Summer is all about having fun, relaxing with friends and family and spending time in nature. Summertime means the kids are out of school, its wedding season, road trips are a must and a family reunion is bound to pop up on your calendar. It can be overwhelming to think of all of the things you want and need to do during summer. One way to avoid a feeling of panic when you look at your summer to-do list is to plan ahead. When you start planning your summer vacation in April you can reduce your stress and save money on all of your travel expenses. You are also more likely to find your number one choice for lodging whether that’s a beachfront home or a mountainside condo. Read through our summer planning tips below and start planning your vacation today.
Hassle-free Summer Vacations
Drive or fly?
Depending on where you live a road trip could be a fun and affordable option for your summer travel. For example, for California residents a road trip to Lake Tahoe, Mammoth and Yosemite would be a wonderful way to explore three scenic mountain destinations during a week or two-week trip. The West is famous for wide open spaces and stunning vistas and you can see all of the wild country of the West from a car. If you book your rental car in advance you are also more likely to find 10 or 15% off discounts.
Choose your beach wisely
Not all beaches are created equally. Some beaches are great for surfing with big waves year-round — which might not be great for families with small children or beginner swimmers. For example, on the Hawaii islands the best surfing beaches are Pipeline, Waikiki, Shipwrecks Beach in Poipu, Hanalei Bay and Hookipa. If your number one goal is to see sea turtles on the beach then you should go to Laniakea Beach in Oahu or Akumal Bay on the Riviera Maya. Many beaches accommodate both surfers, swimmers and kayakers in different sections of the beach. Other beaches are great for sun bathing but might not be great for snorkeling, or vice versa. One last thing to consider is activities. If you want to rent scuba gear, kayaks or snorkeling equipment, you might want to stay at a beach that has access to a rental shop (not all beaches do).
Turn a wedding into a vacation
Your refrigerator is probably already full of “Save the Date” cards for summer weddings. It’s time to sift through the cute photos and decide which weddings you will attend and which third cousin might just get a wedding gift this year. If you decide to attend your friend’s out-of-state wedding you can turn your wedding trip into a full vacation. Try traveling from a Wednesday to a Wednesday rather than just a weekend. This way you’ll be able to take advantage of mid-week travel discounts and enjoy some down time before and after the festivities. The week can be a romantic trip for two or a family vacation. One benefit to weddings with your entire family is childcare! There’s always a cousin or friend that can help watch your children while you enjoy some adult time with your friends and family.
Plan children activities in advance
If you are traveling with young children you will want to make sure you plan their activities in advance. There is nothing worse than showing up to a hotel and finding out that the pool is closed (or even worse, they don’t have one!) and the day camp is full. Most ski resort towns have day camps for children where they can ride zip lines, go horseback riding and go hiking. You’ll want to book these type of activities in advance to ensure that your children have plenty to do while on vacation. It’s also possible to plan family activities like white water rafting and mountain biking before you travel.
Book with a Destination Expert
One of the worst things that can happen on a vacation are hidden fees. You book your rental care or home online and then when you arrive you find out there are “additional taxes” or “traveler fees” added to your bill. When you work with our Destination Experts to book your travel you can avoid those hidden fees. Not only will they help plan everything from airport pickup to childcare but you will also know about the total price of your vacation before you travel.
The VacationRoost Team
Spring is one of the best times of year to visit famously sunny Palm Springs, California. Think this desert oasis is just for golfers and retirees? Think again! We love Palm Springs with kids, because of its interesting geological features, fun activities, and great recreation.
Stay in a Palm Springs vacation home to have a pool to yourself (and avoid the weekend party crowds that flock to hotels in the region). From this home base, plan morning excursions and afternoons by the pool and in the shade.
Hike in Joshua Tree National Park:
Joshua Tree National Park is a rock climber’s dream. However, you don’t have to be an expert to have fun here (and stay safe). Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that does not involve ropes, and while the experts take it to the limit, kids can have fun scrambling on any one of the many boulders and rock formations in the park. Hike the three miles from 49 Palms to an oasis, or head to the stamp mill at Lost Horse Mine.
