Aloha! I'm back from my Hawaii vacation and am ready to hit the ground running! It’s the holiday season and that means travel season and lots of family time. Spring Break is also just around the corner. And, don’t forget about summer vacation. It’s important to get a jump start on next year’s travel planning so you aren’t left out in the cold as destinations deal with high travel season demand and limited availability. Are you traveling with little ones or as a family? I'm talking about multi-generational families too, not just mom, dad, and the kids. Don't forget grandmas and grandpas, aunts, cousins, and uncles. This is very applicable to those of you interested in vacationing with extended family as well, and spending time building memories with the ones you love. How can you get the best experience that will keep everyone happy and not feeling like they need a vacation from their vacation when they return home? Read on for my top travel styles for those traveling as a family to help you narrow down your choices for your next escape.
But first, I'd like to start by by addressing that false sense of "vacation" that comes from renting a place for the family because it's inexpensive and has a kitchen so you can cook your own meals. You repeat Airbnb-ers know what I'm talking about. Who are we kidding? That's far from a vacation for us moms, and it's just a change of scenery where we will use pots and pans that aren't ours and be expected to operate in a sub par equipped kitchen. That rental may SOUND like a good idea, but is it really? Ask any mom who's done this type of "vacation" and she will tell you, "We packed up to go do life in a different backdrop," Been there. Done that. And, no part of this travel style is a vacation for mom. I'm talking about an experience that's a real vacation for the whole family.
If you like the idea of having other families and kids around to keep everyone engaged, there are many tour options that offer special departures geared for families. But don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that grownups won’t get to have any of the fun! From National Parks here at home to European destinations, the sky is the limit as to where you can go. Interested in seeing the sights in Europe? How does a Castles and Kilts tour sound? Is an African safari on your bucket list? With plenty of activities and tours that cater to the wide age gap, there really is something for everyone and you’ll get to enjoy all the sights while the younger travelers stay engaged as well. There are tour companies that do a fabulous job of servicing this niche market for families that wish to show their children the world.
One of the top choices for families continues to be the cruise, and it isn’t hard to see why. On board the ship there are endless activities and possibilities to keep everyone entertained. From pool deck dance parties to nightlife and shows, there is ALWAYS something fun going on. Many ships come outfitted with water slides and even ice skating rinks on board. Add in the Kid’s Club where little ones can be dropped off for an afternoon or morning of nonstop fun while the grown ups can get some much needed R&R, and you have a winning combination. Don’t forget about the food! There is always something to be had when on board a ship. No need to worry about the fact that everyone is hungry at different times or that your picky eaters won't find something they like and make mealtime something you dread rather than enjoy.. You have poolside bistros and ice cream machines, buffets, restaurants, and even room service! If there is one thing there is never a lack of on a cruise, that is FOOD!
All Inclusive Resorts
All inclusive family resorts are another excellent option for families traveling together. They are usually in a beautiful tropical location with plenty to do. Kid Clubs are available at these as well and mom and dad can go to the adults only section during their time “off.” With several restaurants on property, you will never go hungry, and with adult beverages included in the price, you won’t go broke when you get your bar tab either! But weeding through the thousands of properties available can be daunting. How will you pick the right one for your family? I’m here to offer my expertise and professional advice with insider and up to date information on a variety of properties. For those looking for a good way to get real pricing upfront and not worry about how much more your vacation will REALLY end up costing when it’s all said and done, the all inclusive is the way to go.
It isn’t just for the “more mature” traveler. River cruising is quickly becoming a popular vacation for families. Cruise lines are offering entire sailings that are geared toward families and multi-generational passengers. You get all the luxury of a river cruise, and the kids have a blast as well. It’s a win, win! Certain ships and sailings now cater to families traveling together by having adjoining staterooms as well as staterooms that can accommodate more than 2 passengers. What types of activities could they possibly have on board a river cruise ship for children? How does a movie night that’s centered around the destinations you will be visiting? Or, a family friendly Oktoberfest themed night that will be fun for everyone. There is karaoke night for teens, and scenic bike rides along the way. Don’t think you have to wait until your kids are “older” to appreciate traveling through Europe. The time is NOW!
Are you a family that wants a little more personalization and small group experience? I can arrange your perfect vacation to just the destinations and sights you want to see. But you don’t have to go it alone. I can arrange a private driver and guide to be with you every step of the way. Your guide will accompany you through the country, towns, and cities we selected, and you will have a unique vacation that was planned and curated just for you. Or, are you a little more adventurous and independent? You can have this option on a self-driving tour. The self drive tour is for the family that is well traveled and has older children or teens and is comfortable driving in foreign countries.
If you’ve decided to start the daunting task of planning a family vacation, don’t feel like you need to go it alone and spend hours researching online for destinations and pricing. These are my top tips for a successful vacation. I’m here to partner with you and make the planning process easy and the vacation a seamless one. As a travel professional, it is what I specialize in for all of my Distinguished Travelers.
There are many travel styles and options for those looking for a family vacation. The hardest part should be deciding which style best suits your family and what your vacation travel dates are. As a travel specialist, I take care of the rest for you! Except the packing, you’re on your own for that too, although I do often send my best packing tips before you go. So, where are you and your loved ones off to next? Time is precious and the opportunity for making memories together that will last a lifetime is fleeting. Eat the cake. Buy the dress. Take that vacation. Because life is short.
Stop dreaming. Start going.
It's all small world, after all - let me help you see it all.