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The Best Family Vacation Destinations


Is Your Package Worth the Price?

A single price tag for your whole trip may sound appealing, but don’t assume it means more savings or more fun. Ask the following before you book:

Have they given you a discount for booking as a family?
Bringing in a big chunk of business should yield real benefits, such as discounted or upgraded rooms and lower-priced meals for kids and seniors. (Do note, however, that most hotels already let kids under 18 stay free — so don’t consider that to be a big-group bonus.) Some airlines, like Northwest or Southwest, even offer fare discounts for groups of 10 or more.

Are fees hidden in the fine print?
Some hotels charge every guest for things like gym visits and poolside towels, even if they never use them: Look out for the “resort fee.” Also, ask whether it will cost extra to have a mini fridge or cot in the room, and if there’s a charge for parking.

Does your package entitle you to private excursions or special pricing for activities?
For example, groups of eight or more who stay at a Disney resort are eligible for “magical gatherings” packages, which can include activities like fireworks cruises and safari tours that let kids meet and greet the animals (both the real and costumed kinds).


Originally published on April 15, 2008


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