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Hi there!  Tanya here. 

Looking for fresh vacation ideas? You're in the right spot!

Recess. Adventure. Discovery. 

Our top family vacation sites

Our top family vacation sites

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you.

The best online vacation booking sites

In our books that is.

These are our favorites, tried-and-true. The websites we naturally visit time and time again. Bookmark this page for the next time you're planning an epic vacation!

We leaned on several times during our 2 week long California road trip. As we made our way from Colorado to California and home again, we booked last minute rooms from the road.

My father-in-law loves their free cancellations option. He's planning an epic 4 week long road trip through 12 U.S. national parks (plus a handful in Canada!) this next summer and he's booking all of their hotel overnights with

Cheap Caribbean

When we traveled to Jamaica, and then Cancun, Mexico three different winters, was our one-stop shop for the best deals for all-inclusive vacations to the Caribbean. Phenomenal customer service over the phone too.

Offering flash sales and great last-minute deals for family-style beach breaks and adults only get-aways, this site is packed with sunny, warm destinations for various tastes and budgets. 


Cruise Critic

Cruisecritic is a fantastic place to read honest reviews about different ships and check out any awards they might be known for. 

According to my friend Kendra, and expert on family cruising, do not choose a cruise with less than an 80% satisfaction rating. For more of Kendra's expert tips about embarking on a family cruise, check out her 11 expert tips.


Stay flexible. Save big. 

Pick the quality, amenities and area that are right for you, and Hotwire will reveal the hotel name and location after you book.

My sister especially loves Hotwire. She has snagged so many cheap deals on Hotwire, especially on last minute hotel bookings. 

Take note of Hotwire's star ratings and hotel class ratings, plus what other customers say about the hotel.  Use Hotwire for booking plane tickets and hotels together in a package deal.



The best ski resorts in one place. Purchase lift tickets in advance from and save significantly.

Unearth smashing deals at ski resorts all over the U.S. and all over the world. Just be sure to read the fine print! Check out our advice about kids' ski lessons here.


Founded in 2001, we've booked loads of flights, hotel overnights, and car rentals through  Especially over the six years we lived in Europe. 

The ease of comparing hotels and guest ratings, especially for last-minute lodging, has saved us money over and over. Plus, you can activate up to 7% back if you're an eBates member! More on that below.



Skyscanner's free flight search tool will help you find cheap flights, plane tickets and travel deals with hundreds of airlines to your favorite destinations. And, you can book direct without extra fees.

I like the option of running the same airfare search on other travel sites and comparing the findings in new windows. Skyscanner offers hotel and car rental deals too.

Southwest Airlines

Booking flights only? We always start by looking at where bags fly free and they offer one-way fares as low as $59 one-way.

We're planning a trip to the East Coast early this summer for a tour of Washington D.C. and New York City before heading up to Connecticut for a dear friend's wedding. Southwest Airlines boasts great non-stop fares for flying into Washington D.C. and out of Hartford, Connecticut. 



Impressed by their customer service and the ease of booking flights from different destinations for a multi-generational 50th anniversary trip to Spain, Travelocity easily makes our list. 

Wander wisely and discover competitive prices for hotels, cheap flights, package deals, rental cars, cruises, and more.

Travelzoo Top 20

Every week, Travelzoo rounds up a Top 20 list of the very best vacation deals offered by more than 2,000 companies worldwide.

Flights and hotel packages in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, a 7 night river cruise on the Danube through France, Germany, Holland, and Hungary, or a guided snowshoe tour in Breckenridge, Colorado are just a few of the offerings I saw on this week's Travelzoo Top 20.



Being a large family, we often choose a vacation home over a hotel or resort stay. It's easier on the wallet. Heavily favoring over the years, we have vacationed in some pretty sweet spots while staying in a classy home away from home. 

The following destinations were that much sweeter due to wonderfully outfitted family vacation homes offered on VRBO:

Yellowstone National Park

Marathon, Florida

Sevilla, Spain

More helpful websites


Need new luggage? A new handbag made for traveling?  Check out for travel accessories made with you in mind.

And, be sure to activate your eBates account; I've seen as much as 15% cash back offered when purchasing through this online travel bag retailer.



Ebates is a no-brainer. Sign up and earn $10 right off the bat. Earn easy cash back from over 2,000 online retailers.

Money-wise peeps who shop online use Ebates. You can even use it while shopping in many stores. Double-cash back offers daily.

Sign up for Ebates today (it's FREE!) and start earning serious cash back.


Let Honey scour the internet for the best deal on the one item you're hunting for.  Install their button, and as you're shopping, Honey will let you know if there is a better deal somewhere else.  Easy peasy.  Learn more and join Honey here.

Family ski photo belongs to Tanya Raedeke and may not be used without written permission. Cruise ship Copyright: All other photos are courtesy of Pixabay.

Have any online sites you tend to use the most when you're planning your next family vacation? Please share below!

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Staying involved with our busy teenagers

Staying involved with our busy teenagers