Get Ready for a Great Vacation with Your Kids
Make your vacation great by researching where you want to go and how you’ll get there well in advance.
You may have a dream vacation in mind, but look into it a little further and realize that what you thought would be loads of fun has you crammed into a tiny hotel room (avoid a standard hotel room at all costs) with no escape when the kids hit the sheets well before your bedtime. The room types and amenities offered at a kid-friendly hotel far outweigh what you’ll find at more refined five star hotels.
Many hotels offer family friendly accommodations. Hilton brands like Double Tree and Hampton Inn are excellent options. Typically affordable, clean, comfortable, modern, and family friendly these brands plan with kids in mind. Some offer suites suited for families, others a single room set up with an area just for kids. Allowing you to kick back and relax when it’s lights out for the little ones. Attached waterparks, movie nights, crafts, complimentary sundae bars and a collection of take out options from area restaurants make for fun within the hotel when the weather does not go your way.
Family friendly resorts offer excellent on-site options for everyone. There’s a reason so many families make their to Walt Disney World on school vacation weeks; there’s lots to do for everyone. Although this trip can be planned yourself, a specialist can ensure this trip is done the way you want. Our personal favorite Disney vacation planner is Kelly Wheeler with Key to the World Travel. She’s FREE, can find you deals and will make your trip magical. Not to mention, she has two kids of her own and loves Walt Disney World; she travels there with her family each year.
Home rentals are a wonderful way to enjoy a popular tourist destination. With so much space, you’ll enjoy not just your time exploring, but also your time relaxing. Your kids can have their own space and you can have yours.
2. Fly direct, working around your kids schedules
The lower fares from multiple stops can be tempting, but when flying with kids, especially those under five, the cost of a direct flight will pay you dividends in peace of mind.
Having flown many times, with another adult and alone, both direct and with layovers, leaving on time and having been delayed, I always book the most direct flight with the least number of stops possible.
The only time a layover is to your advantage is when the flight is very long. Two options in this situation are to fly overnight (provided your kid’s a good sleeper), or get a layover that allows for one to two hours at a well equipped airport. Think play space, food court, places to run around. The hour or two will be well worth it when your kids can’t watch another show.
On one harrowing nap-time flight home (kids are always at their worst on the way home), alone with a rambunctious two year old, I found myself near tears. My son decided he was done with planes for the day, threw himself on the ground, screaming, while I tried to get him, his stroller and our carry on to our seats. If you’ve ever carried a flailing toddler around, you know this job requires both hands. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers who came to my rescue, because without help I would have had to leave everything (other than my son) behind.
3. Be Early
When an adult misses a flight, train, or other scheduled mode of transportation home it’s not fun, but manageable. If you’re traveling with kids and you miss your transportation, it is a nightmare straight out of Elm Street.
Rescheduling multiple seats can be tough, causing you to be delayed further, and your kids to get seriously cranky. Arrive extra early to the airport or train station, make your way through security let the kids buy some treats at the store and snacks to take along then read a few books or let them run wild before boarding.
And you’ll be headed off for a fantastic time away as a family.