With spring break officially just a few weeks away, The Travel Mom, Emily Kaufman joined me recently to share tips on how we can plan and organize a great family vacation, the best deals on hotels and the perfect sunny destination!
Candace Rose: How much of an affect do you think rising gas prices will have on spring break travel?
Emily Kaufman: "Well, I really don't think that the gas cost is going to have anything to do with it. I think people are going to look for other ways to maximize their travel dollar, and that's through added value. And when I say added value in really simple terms, what that means is looking for more- more bang for your buck. And one of the ways you can do that is to stay at a hotel that really truly gives you more, and Embassy Suites gives you the opportunity, especially when you're traveling with the family or you're traveling with a group of girlfriends to spread out into two room suites for about the same price as you would pay for a regular hotel room. You get a complimentary cook to order breakfast, there's a free managers reception in the afternoon, and MORE is really incorporated into a fun contest they're doing with 366 days of MORE through their Facebook page. You get to enter every single day for 366 days. They're giving away a free stay at an Embassy Suites hotel, and the MORE plays into it because you get the opportunity to gift somebody else with the free night stay too.
Embassy Suites Hotel MORE Sweepstakes – Facebook.com/EmbassySuitesHotels
And then, Candace something I always talk about to people is you've gotta pick a destination that gives you a whole lot of bang for your buck, and lots more. And Orlando is always adding more to their already fantastic vacation. And this year the theme parks opening up a whole bunch of new attractions. At SeaWorld they've got 'Turtle Track'.
At Walt Disney World in their Magic Kingdom they're opening up a new part of Fantasyland called Storybook Circus.
And at Universal Studios in Orlando there's a really fun three day attraction coming based on the movie Despicable Me, and the VisitOrlando website: VisitOrlando.com is loaded with all the information you need to plan a fantastic vacation experience there."
Find more out about Orlando at VisitOrlando
Candace Rose: Do you have any suggestions when it comes to finding travel discounts?
Emily Kaufman: "I do. You know, I always talk to people about being a proactive consumer when it comes to travel discounts, and joining the loyalty programs. So when it comes to hassle-free travel and great deals I think about Alamo Rent A Car and their insider program which is their loyalty program. You join it at Alamo.com, and it gets you access to exclusive deal offers; you can save 10%. You also have a really streamlined experience where you pick your car ahead of time, check in with it online. Then use the self service kiosks once you get there, so you're on your vacation, you're driving away and you're having fun without waiting in big lines. And you know this about me- I love to dialogue with people about family travel, and they've got a Facebook page, and the Value Project is a family travel forum where you can talk to other people about what's working for them and learn some insider tips."
Candace Rose: How do you organize your vacation details for a smooth trip?
Emily Kaufman: "Well, the key to organizing vacation details whether I'm taking a family trip or a girlfriends getaway is to not over plan and over schedule. We're so busy right now with mom works, dad works, children have tutoring, and baseball practice. Vacation is the time to surrender and have a little bit of downtime and fun, so don't over plan and over schedule; that way you can stay very focused, on track and relaxed."
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?
Emily Kaufman: "I do. I talked about a lot of stuff- hotels, destination, rental cars and put everything in one place at YourNewsCafe.com."