(BPT) - It's no secret that families are busy these days. Between mom and dad's careers, the kids' school demands and extra-curricular activities, quality time together as a family is hard to come by. This busy lifestyle is inspiring a new travel movement, and 2014 is positioned for the grand rebirth of the family vacation.
If you want to take an unforgettable family vacation this year, the idea of planning might seem overwhelming. But travel experts agree that planning ahead and researching your options are important steps to ensure your trip is stress-free and full of fun.
Follow these five steps to plan a trip your entire family will love and remember for years to come:
Step 1: Make a travel wish list
Kick off your travel planning by talking to all family members about what they'd like to see and do on vacation. Keep it light-hearted and have some fun - chat with your 4-year-old over breakfast or text your teen after school. As you have these conversations, notice commonalities, such as location and experiences.
Step 2: Research, research, research
After your initial conversations with your family, it's time to do your research. The Internet has made selecting a travel destination that much easier - or harder because there are so many options. Check out tourism organizations, such as a Chamber of Commerce or Convention and Visitor's Bureau (CVB). Look up online hotel and travel reviews - these sites can provide invaluable information for travelers. Many sites even have free online travel planners or visitor's guides.
Step 3: Choose a destination for everyone
Perhaps the most important consideration when planning a family vacation is to select a destination that has something for every person in your group. Myrtle Beach, S.C. is a great example of a location that is great for all ages. The 60 miles of pristine beaches are just one reason to visit - foodies can indulge on the best Southern and low-country cuisine; cultural enthusiasts can experience beautiful art museums and plantations; golfers tee off at a one of the many championship courses in the area. From water parks to natural wonders, Myrtle Beach is a true gem for family vacations. Visit www.visitmyrtlebeach.com to learn more.
Step 4: Select your ideal accommodations
Whether you're vacationing for a long weekend or multiple weeks, it's important to choose the right accommodations for your family. For example, if you know you'll be at the beach daily, stay at a shore-side resort. If you want to save on eating expenses, look into condos with kitchens. For big groups such as family reunions, consider a beach house that allows everyone to stay in their own room within one shared space.
Step 5: Create a fun-filled itinerary
This is a vacation, and while you shouldn't plan out every hour of every day, having a basic itinerary gives direction to your trip and will help your group build excitement prior to your departure. Plus, planning ahead allows you to seek out deep discounts on tickets to shows and theme parks like the Alabama Theatre or Wild Water & Wheels in Myrtle Beach. You can even explore free activities like festivals and celebrations in the area that would be worthwhile to attend.
If you feel like it's time for your family to take a break from the stress of everyday life, a family vacation might be just what everyone needs. Follow these steps to select a family friendly destination such as Myrtle Beach to ensure a vacation full of unforgettable memories.