I admit, when it comes to travel, I take a very lackadaisical approach to planning. My intent is to be as spontaneous as possible, go with the flow and have fun type of traveler. But is ‘having fun’ worth the amount of money that one can plop down for a vacation? Shouldn’t one have a few goals in mind to ensure that your getaway is all that you hope it to be?
That is the question I’ve been pondering since I heard about Alamo’s initiative to go beyond basic by setting travel resolutions for your family travel experience. So, I decided to test the idea to see if setting goals for my family vacation would or could improve the experience.
I learned several things in the process.
3 Reasons to Go Beyond Basic and Plan Travel Resolutions for your Family Vacation
- Travel Resolutions force you to be thoughtful of your plans.
It doesn’t matter what your goal is for your trip- by choosing a travel resolution, you will carefully weigh your options against your end goal.
If your goal is to introduce your child to different cultures, are you going to meet that goal by spending a day at the amusement park? Probably not. But if your goal is to conquer your fear of roller coasters, a trip to the amusement park would serve its purpose.
For those that have a hard time narrowing down a destination to visit, a travel resolution can help you with the planning process.
- Travel Resolutions can take you out of the “Just have Fun” mode and into the “How can we make this trip Meaningful” mode.
You have so many options with travel why limit yourself to just having fun? And before you think I’m a spoil sport, I’ll clarify. I want ALL of my family trips to be fun at some point. I also want our travels to open our eyes to new things, possibilities and outcomes. There’s more to life than having fun, shouldn’t your vacation reflect that?
- Travel Resolutions help you save money by avoiding travel mistakes.
You know I’d have to throw some super practical point in here, right? Point #3 goes hand in hand with Point #1. Travel resolutions can save you money by allowing you the freedom to say no. That’s right. You can say no to all those touristy type of attractions that are fun, but may not align with your end goal.
Setting life goals and budget goals allow me to say no to a plethora of stuff on a daily basis. No to the new car, no to the new furniture, no to the cute shoes that cost a fortune that I may only wear once. I think you get the point. Travel goals and resolutions work the same way. Say no to the menial so you can say yes to what matters.
So how do travel resolutions play out when you put them in practice?
My husband and I recently visited Florida with our 20-year old son and his girlfriend. My goals were two-fold.
1) To get to know his girlfriend better and…
2) To introduce Madeline to our love of travel.
But more than that, I intended to be a YES traveler. You can learn why this is so important to me in my post- Go Beyond Basics with Travel Resolutions.
I knew saying yes would be particularly important on this trip because I was combining work with pleasure. I knew I would be exhausted, but I wanted to give my family 100% when I was with them.
One thing that wasn’t hard to say yes to was a rental vehicle from Alamo. Though I’m an avid road tripper, I flew to Florida ahead of my family so I could focus on work uninterrupted. I had arranged for a rental car through Alamo, even though I could have easily taken the Disney Magical Express to my hotel on Disney property. Having my own vehicle allows me to escape the busyness of Disney and not rely on Disney transportation while I’m in the parks.
The rental process could not have been any easier. As I approached the counter, I noticed a self-service kiosk and decided to give it a try. I typed in my reservation number, swiped my I.D. and my credit card, accepted or declined my available options, and within minutes I was on my way to the rental car garage across the walkway to pick up my car- a Dodge Avenger. How is that for classy? Last time I drove an Avenger, I had two car seats strapped in the back. Talk about a flash back.
Alamo is the third largest rental car agency in the United States and is the Official rent a car of Walt Disney World® Resort and Disneyland® Resort. As an Alamo Insider, I save 5% off the lowest rental price I find on their site and I receive alerts to deals and specials that the company offers. Oh yeah- it doesn’t cost me a penny to be an Alamo Insider.
After picking up my rental, I made my way to my resort, passing through one toll after another and praying that I would have enough change and cash to pay my way. Fortunately, Alamo offers a package that allows you to activate a toll pass so the charges would go directly to your credit card rather than out of your pocket. This is important to me as I rarely travel with much cash on hand.
The Coronado Springs Resort was gorgeous and I couldn’t wait for my family to arrive to join me. It didn’t take long, the next day they arrived to meet me as I completed assignments in the park with my TravelingMom colleagues.
My goal for the trip was to say yes.
I vowed to say yes even though I didn’t feel like it. I vowed to say yes even though it was hot and my hair was frizzy and all I longed for was a shower.
I vowed to say yes when I had walked nearly 20,000 steps for the day, and my feet hurt because I’d packed the wrong shoes.
I vowed to say yes even though it was late, and all I could think of was laying my head on my pillow and calling it a night.
YES is how memories are made.
We played in the Disney parks. We ate our way through the World Showcase. We rode rides I normally wouldn’t want to ride.
And since we had a rental car with free unlimited miles, we took a day trip to the beach two hours away, so we could escape the busyness of the Orlando theme parks. We had a picnic lunch, relaxed on the beach, searched for ghost crabs, and dug our toes in the sand.
We introduced Maddie to the joy that is roadside attractions. We talked. We shared stories. We laughed. We enjoyed each other’s company. And I said Yes. Yes to fun. Yes to new things. Yes to making memories. Yes to going beyond basic to enhance our bonding experience. Our trip to Florida is certainly a vacation we’ll remember fondly. And it helps that we met our goals. Yes, we got to know Madeline better. Yes, we introduced her to our love of travel. Yes, she survived traveling with us. Does she share our love of traveling? It’s too soon to tell. But I do know that she really enjoyed this trip- though the jury is still out on what she thought of the roadside attraction.
Will travel resolutions help you go beyond your typical travel experience? What goals will you make for your next family vacation?
Thank you to Alamo Rental Cars for showing me the importance of going beyond basic on this trip and changing the way I think about future trips. I was reimbursed for the rental costs associated with renting the Dodge Avenger from Alamo- though I have rented from Alamo in the past and have been an Alamo Insider for over two years. All opinions, thoughts, and statements are my own. #AlamoDriveHappy
© 2015, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.