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Chevy Chase et al. posing for a photo

Travel is one of my passions. I love everything about it! I love getting on an airplane, landing in a new city, finding my first Starbucks, checking into my hotel (and then switching rooms at least once, if not twice), exploring the city, finding the perfect restaurants and then making the most of every single minute I am there!

One of my very favorite parts of traveling is the planning – some people hate it, but I just love it! I don’t exactly know what it is about the planning aspect of the trip, I think it has to do with the feeling of anticipation for the trip – sometimes I think the anticipation is almost as good as the experience – it almost extends the vacation that is over before you even know it. The best part is, I have a knack for travel planning. It may be my OCD of researching every aspect of the trip. I must find the best flight, the best seat on the plane, the best hotel, the best restaurants, the best things to do and see – but for me, if you don’t get all of these things for the very best price – you have failed!!

As many of you know, we have three boys ages 8, 11 and 14. My husband, Adam, and I have always loved traveling with our kids and we have been extremely fortunate to be able to do so many times. However any parents out there understands that traveling with kids is a whole new ballgame! You see, there is a difference between a “trip” and a “vacation”.

trip  verb \trip\ 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary: to hit your foot against something while you are walking or running so that you fall or almost fall  

Fishkind Family: to go away from home with your family over a school or summer break, pay ridiculously high-season prices and continually hear “I am bored”

va·ca·tion noun, often attributive \vā-ˈkā-shən, və-\ 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary: a period of time that a person spends away from home, school, or business usually in order to relax or travel 

Fishkind Family: a period of time that a family spends away from home and EVERYONE, including the parents get to relax and enjoy themselves

We have taken many, many trips, but only a few real vacations. We have gone down to Florida over school breaks only to have crappy weather and numerous trips to the mall and Target to fill some time. We have gone to Mexico, Disney, California and a number of cruises.

I thought it may be a nice idea to write some posts on family travel and planning. I will share some tips and some insight on experiences that we have had over the years. We also have some upcoming trips that I will share our pre-planning, our actual ‘on the trip as we go’ and a post trip debrief.

I hope this will be helpful to those of you out there in the midst of trip planning. Hopefully some of my advice will help turn your next “trip” into a “vacation!”

Also, I am happy to answer any question that you may have and help find some good deals for you too!!

Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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  1. Hi there! I am lucky enough to be married to an amazing man, smart enough to know it, and wise enough to appreciate him! That being said, we are both turning 40 ( yikes, I can’t believe I admitted it) and he has always wanted to go on a cruise; so I want to surprise him this spring/summer with a cruise. He would like a beachy place and no kids. I do have at least one other couple on board. Since I have never been, do you have a favorite cruise liner? And do you know any good suggestions, I’m pretty open. I did read your list, so I know what to bring! I like to be more active, and take pictures, so something that has some sight seeing too would awesome! Thanks so much! Sue

    1. Susan – great questions – I am actually planning on doing a post on this! Now, keep in mind, I am not a travel agent, but I have cruised on a lot of different cruise lines – so this is just my opinion. Disney is by far my favorite cruise line. Even if you are not going with kids, their service is second to none, their food amazing and their ships are top notch. Celebrity is a great line too! More upscale, less kids – but overall great. Not a huge fan of Carnival. Royal Caribbean is hit or miss – their older ships are very tired, their newer ships are really big and the service lacks. The Royal Caribbean ships are great, with tons to do, but service is just okay. Norwegian I like. I have only been on one of the newer ships, but I really liked it – food was good, service good, not great, but good. The rooms on some ships are a little funky, so beware of that.
      Happy to answer any other questions!

  2. Hey. So… I have the travel fever as we just got back from 2 weeks of vacation and want to jump into planning our next family adventure. The problem i have is we are on a serious budget. we cant do $3000-5000 worth of vacations. So I was hoping for a steer in the right diection. We have 2 young girls 3yrs old and 10yrs old. Both are pretty happy just getting away from hom and we are happy being together but something fun and different would be GREAT. My husband hates amusement parks. (just thought Id throw that out there) I was thinking of a cruise but we live in South Carolina and really want to go to Alaska for a cruise and that just seems out of reach… What do you think? any suggestions

    1. Hi Amanda! We haven’t been on an Alaska cruise yet BUT I a DYING to do that – maybe next summer with the kids!! On that same note, I would wait for that until your kids are a little older – it is a BIG trip and I think they may appreciate it more when a little older. Cruises are fabulous for the kids – my family just loves them. We have been going since my kids have been potty trained and they always get super excited for them. You can for sure do that within your budget! Have you done the Disney Cruise? It is NOT amusement park-ish AT ALL! Your whole family will love it!! (I wrote a few articles on the Disney Cruise if you want to take a look) – the great thing is that if you stay away from peak weeks you can get a GREAT deal. We usually book through Costco and have done really well with Costco Cash back. Are you looking for more of a chillaxing vacation or move, see and experience???
      I posted your question to my Princess Pinky Girl FaceBook page too – let’s see what other suggestions people come up with!!!