Spend a day at Wet ‘n Wild:
If the day turns out to be a scorcher, head to Wet ‘n Wild, where kids have their pick of slides, tubes, wave pools, and rivers to float in. Pack a lunch for the shaded picnic area, or grab burgers and other ‘theme park fare’ inside the park. Arrive early to ensure a shady spot to rest and regroup throughout the day, or reserve your own cabana.
Try the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway:
Want a whole new perspective on Palm Springs? Head up the world’s largest rotating tram car up Chino Canyon. At the top, you may even need a winter coat! Plan to eat a nice meal at the restaurant at the mountain station, or do some hiking around the peak. In season, there’s even guided nature walks hosted by California State Parks.
Take a desert jeep ride:
See the Mecca Hills, Indian Desert Canyon, or San Andreas Fault from the back of a jeep as you get a tour across the desert floor with one of several jeep tour operations in Palm Springs. Sightseeing tours also depart for Joshua Tree National Park, if you’d rather see the park with an expert along for the ride. Bring sunscreen, water, and a hat or sunglasses for any trip into the open desert.
Vacation rentals are a convenient and affordable alternative to a standard hotel room. They have a lower cost/person, more space to relax, private hot tubs and many other amenities that typical hotel rooms do not offer. You can read more about all of the advantages of vacation rentals on our website.
Reason #1: More Space
Reason #2: Full Kitchens
Reason #3: Multiple Room
The VacationRoost Team
Do me a favor, and think back to the last time you tried a new product without first reading the reviews online. For me, I almost never buy anything before at least seeing what the reviews are like on Amazon. Leaving references and reviews are a huge influence on what we purchase, as well as what we do. Whenever I am getting ready to go to a new location, I Google things to do there. If I read that something is “not worth the trip” or “overpriced”, I am thankful that I saved myself that time or money, sometimes both. Leaving HONEST references are even more important.
In July 2012, I took a month long backpacking tour of Europe. One of the stops I was taking was in Rome, to meet up with some friends who were on the summer voyage of Semester at Sea. After staying one night at a hostel, a friend and I decided to couch-surf, because we were frankly running out of money and generally prefer couch-surfing. I jumped on the emergency couch section and found a place to stay with someone who had a lot of positive references. We went to his and spent the night, and had a less than positive experience. I won’t go into details, but we got out of there as soon as possible the next morning. I left him a negative reference. After dealing with him attempting to harass me into changing it to positive and threatening to harm me, I reported him and he was banned from contacting me again. Shortly after, I received three messages from different people saying they were glad I left a negative reference and that they had similar issues. Um, what? I was very annoyed, because if THEY had said something negative, it would have spared me from having a negative experience. I was less than pleased.
I recently took a nanny job in Poland. I contacted the two previous nannies for references, and they both said they enjoyed it. Very shortly after arriving in Poland, I hated it. The family took advantage of my time, paid less than they said, and gave me more hours than agreed. I messaged one of their previous nannies again, and she told me she had hated it as well but didn’t want to be overreacting. If she had told me it was a negative experience and told me some of the things that went on, (they had done the same things to her) I would have been able to save myself a lot of money and frustrations.
If you have booked with VacationRoost in the past we would appreciate you taking the time to review the service you received through one of our Destination Experts or through our website. Click here to review VacationRoost.
My girlfriend and I had family in town from back East and wanted to show them the very best Colorado has to offer. So we planned a trip to Vail, CO. The drive up the I70 mountain corridor took about 2 hrs from Denver Int Airport. The roads were fairly dry so it was hassle free but keep in mind you do traverse over two separate mountain passes before landing in Vail Valley so all-wheel drive is highly recommended. Upon arriving in Vail, we were greeted by a lovely host, Sandy; at Sun Vail condominiums located just across the highway from Lionshead Village. The check in office was directly in front of the Sun Vail complex which made our check-in very easy and convenient. The 3bd unit was updated and spacious. It had two separate balconies with a bbq and great views of Vail Resort right across the road. We made a nice dinner in the updated kitchen and quickly went out back for some fun sledding in the deep snow. Once we were just about frozen solid, we decided it would be nice to warm up in the outdoor heated pool and hot tubs. What a nice treat to have access to after spending time outdoors in the mountains during the winter months. We were completely relaxed after our hour long soak so we decided to call it a night as we were gearing up for a long day on the slopes!
