I first posted this last year and your feedback and comments helped me to realize that many of us in addition to our regular titles of "parent, coach, cook, baker, etc" have now taken on the role of "travel agent."
Whether you are planning a road trip to a local Hampton Inn or a luxurious trip once-in-a-lifetime experience. You want that trip to be "perfect" for your family. The pictures are always so glamorous and peaceful and beautiful - whether it's a mountain escape or beach bliss - it looks easy, quiet and glamorous...
As the family's travel agent - this is my ideal destination..but we all know that a mom will rarely find THIS peace...THIS place.
I did not know that in addition to planning daily schedules, part of my job was to plan the family's time away from home too and not just a place to go but the RIGHT place to go. Then I have to propose it, budget it and book each detail for the time we are away, foreseeing everything that could go wrong and thankfully all that can also go right. Piece of cake - right?
WRONG - this is now a planning campaign...
I wish my desk looked that calm and relaxed as I start my part-time job of travel booker for the Van Dyk family. Now the note taking begins, the comparing and contrasting...and the constant second guessing as well.
As you well know planning a trip means comparing prices, looking for bargains, asking friends for recommendations, check travel blogs, see what others are thinking. Coordinate travel schedules for my child's school, my husband's business trips, our friends where we are going and the list goes on.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE WEBSITES THAT I CONSULT (and this is just scratching the surface):
Searching for flights from the UK
Now I search for Package Deals:
and more to come
Then I read the reviews
I swear to you - I must spend a week online finding ideas, looking at prices, comparing prices, looking at websites, returning to the first website. Comparing prices again and repeating the whole process, only to come back to the original idea and then think "nope! Too expensive." Then I price it out differently and ironically, most of the time, I come right back to the first trip I had planned and book it a week later - only to find out that the "special price" that I had originally seen has gone up and I am now paying a premium! Deep deep sigh!
This is such a first world problem - isn't it? Writing this, I realize how INCREDIBLY lucky I am to be able to do this...and I have been reminded to be grateful for the blessings that I have.
And when I look back at pictures of my family traveling, I must admit to you that it is worth every single minute of sweating the details. Yes, it can be stressful, it can be expensive and it can be difficult but I would not trade time with my family for all the gold and wealth in the world.
So...in addition to being a wife and mom - I'm now our travel agent - and I accept that role with deep gratitude...but I can always learn more...do you have any tips that you want to share?