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2024 Family Travel Kick-Off

What's your ideal family vacation? Travel By Vickie Y can make it a reality

Take a moment to pause what you’re doing and picture your ideal family vacation. Does a remote, tropical beach vacation sound like heaven? Or do you want to get active and climb some mountains with majestic peaks? How about somewhere with both? 

Whether you’re traveling near or far, a big budget blowout, or an economical getaway, there’s nothing better than making memories as a family away from home. And if you’re a mom like Vickie Yeasley, you know how sacred that time can be, and you are forever thankful for the opportunity. 

Vickie Yeasley of Travel by Vickie Y is a mom and Las Vegas-based travel agent who loves spending time with her kids and pets while booking dream vacations for her clients. When she and the family have time to be away from their beloved three cats, they hop in the car and drive along the beautiful California coast, camp in the mountains, or explore the wondrous Dixie National Forest in Utah. As an outdoorsy family, you can find them hiking and biking outdoors. 

With 2023 coming to an end, we asked Vickie where families should be considering for the upcoming year. And without hesitation, Vickie responded that cruises are at the top of everyone’s list.

“Cruises are often all-inclusive, always en route to stunning locales, and are great for kids as there’s always something to do,” says Vickie. Pro Tip - book a room toward the center of the boat. The rear and the front tend to incur more noise and motion sickness.

And if you're more of a land-loving family that’s targeting locations abroad, she suggests Paris and Rome for a great European vacation, especially if you’ve never been. Just picture an evening cruise on The Seine River or an afternoon at the chocolate museum. Day or night, there is always something to do for any budget. Even walking through the city during the day, finding bookstores, and people-watching is a magical experience.

And you can never go wrong with one of the many kid-friendly versions of traditional tours in Rome, including an underground tour of The Colosseum. And for older kids without a fear of heights, a morning spent climbing up to St. Peter’s Dome will reward the entire family with spectacular views of the city. Pro Tip: Make sure kids and adults are ready for a steep and narrow climb. 

And if your family is willing to go far yet wants something out of the way, sans typical tourist crowds? That’s easy, says Vickie. Riga, Latvia, or Hamburg, Germany, are both underrated cities in Europe and offer some of the best old and new architecture, beautiful views, and things to do. In Riga, you can explore the old town on foot, visit the Riga Zoo, and explore the National Library of Latvia. The harbor city of Hamburg offers a rich history with more modern architecture than other cities in Germany. For the best views, check out the free viewing platform at their new opera house, The Elbphilharmonie. 

“You certainly don’t need to vacation in a big, well-known touristy city to have an amazing time,” says Vickie. “And often, you’ll receive a more authentic experience, especially if you like to mingle with locals.”

And while these exotic, expensive locations would be a dream come true for any family, it’s not realistic for all. Especially during economically challenging times, families are looking for more budget-friendly options closer to home. Luckily, there is no shortage, and Vickie has a list ready. 

“The National Park system in our country is an absolute treasure, and we are lucky to have so many of these amazing parks available, many of which are not far from Las Vegas,” says Vickie. “The Grand Canyon and Zion National Park are just some of the most stunning pieces of nature in our country, maybe even the world. And they’re less than a day’s worth of driving from Las Vegas.” 

And how to save even more money once you arrive? Vickie confirms the biggest expenses are lodging and food. So, finding less expensive lodging that’s slightly farther from the park can save money without a lot of extra time. Many of these parks offer shuttles and other types of transportation to the main gates that can save a good chunk of change. Being open to booking in the off-season will reduce both cost and crowds, which always makes for a more enjoyable experience. Finally, don’t fall for the expensive food options within the park, and try to pack your own food and snacks when possible. If there’s an option for a small kitchen at the hotel, you can find a local grocery store and cook easy meals like breakfast on your own rather than eating out. And, of course, packing snacks that your kids like will keep them happy during longer hikes or rides without places to stop. “You’d be surprised how quickly eating out can add up, especially inside the park,” says Vickie. 

If your family is looking to travel this year, Travel by Vickie Y makes the process easy and can accommodate any budget, large or small. It all starts by giving her a call to receive an inquiry form, and she will then schedule a time to ask more questions and tailor a package just for you.