We woke up to a Ski Butlers delivery at 7am sharp. What a great service they provide! They had a snowboard gear my girlfriend’s brother in law ready to go. It took maybe 15 min to get him all set up. We crossed the highway via the footbridge and gathered the rest of our gear from our own ski locker, which is included with the Sun Vail lodging unit.
We ended up having a great day on the mountain and logged in over 17,000 vertical feet…which was provided to us by Vail Resorts and their application entitled EpicMix…which is a free service for every pass holder on the mountain.
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Group vacations can be stressful to organize. When traveling with 10 or more people, it can be overwhelming to coordinate all of the travel logistics. Fortunately, there are many ways to make your next group ski vacation hassle-free. The number one way to take the stress out of vacation planning is to talk with our local Destination Experts. It’s free to call and they can give you tips about your entire trip as well as deals on equipment rental and lift tickets. Our Destination Experts live, work and play in our destinations so they can answer any questions you might have – like which babysitting outfitter is the best and where to go for the finest local beer. For the uber planner, our Destination Experts can plan every last detail of your trip from airport pickup to activity itineraries. For groups that like to fly by the seat of their pants, our Destination Experts can simply provide advice and discounted lift tickets. To learn about other ways to smoothly plan your group ski vacation visit our travel advice page or call one of our Destination Experts today!
The VacationRoost Team
San Diego is the quintessential family vacation destination: it’s welcoming in all seasons, brimming with both kid-friendly attractions and hip, adult-friendly dining, and laid back.
Getting to San Diego is so easy, even families with small children and babies will think it’s a breeze: the San Diego International Airport is located less than five minutes from downtown, making a commute nonexistent. While in-city traffic exists, it can be avoided by carefully choosing to stay in locations with easy access to public transit and walking routes.
Rent a vacation home by the beach:
Lodging options in San Diego vary widely, from downtown hotels in the harbor area to beachside motels along the Pacific from San Diego to Carlsbad. For the best of both worlds, rent a vacation home in the Mission Bay district: you’ll be steps from the water (many rentals include boogie boards and even kayaks to use), but also within easy walking distance to restaurants and shops, as well as transit.
Use the historic trolley:
Families will see advertisements for Old Town Trolley Tours throughout San Diego. These tours are more than just a tourist offering: families can ride the trolley to attractions across the city, utilizing the hop-on, hop-off feature. Plan to spend an entire day ‘on the tour’, getting off to explore major attractions at your will. Not only will you skip the hassle of traffic and parking, but you’ll skip the longer lines for free trolleys in popular tourist areas, such as Balboa Park. The San Diego Old Town historical district is a must see, but don’t forget that the trolley ventures much farther afield.
Pick your beach based on needs:
San Diego has no shortage of kid-friendly beaches. Families with young children may opt for the protected water of Coronado Island, while adventurous families with school-aged kids and teens may prefer the wild and scenic beaches of Torrey Pines State Beach. Mission Bay offers recreational activities on the water, such as kayak rentals and stand-up paddleboarding, and Pacific Beach offers the most local vibe.
Plan a full day in Balboa Park:
In addition to the world-famous San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park is home to the Museum of Man (with a wonderful yet small children’s museum in the back) and the San Diego Museum of Art (with free student days). The botanical gardens are always free to enter, and street entertainers abound. On sunny days, Balboa Park can get busy, but museums are almost always manageable.
Take a day trip to Carlsbad:
Home to beautiful state beaches and Legoland California, Carlsbad has managed to hang onto its down-to-earth vibe despite growth. Families can easily drive to Carlsbad from San Diego for a full day of beachcombing and biking, or make it a stop-over for a Legoland vacation.