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By Shirley Merith

Trying to select the right vacation for your family can be a daunting task. Some want the sun, sand and sea while others want the dramatic scenery and history. How do you decide where to go that will satisfy the entire family with the least amount of conflict?

1. Make a list of the destinations that interest you. Keep the list to a maximum of four selections and to practical destinations. Most of us would love to travel to the wilds of Africa but logistically it might not be that practical. Keep in mind that small children and the elderly could be very uncomfortable traveling to destinations that have long travel times.

2. Ask family, friends, and co-workers if they have traveled to any of the choices you have selected. If not, ask where they have traveled to and what they enjoyed about it. Write down the locations that sound most interesting.

3. Make a list of the families must haves and nice to haves. Must haves could include such things as an all inclusive plan, good beach, and water sports. Nice to haves could include, private plunge pools, golf courses and hiking trails. Keep the locations that contain most of your must haves.

4. Cross off the choices that are almost impossible to have on one combined vacation. For example, if one family member wants go white water rafting and most destinations don’t offer it then eliminate that choice, maybe you can do that next year.

5. Do your research. The Internet provides a wealth of information about almost every destination imaginable. Type in your destination choices and read up on what they have to offer. Also research the traditions and safety aspects of your selected destinations.

6. Research the hotel choices available. Remember that a foreign hotel’s star rating may be different from yours at home. Sometimes a 5 star hotel in North America could be the equivalent to a 3 star hotel in South America.

7. Gather brochures from a travel agent and combine the information with what you found on the internet. The more knowledge you have the better off you will be.

8. Narrow your choices down to two destinations and two hotels in each destination. Discuss these options with your travel agent. They can usually give you first hand information on your selections.

9. Keep your price points in mind. Don’t select a particular destination just because it seems to have a low price. Sometimes a low price is there for a reason that you will only find out about once you arrive in that destination. These could include a beach located across from a major roadway, a three hour drive to your hotel from the airport or limited running water during your stay.

10. Make your final choice by seeing how you feel about these destinations throughout the week. Which one keeps coming back into your mind? If one keeps appearing more than the others then that’s your choice. Enjoy your vacation!!!

About the Author

Shirley Merith is a certified travel professional with over 20 years of travel industry experience. She is also a college professor and professionally trained public speaker. For more travel related information contact