In addition to being difficult, planning the family vacation can be expensive. Fortunately for us we can use the internet to make planning a lot easier. Spending a few hours online can save you hundreds of dollars on your next trip as well as give you tips to make your trip even more fun.

Once thought of as a vacation for couples, cruises are fast becoming a family favorite. Today’s cruise lines know that if they can plan fun activities for the children mom and dad will have fun too. The first place to start your search should be to go directly to the cruise lines themselves.

A quick search on your favorite each engine, like Yahoo or Google will reveal all the top cruise lines in seconds. Many of the cruise lines offer special last minute specials that you may be the perfect family vacation and save you a bundle. While on these websites, check for package deals. Many cruise lines like to partner with the airlines to provide “one stop shopping” for their customers. These may not always be the best deals but in a few clicks of a mouse, your vacation can be booked.

One of my family’s favorite vacation spots is sunny Florida. The big theme parks like to put together package deals to make planning your trip easier. Most of these package deals will include everything from airfare, tickets to the park, rental cars and even free parking at the park. Because Florida is such a big hit with families, hotels often offer “kids eat for free” deals. This can be a huge savings for a family of four. The hotels that offer these discounts are generally the ones that are kid friendly and offer activities to keep the kids busy when not at the parks.

Getting there can be one of the biggest expenses of your trip so check to see if the airlines are offering any specials to your destination. You may find a buy one ticket get another for half price deal or some offer special rates for kids under a certain age. If you’re shopping for the best airfare at “the right time” you may even stumble onto a fantastic deal that an airline is offering to fill up seats on specific flights. These are generally deals that are offered for a very limited time, so have your credit card ready when you search.

Airlines and travel agencies will often feature promotional periods where they will take care of everything for your entire family for one price. These promotions are usually offered just once or twice a year to create a buzz for their business. If your timing is right you can take advantage of one of these deals. Ask around to see when and if your airline or travel agent offers these.

If you’re not sure where you want to go or how much you should budget for your family vacation, get online and start searching. There are deals online that can not be offered elsewhere, with a little luck and great timing, you can plan the perfect family vacation without breaking the bank!

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