Nancy Schretter: Most common length of a family is a week upon and that's been the case for a very long time. Up until recently families intended to take one week vacation to the beach or going to the mountains and that was their vacation for the year.
Since 2001 and the events of 9/11, families really came closer together and there was more of an emphasis on doing things with families and relatives and people said, this is what's important in my life; this is where I want to spend my time.
So consequently that one-week vacation starting growing and instead of a one-week vacation families started taking maybe one-week plus a couple of two or three -- three or four night vacations and they might go away for a long weekend get away or take a short cruise or do something like that and it was a way for people to gather and spend time together as a family or as family and friends.
A lot of times families will ask, what's the best length of a family vacation? There has been a study recently and to kids that one-week vacation is still really important. A large percentage, actually 70% of kids were saying, I really will need that one-week family vacation. That's the time I really want to get together with my family and spend time together.
Realistically though, you've got to think about what works best for you. Is that one week family vacation still a great idea or are you better off taking shorter two-night or three-night vacations throughout the year to time with kid's school, trips or different things like that.
Think about what's best for your family and figure out the vacation length that will work best for you. As you start to go through the planning process, you may find that what you really want to get out of your family vacation or the types of accommodations that you want to stay in, really aren't within your budget for a one-week long vacation.
So sometimes it's better to take that shorter vacation and spend five nights at a really great hotel or resort or destination rather than spending a whole week long at some place that really isn't going to make you happy.
It's important to remember that a lot of families are now taking their kids out of school in order to try to work make family vacations. So think about whether that's something that you would consider along as what those 18 million families do these days.
Think about whether it's important for you to be together as an entire family for your trip rather than splitting off and maybe one parent taking one child and the other person taking the other child.
Also think about whether this is something that's going to be involving relatives and what their schedules are going to be like. And in addition think about what's on and off season on a family vacation. Sometimes it's better for you to take a family vacation at a different time that might be optimal for you because your budget will allow you to do more.