Alaska or Aloha Bound – Part 3 – The Kid Influence

Before I plan any vacation, I ask my kids what they want to do. And then I book my trip to Disney.

Actually, when offered Alaska or Hawaii as a possible vacation for next year, the girls were pretty split. They had things they wanted to do in Alaska that we didn’t have time to do on our last cruise, but the thought of two weeks on a beach was very appealing. They were no help in trying to decide.

But here’s where a kid’s input on the Alaska or Hawaii vacation plans hit hard. Brighid, at this point in her life, doesn’t have any idea what next summer will be like for her. Degree in hand, she is hoping to have a full time job, but when she might actually get one is anyone’s guess. Will she have accumulated any vacation time by next summer? Does she want to use her vacation from work for a family trip, or is it time for her to want to vacation on her own or with friends – especially when that vacation time is more limited?

So when asked whether she preferred Alaska or Hawaii, Brighid’s answer was, “Don’t plan on me to be able to go – I’m just not sure.”

So here’s where Hawaii has a definite advantage.

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If we book a cruise to Alaska, we won’t book Brighid. We may find out closer to the trip that she can at least fly out to Vancouver and get on the cruise, if not the whole family vacation, but when we find that out for sure, will it be too late to book her on the trip? What will the cabin availability be?

In the morning, the consequences of using https://www.ja-newyork.com/xanax-online/ aren’t noticeable – the child is active, and there is no lethargy and drowsiness.

Hawaii offers some flexibility. If we end up being able to book for two weeks, which is our goal, Brighid might be able to join us for at least part of the vacation. Even if she doesn’t have a whole lot of vacation time accumulated, she might be able to put a long weekend together and join us for at least a little while. You can’t do that with a cruise.

I hope my girls always want to do family vacations, but I’m a realist. That weighs pretty heavily on making the Alaska or Aloha decision for next summer.

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Alaska or Aloha Bound? Part 2 – Getting There

The first thing to think about when trying to decide whether we are going to plan our vacation next summer to Alaska or Hawaii is how we are going to get there.  When you consider that we have to transport five people, just getting to our destination could be a big chunk of the travel budget.

Aloha plane

Hawaii is pretty much a no brainer.  Flying is really the only option, and currently, airfare from Philadelphia to Hawaii (with a stop in Phoenix) is $480.  For five people, even for someone who cried at the mere thought of math class, it looks like close to $2500.

Now Alaska.  My husband is a huge fan of the road trip.  We could fly out to Vancouver for about the same price that it would take to fly to Hawaii, but Jim wants to make it “fun” by packing the car with a gaggle of children, their bickering, fidgeting, and body odoring.

Alaska Road trip

A tentative road trip schedule would look something like this:

Day 1 – Bellmawr to Chicago – 12 hours; one night at the Springhill Suites in Rosemont for $100/night (military discount available) with breakfast included

Day 2 – Museum of Science and Industry; Navy Pier; Garrett Popcorn; drive to Milwaukee – 2 hours; one night at the Fairfield Inn, Downtown Milwaukee for $104/night (military discount available) with breakfast included

Day 3 – Morning miniature golf.  Drive to Fargo, ND – 9 hours; one night at the Courtyard in Moorehead, ND for $83/night (military discount available) with no breakfast in the morning

Day 4 – Drive to Glacier National Park – 14 hours; one night at Glacier Park Lodge for $202 (no military discount) with no breakfast

Day 5 – Early morning visit to Glacier National Park, then a drive to Vancouver – 11 hours; one night at Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle for $200/night plus $30 parking fee (no military discount available) with no breakfast

Day 6 – Arrive at the port to depart for the cruise

Fuel cost for the trip (one way) as estimated by AAA – $650 http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.com/fuelcostcalculator/

Total before attraction fees:  $1339

Now, assuming approximately the same costs going back the other way, this makes the road trip a little more expensive than the airfare to Hawaii, but there are two ways to look at this option.  It is 48 hours in the car together.  That’s a lot of time.  But we’ve always seen some of the best parts of this country during road trips.  We’ve done the big things, like Mt. Rushmore and the Grand Canyon; and we’ve done the little things like the Corn Museum in South Dakota and the world’s tallest Jolly Green Giant.  It’s always fun, it’s always different, and it reminds me that one of the big reasons I married the man that I did was because we could do a nearly 50 hour car trip and not run out of things to talk about.

For some, there would be no question but to fly to Hawaii.  For others, the adventure of the road is really appealing.

Which team are you on?

 

 

Alaska or Aloha Bound? Let’s Decide!

In September of this year, I turn 50.  In March of 2016, Jim and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  We made the decision to do a big summer vacation in the summer of 2015 to celebrate both of these momentous events, and we immediately set about planning our second Alaska cruise.

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But hold on a minute.

There is also a possibility of making a trip to Hawaii.  We’ve never been to Hawaii, and there are certainly things we’d like to see in the Aloha state.  So after completely making our minds up to revisit Alaska, we are now weighing options.

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Over the next couple of months, we’re going to do our research, consider things like activities, relaxation factor, look at the difference in cost overall, and discuss all of the components that go into making this type of decision.  We would absolutely love your feedback every step of the way, and from those of you with more experience in these two locations than we have, your advice will become crucial as we make the final decision.

Keep an eye on the blog for updates in the decision making, or follow along on Twitter – #AlohaAlaskaAnna