For nearly a year, we have been living under a cloud known as the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, it has taken a toll on our lives, and we need something to break the monotony. Everything about the way we live changed in an instant. Most students have had to switch to virtual learning; more people are working remotely from home, we must all wear a mask when outside our home, and there are limits to the places we can go. Many gyms, movie theaters, and entertainment venues have all but closed, and the few professional sports that do have games do so with a minimal number of fans in attendance. COVID-19 has upended our routines and the normalcy of our lives, and that includes vacations.
Although travel out of the country by air has come to a screeching halt, travel from state to state can safely be done, taking certain precautions and social distancing measures. Going on vacation is always a way to break the monotony, so whether it's a winter vacation with snow and skiing or a summer vacation with sun and sand, going on vacation is an answer to much of today's stress. But do not be limited to one or the other in terms of seasons when you can go on a cruise and see multiple locations in one vacation.
Benefits of a cruise
There are a lot of benefits to taking a cruise over a traditional vacation. On a cruise, you can visit multiple locations. Many cruises stop at up to five ports where passengers get off and enjoy the city/town. Sightseeing may include breathtaking wildlife in fascinating places. These ports are like treasure island locations.
You meet people from all over the country on a cruise. Many fly in to board the ship from all over the country, so undoubtedly, you will sit with someone from far away for dinner and strike up a conversation.
There are endless activities on a cruise. Besides the pools and water activities, cruises have daily entertainment for all age groups, casinos, contests, and cinemas. Cruise ships are lively and leave no room for boredom.
How to save on a cruise
All the benefits that cruises would leave one to believe that cruises would be expensive. However, there are many deals available for cruises that make cruises an affordable family vacation. Some tips to save big on a cruise vacation for your family are:
- Look for a travel agent that specializes in booking cruises. These agents know the cruise lines and often book your trip at up to 20 percent less than other agents.
- Book your next cruise while you are on a cruise. Many cruise lines have an agent on the cruise looking for future customers.
- Cruising during the offseason significantly reduces your family's price to cruise on a temperature-controlled cruise ship.
- Skip booking on the newest ships. Cruise lines take safety measures like airports, so a cruise ship a few years old is as good as the fleet's newest ship.
- If you must fly to the cruise ship port, book your flight. That way, you can check prices and shop for the best cruise deals yourself.
- Pack light to save on luggage cost when flying. Cruise lines all have laundry service available. Save room in your luggage for the souvenirs that you'll want to bring home.
- Book your cruise early to avoid paying peak prices that are available later.
- Look for special rates. Now is not the time to be shy about using your AARP card for a discount. Check to see where values are.
- Look for a cabin guarantee. If you don't mind where your cabin is on the ship, a cabin guarantee can get you a lower price since you let the cruise line pick your room.
- Book at the last minute if you have a flexible schedule and can afford to book and pay at the same time.
Booking a family cruise doesn't need to be expensive and has many perks and benefits. Using the tips above will ensure you get the best cruise deals out there.