Top Family and Kids Free Vacations

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Best Kids Free

Costa Rica (for the action seekers)
– Playground for adults (between fishing, snorkeling, surfing & more.)
– Incredible tropical scenery, only a short distance away.

Napa Valley (for the romantics)
– Also known as the “wine country” boasts great food and some of the world’s best wines.
– Romantic, gorgeous setting.

Naples, Florida (for the relaxers)
– Quiet, removed yet elegant – little beach town of West Coast Florida.
– Beautiful sunsets, sandy beaches & Florida charm.

Best Family

San Diego
– San Diego offers 70 miles of sandy fun in outdoor sports.
– Great for kids are the San Diego Zoo or SeaWorld or museums of Balboa Park.

Washington DC
– The key to D.C.’s family appeal is the National Mall, which is surrounded by free, kid-friendly museums and renowned monuments.
– Families can visit The National Zoo (which also offers free entry) or snag a treat at one of Georgetown’s cupcake shops.

Myrtle Beach
– In terms of accessibility and cost, Myrtle Beach offers an excellent family getaway.
– Ripley’s Aquarium and Mount Atlantis Miniature Golf are welcome distractions from the shoreline.

Travel Trends for 2016

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Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 5.29.39 PM*MORE HOTELS WILL OFFER FLEXIBLE OR NO CHECK OUT TIMES
Acc to NYT, hotel groups like Peninsula, Patina & Yotel experimenting
w/flexible checkout policies to allow guests more wiggle room in their travel itinerarieS

*FLIGHTS WILL BE CHEAPER
Acc to data from Hopper travel, the average price for a ticket in Jan will be at a 3-yr low.
But flyers should be cautious of super cheap rates– airlines will likely begin tacking on new fees

*ECONOMY CLASS WILL GET MORE CROWDED
So-called slimline seats are already being installed on new Southwest planes– and
it won’t be long before United, American, and others start retrofitting aircraft with skinnier seats.

*NATIONAL PARKS PARTIES WILL BE A THING
National Park Service turns 100 in 2016 and to celebrate, various centennial events
will be held at parks throughout the country

*MORE PEOPLE WILL TURN TO AIRBNB AS HOTEL PRICES RISE.
Global Business Travel Association predicting room rates will rise
4.7 percent in the U.S.and 2.5 percent around the world

How to be the Perfect Passenger

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When to Power Down:
— When is cell use ok? To entertain or direct others in the car.
— When is it not ok? For lengthy personal calls, unless it’s urgent; in which case, politely ask the other passengers or driver if they would mind.
— Volume check? If someone is being too loud, say you have a headache.

Traveling with Children:
— Confronting seat kickers? If you’re in a car, suggest the child could be restless and perhaps stopping for a walk or to get a snack could be the answer. If you’re on plane, politely confront the parent saying you need rest, to continue your journey.
— Surviving a crying/ rowdy child? If you’re traveling by car, suggest a game or audiobook for the child. If you are on a plane, feel free to speak with the flight attendant and ask her to politely speak with the parent.
— What if that child is yours and you’re being berated by other passengers over it? It’s your responsibility to discipline your child; request to pull over if you need to do this privately.

That awkward moment when a Passenger is:
– Hitting on you? Ok so you cant escape like you can at a bar, but if they are persistent, feel free to kick em’ to the curb (not literally)
— Boozing? When your license is at risk, you have every right to ask you passenger straight up to wait until their destination to pop the holiday cheer.
– Falling asleep on you? Turn on the radio!
— Talking non-stop? Again…turn on the radio!

Get Comfortable, But Not Too Comfortable:
— When to go to sleep if you’re a car passenger? It’s fine to nap, but let the driver know as if your both drowsy, it can be dangerous. Also plan ahead checkpoints so they know what to stay alert for.
— When personal grooming crosses the line – i.e: toe clipping, nail clipping, perfume spraying, is make-up ok? It’s never ok to groom in public. Take your make-up bag into a rest area or toilet stop area if you must.
— Is it ever ok to go shoeless while traveling? Shoeless is one thing sock-less is another; the best option is sneakers of comfortable driving shoes… AND NO FEET ON THE DASH!

Watch What You Eat:
–Eating Smelly/ Messy Foods – Try and avoid these “in the car” as smells can last for weeks!

Driving Me Crazy (when you’re the passenger in a car):
— Diffusing Road Rage – Give em’ a stick of gum, turn on the radio or tell a joke!
— Confronting your speeding driver – When your life is at risk, or the lives of other passengers, you have every right to confront your driver & ask them to slow down; your’e life is more important than arriving at your destination a few minutes early.
— Confronting a distracted driver on phone or texting? Offer to assist or take over their communication so they can concentrate on driving. In fact don’t be afraid to INSIST; your life is more important than a text message!

Flexible Flights

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Option #1: The 24-hour purchase rule may help. A Department of Transportation rule requires airlines to provide a grace period of 24 hours to change your flight, without a penalty.

Option #2: Lock in the fare. The Fare Lock program (offered by airlines like United) allows you to hold your flight for up to three days for as little as $7 or $8. American Airlines recently introduced a similar option called Extended Hold, which allows you to hold your flight for up to a week for under $15.

Option #3: Book on Southwest Airlines, which is proudly the only US carrier to allow passengers to change their flights free of charge.

Option #4: Become an elite flyer (with perks that can include waived change fees) Or consider buying flight insurance – but do not buy without reading all the fine print, as insurance will only do you good if it covers what you need it to cover.

Option #5: Buy tickets on a budget airline like Jet Blue or Spirit, so if things happen to change and you have to rebook an entirely new flight, the initial loss won’t be extortionate!

The best options seems to be fare-hold BUT the preferable situation is to know the exact dates you wish to travel and stick with them. (Unfortunately, life doesn’t always come wrapped up in such a neat and tidy package!)