5 Best travel tips when planning a family vacation this spring

After weeks of cold weather, families have one thing on their minds: spring break! Prepare your memorable getaway and plan for the unexpected with CAA North & East Ontario’s helpful travel tips.

There’s nothing like a family vacation, and for many Canadian travellers, spring break is the perfect time for a warm-weather escape or European getaway.

Patricia Marques, Managing Director of Retail & Call Centre Sales & Operations at CAA North & East Ontario, offers an insider’s edge on the best family-friendly destinations and advice to make your trip more enjoyable and safer.

What are some popular family-friendly destinations to visit?

Patricia Marques: “If you’re dreaming of fun in the sun with a few thrills, Orlando is one of the best family vacation spots in the U.S. (there’s a good reason this Florida city is known as the world capital of theme parks).

But if you’re looking for a trip that’s good for the whole family, consider taking a cruise. Royal Caribbean Cruises is packed with activities and entertainment to keep the kids happy, as well as onboard amenities for the parents and grandparents.

Plus, CAA Members get exclusive travel benefits when they book with their CAA Travel Consultant! Springtime is also a great season for European getaways. You’ll enjoy fewer crowds and beat the summer heat. There are many European travel spots that offer kid-friendly things to see, do and eat.

When travelling with your family, how important is it to get travel insurance?

PM: “Families are full of surprises, and vacations can be, too. Travel insurance covers the unexpected, so there’s less to worry about. If you or your child gets sick before you leave, trip cancellation insurance is there to recoup your expenses.

And CAA’s Cancel for Any Other Reason¹ policy allows you to cancel your trip up to three hours before departure when purchased within 72 hours of booking your trip or before cancellation penalties apply. You can get a refund of up to 75% for prepaid non-refundable charges when you book your trip through CAA Travel and up to 50% for travel booked with a third party.

While abroad, CAA’s Emergency Medical Insurance² can cover the costs of unexpected medical bills from things like a twisted ankle or upset stomach that require emergency care.”

Any advice on keeping kids engaged while travelling?

PM: “Plan ahead and bring an assortment of entertainment and activities. Load up those handheld devices with games, movies, or educational apps before you leave home.

Activity books and puzzles are great for keeping hands and minds busy. Audiobooks and guided meditation podcasts for kids can help them to unwind, fall asleep, or stay entertained. Travelling with family means a lot of gadgets, so make sure you add baggage insurance to protect your belongings. CAA offers this coverage with a Vacation Package³ plan.”

What are your pro-packing tips when travelling as a family?

PM: “One of the most stressful things about travelling with the kids is packing: Are there enough clothes? Enough stuff to keep them entertained? It’s tempting to throw everything in but take only what you absolutely need and choose clothes that can be combined into multiple outfits. Check the airline’s baggage size and weight restrictions and review the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) list of what you can and can’t pack in your carry-on. Finally, make the most of your limited packing space by filling nooks and crannies, like the space inside your shoes.”

As a travel expert, can you share some tips to save money for Canadian families ready to vacation?

PM: “Plan ahead and research! Book an appointment with your local travel consultant to help you find the best deals and options for your dream trip. If you’re a CAA Members, use your CAA cards to save up to 20%⁴ on CAA Travel Insurance and get exclusive travel benefits when you book through CAA Travel.

And remember: “When in Rome … Eat like the Romans!” Locally sourced food can be less expensive.”

Ready for spring break? Book an appointment with one of CAA North & East Ontario’s travel consultants today to plan the perfect itinerary and get competitive travel insurance to protect you along the way. Get a travel insurance quote online or call 1-800-267-8713.

CAA Travel Insurance is underwritten by Orion Travel Insurance Company, a CAA Company. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply. Subject to change without notice. A Medical Questionnaire is required if you are 60 years of age and older. Quotes are valid for 30 days.

1. Cancel for Any Other Reason is subject to general conditions and exclusions of your travel insurance policy.

2. Up to $5 million CAD. Maximum $25,000 for all Emergency Medical Insurance benefits for Canadian residents without active Government Health Insurance Plan (GHIP); and/or without GHIP authorization to cover trip days in excess of 212 days in Ontario in a 12-month period.

3. Multi-Trip Vacation Packages covers 4, 8, 15 or 30 days per trip depending on the plan purchased. Top-Up coverage is available for longer trips. Coverage cannot exceed 365 days from departure date or effective date. There is a maximum travel coverage of 63 days including Top-Up for travellers aged 60 to 84 years of age.

4. Applies to CAA Members in good standing (CAA Membership dues paid in full by Membership expiry date). Up to twenty percent (20%) savings applies to the total premium excluding applicable taxes. Minimum premium applies.

Subject to change without notice. Excludes Visitors to Canada Insurance. CAA Everyday, Classic®, and Plus® Members save 10%. CAA Premier® Members save 20% at CAA Stores or by calling 1-800-267-8713. CAA Premier Members save 10% and earn 10% in CAA Dollars® when booking online.

® CAA trademarks are owned by, and use is authorized by, the Canadian Automobile Association.

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