Has Spring Really Sprung? Anticipate Summer with Vacation Planning

travel planning

Don’t wait until summer to book your summer getaway.

Some travelers don’t start to think about summer vacation destinations until it warms up substantially, however, most beach houses and condos are already booked for June, July and August. If you want a place on the beach in the middle of the summer, start looking now to see what remains. A benefit to booking early: It’s the off-season so many sites have not yet inflated rates.

Waiting to book your travels is risky, but summer vacations themselves have risks, like hurricanes.

Solution? Travel insurance.

Most travel insurance premiums cost approximately $100, a fair fee when you consider the hundreds or thousands of dollars you may spend on the overall trip. Not all travel insurance policies are the same though. Some premiums provide a refund in the event of a storm or illness. On our trip to California last year my in-law needed to be hospitalized. This added extra days onto our trip, additional lodging costs, amended airfare plans and fees. However, if my husband’s job gets in the way—unfortunately there’s no insurance for that.

Another solution? Travel away from hurricane-prone areas. The entire eastern seaboard and Gulf Coast are generally prime targets for summer hurricanes. Granted, even if your travels are to the Pacific Northwest—or to Napa like one of our summer travels last year—hurricanes could affect flight patterns elsewhere and your trip could still be hindered.

naples beaches

Exploring Florida beaches as a family means proper planning for our toddler’s plane trip.

Aside from weather, illness, and the typical vacation-downers – how can you have a pleasant travel experience with a toddler? Check out my earlier post on traveling with toddlers on planes for a few activities and planning tips. If your toddler is into trains, Amtrak allows two children ages 2-12 to receive a 50% discount on the lowest available adult fare with each fare-paying adult. (Kids under 2 are free!)

Costa Rica rental

A private family-friendly Costa Rica rental we enjoyed greatly!

Looking for a family-friendly place to stay, one that has laundry accommodations, privacy, and plenty of room for little ones to play? Check out our post on different ways to book travel for finding the right summer vacation rental property.

Different Ways to Book Travel

Costa Rica vacation rentals

Thanks to modern travel booking options, we have enjoyed stays far from home in places like Costa Rica’s super luxurious “Latitude 10” in Santa Teresa.

Traditional hotels may cause headaches after trying to find the right place to stay when traveling with a toddler and extended family. Depending on how many are traveling, you might have to rent multiple rooms–or worse–cram into one room without enough personal space and quiet time for a toddler’s naps.

There are a few alternatives to staying at a hotel. You could try and book a room at a bed & breakfast, but they’re usually reserved for adults only, and it can be difficult to find a place that welcomes children. Also in many cases, B&Bs have been converted from residential homes, which means inconveniences like shared bathrooms and thin walls.

There’s a much better option that my family and I have taken advantage of during our travels. The next time you’re scheduling an upcoming family vacation: Rent a house. It will make your planning easier and your experience much more enjoyable! Here’s why:

Costa Rica rental

Costa Rica rental we enjoyed greatly!

Privacy is one of the biggest benefits of renting a home. The kids can share rooms, and parents and adults can have quiet retreats for themselves. You won’t have to worry about going to bed at different times and waking up your roommates, or losing sleep over your neighbor’s snoring.

More importantly, your kids can be kids. If you have a toddler, you know that their footsteps can sound heavier than your husband’s at times. When you rent a house, your kids can play and run around without the risk of disturbing the neighbors.

vacation rental amenities

Outdoor shower and amenities galore!

With your own house, you also gain access to private amenities. When you have your own pool, you can feel confident that your kids can enjoy it safely without being splashed by a group of teenagers on summer vacation. Many houses are also equipped with BBQs, hammocks, and ample parking – perks you wouldn’t get from a cramped hotel room. It’s much easier to roll luggage and strollers in and out of a private home than through a hotel’s elevators and maze of hallways! Plus, when a curious toddler spills something on their clothes—or your clothes!—a washing machine and dryer are ready and waiting. No need to coordinate with hotel staff or navigate to a Laundromat in a foreign place.

punta mita vacation rental

Exclusive options for rentals on VRBO! In Punta Mita we stayed beachfront in the neighboring house of the infamous Joe Francis–although we do not condone his behavior. (He had another run in with the law recently.)

What about price? Some people think that renting a house is more expensive than a hotel, but that’s not usually the case. We used Vacation Rentals By Owner to find our home-away-from-home for trips to Naples, Florida, and even out of the country in Punta Mita, Mexico and Costa Rica. We’ll be using it again domestically for our trip to Northern California later this year.

punta mita rental

Another shot of the Punta Mita house we rented. Owners are often willing to negotiate heavily on price out of season or last minute.

Not only do we get great deals, but our access to a full kitchen allows us to enjoy family dinners together privately and save money instead of eating out for every meal. It’s easier to eat healthy this way – and try out some new ways to create nutritious cocktails.

If you’re in charge of planning your family’s next vacation, renting a house will ensures you get to relax and have just as much fun as your fellow travelers. Kick off your heel flops and enjoy!