31 Jul Traveling with Kids: Enjoy Adult Destinations with Underage Companions
Many people mistakenly believe their days of refined travel are over once they have children. Thankfully, that isn’t true, and there are many ways to see the sights and sounds of the world that don’t involve crowded theme parks or B-rated hotels. Keep reading for tips on how to keep everyone in your party happy without skipping quality destinations.
When you’re traveling with children, there will be some compromises. Depending on their ages, you may not be able to enjoy candlelit dinners in adults-only establishments. Plan your vacation around family-oriented activities, but include a few destinations that cater to your own interests. For example, if you’re in California, you can bring your kids with you on a wine tour throughout Napa Valley or Sonoma County. Here, the kids get to experience a beautiful landscape and you get to try new wines. Amax Limo offers luxury transportation throughout the area, and if the kids get bored, they can retreat to the limo to watch a movie.
Another simple way to strike a balance between kid-centered activities and relaxed travel is to book a luxury family cruise. Travel Age West explains there are many high-end cruise lines that welcome families with children as young as six months with fully staff kids programs and nurseries that are open as late as 11 p.m. If these ships are not in your budget, Carnival and Royal Caribbean are always options, although they will likely be more crowded and have a limited selection of adult-only activities.
Regardless of the type of vacation you choose to take, you’ll make the process easier for everyone if you take the initiative to plan ahead. Research resorts, hotels, or private accommodations that are in close proximity to attractions that will suit everyone’s needs. Ask about connecting rooms if you have older children who no longer require your hands-on attention. If you’re traveling with an infant or toddler, plan to bring your own travel crib and bedding, as most hotels don’t guarantee availability, especially if you expect to arrive late in the evening. All-inclusive resorts are an exceptional option for families but may require booking six to 12 months in advance – take this into account when planning your vacation.
You will also need to plan to have your home and pets taken care of while you’re away. A landscaping company can handle lawn and garden maintenance, and your neighbors can keep an eye out on your property. Let your alarm company know the date of your departure and arrival and if anyone will be in the home throughout your absence. Hire a dog boarder for your pooch or a pet sitter for your cat. Many companies also cater to multigenerational travel, so don’t be afraid to take grandma and grandpa on the road with you. They will enjoy spending time with their grandchildren while you can relax knowing your kids are in good hands.
No matter how much you plan ahead for your vacation, getting there can present unique challenges for parents. Young babies are typically not a problem if they are fed, changed often, and kept at a comfortable temperature. In fact, many infants sleep better in moving vehicles. Flights are a different story, and babies and toddlers may experience ear pain during takeoff and landing. Karen Sokal-Gutierrez, M.D., explains that you should take steps to keep your child hydrated and discuss with your pediatrician the possibility of giving them an antihistamine or a decongestant during the trip.
From preschool to the teen years, children should be given plenty of activities they enjoy to keep from getting bored and restless. Magnetic and travel-sized board games, books, portable video game systems, and tablets are invaluable additions to your family travel toolbox.
You don’t have to visit the house of mouse for every family vacation. By planning ahead, making compromises, and taking steps to ensure your destination has options for your entire party, you can enjoy everything from a gourmet dinner to a wine tour without sacrificing comfort or quality.