A family vacation is such an amazing time, but finding the right kid-friendly travel destinations can be tough. Whether you have little children, older kids, or teenagers it can be tough to find just the right place to take your family for your annual vacation. We have compiled a list of great tips for how to make the best choice for a kid-friendly vacation.
How To Choose Kid Friendly Travel Destinations
Start your vacation planning by considering these things as you search for just the right place for your family to relax together for a few days or even a few weeks stay. When choosing travel destinations there are so many factors involved including your budget and preferences, but making sure they are great for the whole family is a must. These tips should help make that easier to manage.
Ask for personal recommendations. You’ll find this is a theme in our travel suggestions, but there truly is nothing more vital to your family travel than to ask friends and family for their opinions and suggestions. That first-hand recommendation is really the only way you know you are getting what you expect. Finding another family that has visited the travel destinations on your list of interest can help you figure out if it is the right place for you to take your family.
When planning travel, ask by perhaps posting on social media asking others to give you their recommendations of where to go. Then you will want to narrow things down to suit your family. Having first hand tips can make a huge difference in how the entire family views the trip and experience.
Here are a few things to consider asking:
- Are there age appropriate activities for your family? Insert ages so you can determine if it was great for their 5 year old but would be boring for your teen.
- Ask for information on cost of things like lodging, entertainment, food, parking, bus fare, etc. so you can see if it would fit into you budget. Some cities are great for all ages, but may not be feasible due to a limited budget. For example, visiting Los Angeles offers something for literally everyone, but the accomodations and ticket prices can be much more than some can afford so it would automatically be off the list.
- Ask for personal experiences at entertainment venues. You don’t want to hear about what they thought looked fun, but actually what they did do while at the travel destination in question.
Look for age appropriate entertainment. When you are doing your own research about potential travel destinations, begin looking at possible options for activities that everyone would enjoy. When we visited Sea World, I knew it would be great for all of us. One of the big factors was that there are fun rides that older kids, teens, and adults would enjoy. For younger kids, they had hands on experiences with animals, and their own set of rides in a separate area. This accomodated the entire family easily.
While you can’t always find locations that have something for everyone, you do want to make sure that not every day will be focused on one specific person. If you have a family unit with a 3 year old, 10 year old, and a 15 year old you know that they won’t all want to do the same things. Even if one day you stay in the toddler friendly area, make sure the next day you make arrangements for the older kids to enjoy something geared toward them while one parent does stays at the hotel or goes elsewhere with the toddler. It’s all about balance. Not just that everything should fit the entire family, but that there are options for everyone to enjoy at least one or two things during their stay.
Carefully read reviews of hotel or lodging. There are tons of great pictures and reviews online for hotels, motels, and even resorts. Reading a review will give you a ton of information about the individual location and if it will meet your needs.
When traveling with your family, you want to make sure you are reading the reviews very carefully for those hints that a specific hotel mightnot be so kid-friendly. Comments about locations having thin walls, being noisy, or even having a lot of traffic late at night will clue you in that it isn’t a good location for your family to visit.
One trip to Las Vegas showed us that spending a few extra dollars to stay in a hotel off-strip that didn’t allow smoking or gaming was well-worth it for our family. We didn’t hear lots of noise late at night, so everyone could get a great night sleep. There was no fear of drunken behavior in the halls, or potential for kids to see some of the less savory elements of the area. Be aware of what reviews say so you can easily determine if a nice location would be great for a couples trip, but not so great for your family travel destinations.
Avoid locations that cater to business travelers. There are many travel destinations that are also popular for business events. Some cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and of course, New York City are major cities for business travelers. In fact, almost every major metropolitan area is going to have specific hotels and lodging that cater more to business than to families. While you may still want to visit the city, avoid the areas that are geared toward buiness travel.
There are often great rates on hotesl in business districts, but if you have children that are a bit more rambunctious, it can lead to unhappy hotel patrons. That few dollars extra for a hotel in a family-friendly area is well worth it for you to feel peace of mind during your travels.
This also should be a consideration for your vacation as a whole. When going with kids, you really want a location that offers more kid-friendly entertainment and less upscale shopping, food, or atmosphere. There are many sophisticated children who enjoy a nice meal or even a museum, but more often than not vacation is all about letting your family relax and have fun. For kids, this means runnning, jumping, making a bit of noise, and exploring. Keep that in mind when considering more business travel areas for your family vacation.
These tips for how to find the best kid-friendly travel destinations will help you and your family to have an unforgetable vacation experience.