New Orleans, Louisiana (NAPSI) - When it comes to creating a memorable vacation, planning and scheduling are key. That’s the word from travel experts, such as those at Expedia, who say Americans collectively let half a billion paid days off go to waste last year.

The good news is that there is still time to avoid becoming a vacation statistic this summer. To help, here are some tips for making the most of those precious warm-weather days that are fast approaching.

• Get the kids’ input. Even if you’ve already scheduled your family vacation, give them a voice by involving them in some of the planning. According to AAA, 21 percent of respondents listed “family arguments about where to go and what to do” as one of their biggest summer vacation frustrations.

• Declare digital freedom. E-mails and social media can wait. Use summer to reconnect with nature, your family and friends. Put your phone on silent. Store it in an out-of-reach bag. But keep it in case of emergencies.

• Choose a wet destination. Many believe a vacation on water can give everyone in the family the chance to do something they enjoy.

• Think long term. Spending now on a lake house, boat or RV may save you money and headaches on future vacations. Real freedom is taking vacation on your schedule.

Another way to secure long-term value for your vacation dollar is by investing in quality equipment, both on the water and on land.

For instance, new to the water this year is the Evinrude® E-TEC® G2™ outboard engine. An innovative, boldly styled engine, it’s designed to deliver 15 percent better fuel efficiency, 20 percent more torque and 75 percent fewer regulated emissions than its competitors’.

Contributing to the engine’s lifetime value is the fact that it doesn’t require dealer maintenance for five years. It’s also available in 350 color combinations.

Consumers can test-ride boats rigged with the Evinrude E-TEC G2 line of outboard engines at select locations. To find one, visit