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5 Travel tips for planning a family vacation this spring

There’s nothing quite like a family vacation. Maybe you’ve been dreaming of a warm breeze and exploring somewhere new with your family. Or are you tired of enduring the snow and wind of a Canadian winter? Either way now is the perfect time to plan a family spring getaway.

Take the stress out of planning with these tips from CAA’s expert Travel Consultants to make your spring vacation safe and tons of fun for the whole family.

Choose a family-friendly destination

After enduring months of cold weather, there’s only one thing on your mind: a family getaway for spring break. But the tricky part is deciding where to go.

Spring in Europe is a lovely time of year to visit. You’ll enjoy fewer crowds, and you’ll beat the summer heat. Europe is the perfect destination to travel with the young and young at heart. There’s plenty to see, eat and explore on a spring family vacation in Europe.

Family with kids tourists standing above Preveli beach, Crete, Greece.
_jure | iStock

Enjoy the Grecian beaches of Crete, or the museums and Irish history in Dublin, and so many other family-friendly destinations. Another top pick is a vacation in Italy, you’ll find that Italians love kids and will go to great lengths to accommodate them no matter how upscale the setting is.

Mother having fun with her cute little girl with flamingo inflatable at beach
Ridofranz | iStock

If Europe isn’t for your family, and you’re dreaming of sandy beaches and thrilling theme parks, Orlando is the destination for you. It is one of the best family vacation spots in the U.S. for people of all ages. There’s a good reason this Florida city is known as the world capital of theme parks.

Meanwhile, take your family on a cruise if you want to pack in more sights. Royal Caribbean Cruises is a great option for cruising with children. Their ships are brimming with family-friendly activities, amenities and entertainment options that will keep your kids happy throughout your entire sailing. Plus, CAA Members get exclusive benefits and unique inclusions! Here’s a quick look at what you can expect from three of Royal Caribbean’s ship classes!

Get your travel insurance

Things happen. Kids get sick, meetings get rescheduled and sometimes these things can interrupt your travel plans. Invest in a good travel insurance policy to make sure your trip and your family are protected with trip cancellation and interruption coverage.

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance covers cancellations due to illness or work and school-related commitments, interruptions to your travel plans due to weather, lost or stolen travel documents, and so much more.

You must expect and plan for the unexpected, especially when travelling with kids. A sunburn, upset stomach or twisted ankle could require medical care. So, be prepared with Emergency Medical Insurance1 to protect yourself from the high cost of medical bills.

Engage kids while travelling

Happy siblings on rear seat of car with tablet
gpointstudio | iStock

It’s time to pack the entertainment. Taking iPad games and other gadgets along with you during long journeys can be helpful, so be ready with some pre-downloaded games, movies, or educational applications.

Different moods call for different activities, so having various resources on hand while travelling is important. When kids need to keep their hands and minds busy, activity books and puzzles can be helpful. For helping little ones unwind, fall asleep or stay entertained in the car, download audiobooks or guided meditation podcasts.

Travelling with family means a lot of gadgets. So be sure to protect your belongings with baggage insurance, which insures your personal belongings. CAA offers this coverage through Vacation Package plans2 which includes multiple coverages from medical to baggage protection and so much more.

Pack smarter

Happy parents with daughter with suitcase setting off for journey
evgenyatamanenko | iStock

One of the most stressful things about travelling with the kids is packing. Are there enough clothes? Is there enough stuff to keep them entertained? Don’t get caught up in the temptation to pack everything you own; pack smarter.

When packing for your family, try to be realistic and not cram your entire closet into your carry-on bag. Take only what you absolutely need and try to pack clothes that can be combined into multiple outfits

Make sure you check the size and weight restrictions with the airline to avoid any surprises. Additionally, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has a strict list of what can and can’t come with you in your carry-on, which includes liquids and gels like shampoo, toothpaste and beverages over a certain size.

Remember to make the most of the limited space you have. Look for other nooks and crannies to fill, including the space inside your shoes. With a little time and patience, you’ll be a pro at packing for your family.

Save money, travel more

Mother and kids sightseeing city of Siena, Tuscany, Italy
Imgorthand | iStock

The key to saving money while you travel is planning ahead. Spend time researching your options and looking for deals. Rather than booking directly with the hotel or airline, check out CAA Travel’s website or book an appointment with a CAA Travel Consultant. But remember, to get the best deals, you should book at least four months in advance. Book any activities or excursions ahead of time; you’ll find group-discount rates you can take advantage of.

Go for local or authentic cuisines. If you choose to eat western food like pizza or burger while travelling, it almost always costs more as the ingredients aren’t locally sourced. Go for the local dishes like curry, dumplings, or tacos.

Don’t forget to take advantage of your CAA Membership to save more by getting better discounts on hotels, dining and much on the go.

Ready for spring break? Book an appointment with one of CAA North & East Ontario’s travel consultants today to plan the perfect itinerary and get competitive travel insurance to protect you along the way. Get a travel insurance quote online or call 1-800-267-8713.

CAA Travel Insurance, an Orion Travel Insurance product, is underwritten by Echelon Insurance. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply. Subject to change without notice. A Medical Questionnaire is required if you are 60 years of age and older. Quotes are valid for 30 days. 

  1. Up to $5 million CAD. Maximum $25,000 for all Emergency Medical Insurance benefits for Canadian residents without active Government Health Insurance Plan (GHIP); and/or without GHIP authorization to cover trip days in excess of 212 days in Ontario in a 12-month period.
  2. Multi-Trip Vacation Packages covers 4, 8, 15 or 30 days per trip depending on the plan purchased. Top-Up coverage is available for longer trips. Coverage cannot exceed 365 days from departure date or effective date. There is a maximum travel coverage of 63 days including Top-Up for travellers aged 60 to 84 years of age.

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