Pointe-HiltonThis year, for spring break, I set out to book us a great family vacation, but I had a pretty strict budget that I wanted to follow.

We had only a few guidelines for our trip.  We wanted to enjoy warm weather, and we needed to travel during our kids’ school vacation week.

Armed with a list of destinations, I checked out package deals – hotel plus airfare – to some of our selected destinations.  I checked out Puerto Rico, San Diego, Phoenix, and Fort Myers, and after seeing the huge price differences, we decided to spend our spring break vacation in Fort Myers.  By booking a vacation package through Jetblue Getaways, we saved over $600 on our total vacation price.

If your family is looking to get a great travel deal to a popular destination, a vacation package deal may work for you too.  I’ve booked deals on Priceline.com (where I booked the Pointe Hilton Tapetio Cliffs in Phoenix, AZ), and Jetblue Getaways and have always gotten a great deal.  Here are a few tips to follow when booking your family vacation:

  • Know your prices.  Make sure you price out your trip separately to see what that price is.  It’s a good idea to start with a package just to get an idea of prices, but make sure a deal is a deal.
  • Check several websites. I was surprised to find that Jetblue Getaways offered a better price on our trip than Priceline did.
  • Read the small print. Sometimes you won’t be able to get reward points with packages booked through third parties.  You’ll also want to make sure you know the cancellation policies.
  • Don’t forget about points. You can often get extra airline or reward points if you book through affiliated sites like Southwest Vacations, Jetblue Getaways, or American Express travel.

Have you booked a vacation package before?  What was your experience?