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The term "Cheap family vacations" holds a lot of suspicion to many families as there is always the fear of "where are they cutting corners"? Throw an African safari into the mix and many families feel justified to trend carefully with the term cheap. How wrong!

Now more than ever it is possible for families to go on cheap vacations to Africa. The catch comes in thorough researching and booking the tour direct with a reliable safari operator in Africa. But can this be done when traveling with children? Of course if you take time and know exactly what you want; out there is a safari operator who can give you an affordable family vacation without cutting corners.

Here are practical tips on how to research for an African operator for your family vacation – keep in mind what is cheap is the cost of the tour but NOT your family:

- When surfing for operators – avoid dealing with the "About Us" which is too open ended. You want to deal with a specific person, do they have their bio out on their website? Assuming they are a local safari company, why should they not reveal their identity?

- Okay, you want a cheap family vacation but research as though money is not a problem. This gives you a large pool of African safari operators whose resumes you'd want to consider and you avoid being locked-up with operators with doubtful reputations. Then narrow down the candidates to suit your budget and of course your family’s nterest.

- How long has the African safari operator has been in operation? Don’t overlook this question as it will help you avoid the here-today-gone-tomorrow operators. There is no rule that the new operators can’t give you an affordable family vacation but you must certainly see that your family doesn’t become the company's experimental client.

- Does the safari operator have the expertise for your family’s specific needs? If he can't directly supply your need, this should be a red flag.

- What do the travel reviews say about him? Trust the grapevine - if the family vacations operator is up to scratch you will hear it online reviews. However, be watchful for out-dated and self-authored trip reports and unverifiable client's comments.

- Membership in fee-paying tourism associations. While these bodies have noble ideas, there is a very good reason why they put a disclaimer in their members list. Read and respect the disclaimer. As much as you are looking for a cheap family vacation, you must not let your guard down just because the operator appears in every fee-paying body.

- Finally surprise the safari operator with a phone call. Switch on your detective radar, listen carefully between his words and try to match them with info in his web site and from emails. By the time you put the phone down, you will definitely know if he is the right operator for your cheap family vacation to Africa or if you have just escaped a close shave.

For a consultation on family safaris in Kenya, contact Ontdek Kenya safaris. We have over 20 years of experience in travel with children in Kenya.