How to Book for Large Families
Who wouldn’t want to travel with this bunch?
Why is it so hard to book trips for a large family? One reason is because not that long ago, most sites would not allow you to book 7 tickets at once. This was one of the biggest hurdles for our family to overcome. Now, there are more search engines that allow for this and do make it easier, but which to pick?
How do we go anywhere together?
As this is all so confusing and there are so many different sites to try, I use to stick with what I know. When researching which sites allow for more than six travelers, I realize that it is time to expand my horizons. I can take an hour just to decide which site to start your search for a trip prior to even where you might want to go.
This photo was a few years ago. Most people would not even try to travel with this many kids. Are we insane?
The quick answer is yes… we have been stuck in an airport for many hours with 5 kids, redirected to nowhere near home and end up having to drive 4 hours to our destination airport at 1 am, thankfully only once! This was all because of a sick pilot..
Many sites are helpful for figuring out what is available and what times the flights are, general cost and such. Expedia, Orbitz and travelocity still restrict to 6 people. Booking.com, kayak, Cheapoair all do allow booking for large groups. I do like that Cheapoair allows you to pick both departure and return separately. Some of the other sites do not. Is there anything perfect? Not really. When I narrow down what is available and when, I usually then go directly to airline to book, but may try Cheapoair and see if this works better.
Does this look inviting for 7? I don’t think so.. (though actually did stay there) Do I want to pay full price for a bed for a 5 year old… Not really.
How do you hard to find the right place for 7 people, two of which might want some privacy?
Some online platforms do not adjust for different types of lodging for families or groups. If you want one room with a king and a room with 2 queens, it is two separate bookings on some sites. Booking.com has somehow overcome this. The site actually takes into account large bookings and offers options on different type of rooms, condos, and helps you decide which to pick. This was a huge blessing for me with planning.
I still use other sites such as expedia, hotels.com ect, but if you have a big family getting something tailored for you is really helpful. Pre-covid planned an entire trip to Europe using the train system and mostly apartments through booking.com…but alas COVID hit and that was the end of that trip… I still have the itinerary and one day hope to use it.
This Sounds Hard
Sometimes it is hard.
I love travel and showing my kids the US and hopefully one day the world. If you start with a budget, the planning can begin. After the budget, a basic idea of where and for how long will you be gone. After those two steps, it will be easier to decide where to save money and where to splurge. The search engines available do help, but focus on one that works for your family and travel needs, will keep you sain!
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Here are some trips with itineraries you can download and enjoy