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Overseas Vacations?

Posted by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 2:32 AM
  • 17 Replies

Hi Ladies,

Have any of you ever taken your families on a vacation far away? Do you have any tips or tricks you can offer? Any websites you suggest? How did you travel to Europe (or wherever) on a budget?

Thanks =)

by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 2:32 AM
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Replies (1-10):
frndlyfn
by Emerald Member on Feb. 20, 2013 at 2:59 AM

I have only been over seas on a trip for graduation so no family to worry about.   We went to spain .

ditsyjo
by Gold Member on Feb. 20, 2013 at 3:33 AM

I've traveled in europe but... to get there we mostly took free hops so that doesn't help you much.I will tell you that staying at in the cabins at campgrounds in europe saves you alot of money over hotels ...also if you are going to be in one city for more than 3 days apartments are sometimes a good deal.

TableforSeven
by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 5:55 AM
We took a family trip to tour Israel in 2009. DH and I also took a trip to Jerusalem for our anniversary in 2011. Now we live on Israel and I have taken a trip to the USA and we are taking a family trip to the USA in May.

The BIGGEST expense is air fair - second is hotel - third is food.
For air fair - start looking FAR ahead - deals come and go, so you need to check every day...several times per day. Do this for a few weeks to track what day of the week and time of day you can find the cheapest tickets...then when the price seems right - jump on it.
In Israel, and Europe (from what I understand) many hotels still offer great breakfasts -- you can often get lunches and dinners at hotels with a full or half board price including you room. Those deals can help a lot.

Oh - and if you don't have passports yet - start on it right away. They can often take a lot of time to process/get back....and you do NOT want to pay the fee to 'rush' them!
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TableforSeven
by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 5:56 AM
If you have any other questions - I can try to help better once I'm home and on my computer.
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NDADanceMom
by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 6:49 AM
I don't know anyone that can navigate a trip like that without a travel agent. They don't cost anything. Tours are the cheapest route. You go with a group and hang with them the whole time.
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Venus1908
by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 7:53 AM
1 mom liked this
This book will help if you are taking children. www.cubventures.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Up-Away-My-First-Flight/product-reviews/0983532079/ref=sr_1_1_cm_cr_acr_img?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
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AleaKat
by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 7:55 AM
I've been to Jamaica- not a fan
Once your out of the tourist trap it's extremely filthy and shady.
IMO

St. Martin was beautiful
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calsmom62
by Silver Member on Feb. 20, 2013 at 8:41 AM
We have a number of times. Check out Fodors,their guides are awesome. We usually stay with family and friends when possible. There are also house swapping sites too. Then you have a "base" from which to explore the area saving you hotel$$$$.
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TableforSeven
by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 9:49 AM

The very down side to tours is that you don't get to schedule anything on your own.....and you get no real free time.  If you really want to see a bunch of sites and want a guide - look into private tours....some are very reasonable and you can often choose exactly what you want to do/see.  When we came to Israel as a family....we hired a private tour guide - we were a group of 8....DH, myself, our 5 kids and my father.  I would never do a group tour....especially not with children.

Quoting NDADanceMom:

I don't know anyone that can navigate a trip like that without a travel agent. They don't cost anything. Tours are the cheapest route. You go with a group and hang with them the whole time.



inspain
by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 11:07 AM
1 mom liked this

I've been over and over.  The worst deal I ever got was with an agent.  

You need to research the airfares.  If you're on a tight budget, go where the flights are cheapest.  Pick the three lowest fares and pick the cheapest city of the three.  From there, find a hotel on hotels.com and then call them directly for what might be a cheaper room.  Also, you might try family hostels.  Some are really nice, especially if you don't object to sharing a bathroom.

And, like a pp said, if you don't have passports, get that done now.  Also, if you do have a passport, check the expiration date.  I once got a passport renewal in under 10 hours and another, for my kid, in less than 3 hours...but you don't want to do that.

Oh and this part, about hanging with a tour group...I did this once, with a friend who insisted on going on a tour because she didn't want to wing it, visiting my friends in Europe.  It was AWFUL.  There were a few really nice people and there were some invisibles and then there were the obnoxious travelers.  Loud, whiny, they complained about the food being "weird", the money being complicated "why don't they just take dollars!?" and they grumbled about people not speaking English.  And, we were always on the tour's schedule.  Really, don't do it.

Quoting NDADanceMom:

I don't know anyone that can navigate a trip like that without a travel agent. They don't cost anything. Tours are the cheapest route. You go with a group and hang with them the whole time.


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