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Old 10-06-2012, 08:43 AM   #1
jnsma
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Justifying ABD

I am starting to look at family vacations for next summer and am considering ABD but the cost is holding me back. Care to convince me or suggest an alternative?

We have 2 kids, twins 9 years old. They are on the spoiled side, like to be busy but not all that adventuresome. Our vacations up to this point have been geared towards them (beach, amusement parks, nice swimming pools) with single location or cruise. Before kids, we did quite a bit of traveling but not high adventure, mostly sightseeing around Europe (5 trips in a row). All was done by my own planning and on our own.

I’m considering a tour to try and get the kids exposed to a wider variety of things. This past summer we went to Williamsburg and tried to mix the history with fun and it was a struggle at times. I figured a pre-planned itinerary that included family centric activities would work out better.
As a first attempt, I was thinking of the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion parks, so the Canyons and Cowboys tour with ABD. Much as I would love to go back to Europe, I think that would be too much to throw them into on the first tour and it also costs more.

We do enjoy Disney and know they “do it right”. We’ve done 5 DCL cruises…. I wouldn’t say that I’m tied to DCL but everyone always has such a good time that we default to them and pay the increase over the other lines. So you could say that I have gotten to the point of justifying the price increase for DCL but not there yet for ABD.

On this trip, I’m considering a tour to help aid the picking up and moving each day (or every other). I can see that getting old if doing it ourselves. I’ve considered renting an RV and think that would be a completely different option and experience but DW is not quite on board yet. Full disclosure: as a kid I did 2 cross country family trips in a station wagon and tent trailer.

Sorry for all the background, but hopefully gives some perspective. So onto the questions….
Is ABD worth the extra cost?
What other tour groups do nice US family tours? I’ve done a bit of checking into Tauck, Collette, Globus, and a half a dozen others that I’ve found here. Given that I haven’t done a tour, I’m not sure what to look for.
Are there any good local companies that specialize in the western US?
Has anyone that has done an ABD tour done a similar thing planned on their own? If we just did it ourselves, I’m sure we wouldn’t do all the really cool things and/or stay at places as nice. This really makes it hard to do an apples-to-apples comparison.

Any insights or suggestions to help justify the additional cost would be much appreciated.
Thanks, Jeff.
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