say, you live in the Washington DC area, you may be able to exchange your home with someone who lives in Italy and that person comes and stays in your home and you stay there.
There are a number of these home exchange networks that are available on the web, and you might want to take a look at those as well. Other popular options include camping, hugely popular with families and RVing which is also wonderful and there are wonderful camp sites located throughout the country.
Many of these have family friendly options including swimming pools and other family friendly activities for our families to enjoy.