It’s the age old question - where are we going on our vacation? Let’s celebrate the Great Outdoors with families in mind and recreate your favorite family vacations from your childhood. Here are our top tips:
Travelling with kids? It's this simple - don't stay in hotels. Get yourself onto Airbnb. You need highchairs, cribs, toys, back yards, an actual kitchen and parking spaces. All of these can be found on Airbnb's filters. You're basically looking for a home where children already live so you can pack lightly. It's such a joy to discover the comfort of someone else's home and can make all the difference to your stay.
The idea of camping filling you with dread? Then Glamp. Glamping is soooo family friendly. You get a real bed to sleep in for starters. And features such as outdoor kitchens and compost toilets will delight all the family. Log cabins abound these days and you can really get away from the crowds. Find a nice spot by a lake and catch fireflies. You're 'roughing it' without really roughing it.
Go in a group
Now the thought of dealing with other people (no matter how much you love them) might make you shudder but once you have kids vacationing with other families is a lifesaver. For one thing you can rent a larger place (think big beach houses) and share the costs of food AND have the added benefit of having playmates on site for your kids. If the kids are occupied then you can sit back and relax. Now that's a real vacation. Take sleeping bags for the kids to bunk on the floor so you only need one room. If your kids are too small to run off on their own then you'll have some extra hands available to pass the baby to.
Did you know you can stay in BnB's on farms that advertise themselves as family-friendly. Think Sonoma or Dutch PA. These often have ponies, chickens for egg collecting, and other animals to keep the kids amused. The best ones even have playgrounds. The family-style breakfasts are unforgettable.
If your idea of a vacation is total relaxation with no cooking at all then you really do need to book a package. Make sure the pool has a kids area with a few water slides - it will be your salvation. We find apartments with kitchenettes are never a bad idea even if you do go for the all-inclusive option in case the on site restaurant isn't on the same time table as your child's tummy. Do try and research the RESORT/TOWN in addition to the hotel - if it's a party town where 18 year old's go to dance the night away, you won't be impressed. Try Google Earthing the location to see what the local environment is like - for instance is the sea/beach sheltered or exposed - is the whole area over-developed or is there some greenery - can you walk to a village for shops and provisions or will you be dependent on the over-priced resort shops. The best package vacations we've gone on have been the results of LOTS of research. If you skip this, you may find yourself in vacation hell.
Happy Family Holidays everyone xoxox
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