Why you should book your family vacation for summer 2023 now – and what to keep in mind – The Points Guy

If you’ve ever tried to plan a vacation with multiple members of your extended family, you know it can be quite a challenge. There are costs to manage, logistics to coordinate, and the need to set your schedule far enough in advance so you can get exactly what your large crew needs. Not to mention that finding a pitch you can all agree on can be particularly difficult.

Fortunately, all is not lost.

Helping to plan my extended family’s summer vacation taught me important lessons and strategies for decision-making. Although my situation may differ from yours, this information can greatly help you plan trips for next summer.

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When to start planning your family vacation for summer 2023

A family planning a trip on a map. JACOBS STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES

I have many enthusiastic planners in my extended family. It’s not uncommon for someone to book a flight six months in advance or start asking for commitments for detailed Thanksgiving and Christmas plans in early spring.

So it’s no surprise that our group normally starts planning our extended family reunion more than a year in advance. With up to 17 family members attending, it can be quite difficult to come to a consensus on what we want before we start booking. The one detail we know we can always agree on is the need for an eight-bedroom house near a body of water.

Since it’s common for large single family homes to book up as soon as reservations are available, my family started to panic about our 2023 summer trip when September rolled around and we still didn’t have a rental. holidays. Due to our size and location constraints, we found that availability was extremely limited, with potential options disappearing from the rental pool day by day.

To avoid our situation, aim to be as flexible as possible. The less rigid you are about destination, accommodation, dates, and cost, the more flexibility you’ll have about when to book.

However, if you have specific vacation needs, be sure to factor these into your process. The more non-negotiable points you have, the sooner you need to lock in your plans. So start looking now for next summer if you haven’t already locked in key details like flights and accommodation.

Don’t Miss: Book Flights for Summer 2023 with Bonus Space to Asia, Europe and Beyond

How to find the right family destination

A family enjoying the view from inside a waterfront home. DIMENSIONS/GETTY IMAGES

Getting a group of 17 people to agree on anything – let alone something as expensive as accommodation – can seem like a chore. With family members spread across the country from Pennsylvania to California, it’s nearly impossible to find a place we’re all willing to spend thousands of dollars on.

After all, Hawaii can be affordable to reach from the west coast, but expensive to visit from places farther east. Similarly, Caribbean vacations are much simpler and cheaper to arrange from the East Coast.

To reduce family quarrels over where to go, we change the destinations we visit. So if we decide to visit somewhere near the west coast one year, we will choose somewhere near the east coast the next year. While the method isn’t foolproof—as our clan’s Midwesterners are rarely within an hour or two of a destination we’re visiting—we aim to keep every part of the process as balanced as possible.

Start by agreeing on common goals for the trip and a process for choosing destinations. If you can rotate locations to keep travel costs and logistics as fair as possible for everyone involved, you’ll find that everyone is more willing to participate consistently. Aim for options near major airports that anyone can reach without connecting flights (if driving isn’t an option) to minimize any travel headaches you’ll encounter along the way.

Related: TPG’s 10 Best Family Vacation Destinations for 2022

How to manage costs

Desk with piggy bank and calculator for trip planning. GP/GETTY IMAGES INSPIRED

Financial planning can always be a challenge for families, especially when it comes to vacations involving multiple groups. Factors such as specific budgets, personal interests, and family structures likely vary from group to group, so deciding how to allocate costs can be difficult.

For example, you may wonder whether a large family should have the same total costs as a smaller family and whether the age of each child should be taken into account in the calculations. Plus, you may find it difficult to agree on a fair share of the cost of accommodation if a family decides to splurge for a luxury property.

While my family hasn’t found a magic way to get everyone to agree on our vacation expenses, we have found it helpful to prioritize the financial component early in our trip planning process. By deciding on our vacation budget and how we will split the costs early as a group, we have found it easier to stay on top of our expenses throughout the process.

To better manage costs, consider designating one person to act as accountant for the trip. This way there is always someone monitoring what has been booked and how much money is left in the budget. Don’t forget to factor in food and transportation as well, as these expenses can quickly add up for large groups.

Related: 7 Ways to Save on Your Next Family Vacation

How to use points for a family vacation

MARRIOTT

Several members of my extended family are enthusiastic Marriott Bonvoy members who take pride in earning and redeeming points. We have several Marriott Vacation Club timeshare property owners among us, so leveraging weeks of ownership is always at the heart of our vacation planning.

While it’s incredibly difficult to find a multi-bedroom option with enough space to accommodate 17 people, booking a property with a hotel-affiliated program, such as Homes & Villas by Marriott International, might be a solution. The Marriott program operates a curated collection of vacation properties around the world, including several larger options. Even better, they can be reserved with points.

Before committing to the idea of ​​cashing in points for your trip, be sure to agree on the value of your points before splitting the costs. TPG’s Points Assessment Guide is a great resource to help you determine the value of your points.

Also weigh what is more important to you: having a favorite location or using points. Booking during a busy season like summer often severely limits the point options available to large families. However, if you are willing to stay a little more off the beaten track, you may find that there are more properties to choose from.

Related: How I Tripled and Earned 210,000 Points and Miles on an Epic Marriott Homes & Villas Booking

At the end of the line

Planning a summer vacation with an extended family can be a challenge, as there are so many factors to consider. However, I have found that planning as far in advance as possible, being open to compromise, and having a set of shared goals are the most important. Keeping these key factors in mind allowed my large family to organize a memorable vacation.

Although you may not all agree on what to do or where exactly to stay, communicating openly with each other and being as balanced and flexible as possible when it comes to finalize the plans, you’ll have no problem deciding on a trip that works for your crew.

#book #family #vacation #summer #mind #Points #Guy

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