Plan vacation with family during Holiday

Christmas vacationby Barb Hopkins

Planning a holiday getaway should be headache- and hassle-free. When planning vacations for Christmas, New Year’s or other holidays, consider these seven simple tips.

Destinations to please group

When traveling with more than one other person, it can be hard to choose a vacation destination that pleases everyone. Family vacations can be the hardest destinations to choose, especially when traveling with kids of various ages. Opt for a consultation with a trusted travel agent for ideas. A good agent will be able to provide several options for a memorable vacation for all ages.

Book early

Cheap holiday vacations are possible when you take advantage of early bird reservation rates and comparison shop for prices on airfare, hotels and car rental. Sometimes deals can be found on holiday vacation packages when you book several months in advance.

Ship presents ahead

Plan to ship presents to your vacation destination before you leave home. Before you ship the presents, contact your hotel or resort for directions and protocol. Find out if there is a charge for holding the presents until your arrival and what arrangements are needed for you to pick up the shipped packages after you arrive.

If you decide to travel with gifts, it might be easier not to wrap them if you are flying. The Transportation Safety Authority does not prohibited wrapped gifts. However, if a bag alarms security officers, they will unwrap a gift to take a closer look. TSA recommends passengers wrap gifts after their flight or ship them ahead of time to avoid the possibility of having to open them during the screening process.

Secure dining reservations

Even if your holiday vacation package features all-inclusive dining or a meal plan, you most likely will still need to make dining reservations. Cruises with all-inclusive dining require seating reservations, and Walt Disney World’s dining plan strongly encourages guests to make restaurant reservations well in advance of their vacation dates. Be sure to make your dining reservations for day-of holidays at least two to three months prior, especially for popular restaurants.

Entertainment reservations

If you’re planning on taking in a special concert, sporting event or show during your holiday vacation, make reservations and secure tickets early. Tickets often can be picked up at the event box office so you don’t have to worry about losing them during travel.

Driving? Book en-route hotels in advance

When driving to your holiday vacation destination, you will want a clean, affordable hotel at the end of a long day’s drive. Do your research before leaving, estimating how far you will travel each day and selecting an exit with several hotels, restaurants and gas stations. Read hotel reviews online to help the selection process. Take advantage of hotel rewards points or deals offered through your credit card companies in order to save money on hotel stays.

Pack smart

If flying to your beach vacation or other holiday destination, visit the TSA traveler information web pages. Know which items are prohibited plus the regulations for traveling with food, gifts or other special items. Check the weather for your vacation destination, packing appropriate clothing and footwear. Avoid taking every item in your closet, but be prepared for cooler evening weather and other temperature changes.


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