We answer some of your most frequently asked questions about family travel.
Q: Our teenagers are impossible to please. What do you recommend?
A: Cruises are a great options for families with teenages, as there are a wide range of activites on board. Take Royal Caribbean cruise line for example. On their Freedom Class ships which include the Freedom of the Seas, Independence of the Seas and the Liberty of the Seas, you will find a FlowRider® surf park, canitilevered whirlpools, ice-skating rink, full-size boxing ring, H2O Zone waterpark and more!
If you prefer staying in one place, we urge you to consider ‘all-inclusive’ resort stays. You can have all of the features of a resort, great food, delectable drinks and unlimited activities, all included in the price. That gives the entire family the freedom to experience an amazing array of activities without stress or hassle. We love Club Med’s “Most Inclusive” family plan programs at resorts like the Cancun Yucatan, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and the recently renovated Sandpiper Resort in Florida. These are places that really know how to manage the diverse needs of family groups, from tots to teens to adults of all ages.
Q: I want to take my two older sons on a ‘sporty’ vacation (and not just golf!). Any suggestions?
A: There’s really nothing like fishing and hiking in the Canadian Rockies. The scenery is spectacular and the angling is world-class. We recommend the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and the Fairmont Banff Springs. But caution: this trip can be very habit-forming! Hiking and river rafting in the National Parks is another great vacation.
We already mentioned Royal Caribbean cruise line with a number of sports activities onboard, but they aren't the only cruise line. Consider Norwegian Cruise Line, specifically their new ship, the Norwegian Epic. Here they'll find a sports deck with a repelling wall, extreme rock climbing wall, bowling alley, full size basketball court, volleyball, soccer, dodge ball, a batting cage, bungee trampoline, rope adventure course and a 24 ft. tall enclosed climbing cage called the spider web. Then they can cool off in the first ever Aqua Park that offers 3 waterslides. The Epic Plunge, the only tube slide at sea, has a thrilling drop through a 200 ft. long tube. How that for a variety of "sport activities?"
Q: We’re having a tough time deciding which U.S. National Park to visit this year. Any clues?
A: Yellowstone is great for kids, with all the animals and geysers. Yosemite is good for older kids and adults, who can climb Half Dome and appreciate the waterfalls and wildflowers. For a little more adventure, how about hiking the Appalachian Trail or camping in Maine’s stunningly beautiful Acadia National Park?
Q: We’re planning a big family reunion getaway. Do you have any suggestions?
A: We keep getting rave reviews from large reunion groups that cruise together. There’s loads to do, both aboard and on shore, great accommodations for group activities and staff that really know how to entertain and satisfy the needs of several generations in one party. Depending on your time and interests, consider a family cruise to Alaska or the Mediterranean.
Q: We want to start planning our next great family adventure. What are the hottest “long-haul” destinations right now?
A: Australia and South Africa are at the top of our list of favorites. We can take you to both places, from azure oceans to cosmopolitan cities to the wild outback. Take a fabulous safari to South Africa and travel to Cape Town and the Kapame Game Reserve. Discover Down Under with a grand journey to the Great Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock and Sydney. Whether you want an experienced guide to help you navigate the new terrain or would rather venture on your own, we’ll help you choose a guided vacation or craft a tailor-made independent journey just for you.
Q: My husband and my kids and my parents want to go to Hawaii. Help!
A: Hawaii is the perfect multi-generation family destination. From lounging at the pool to hiking, surfing, shopping, golf, spa treatments, etc., there’s truly something for everyone. Consider Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, where children 18 and younger stay free. Or how about the new Aulani Disney Resort & Spa on Oahu? It’s the first Disney resort not attached to a theme park…and sure to be a big hit!
Q: Any last-minute packing tips for traveling with families?
A: Limit each person to one wheeled suitcase and one carry-on backpack or shoulder bag (keep one hand free to hold onto your child). Make a packing checklist for each person and let older kids be responsible for their packing. Pack several days before you leave so you have time to remember those last-minute items. Pack each day’s clothing together in outfits. Choose washable clothes that can be mixed and matched and dressed up with a jacket or shawl, and make sure shoes are comfortable and broken in before your trip! Visit our Travel Advice section on our blog for more travel tips. If you are looking for a new luggage set or carry on bag, take advantage of this ebags coupon code.
Q: Any recommendations for a family getaway at the end of the year?
A: For a really ‘magical’ holiday, the dazzling Christmas markets in Europe will please all the family. Or, for an off-the-beaten-path holiday and an escape into warm weather, take a Paul Gauguin Cruise to Tahiti or enjoy a relaxed resort experience on Fiji. But plan ahead! Resorts sell out in the summer for the holidays and family suites tend to sell out first.
Q: We’d like to take our kids on a guided vacation as a graduation gift for our daughter. What do you suggest that would appeal to both the young people and the adults?
A: For starters, here are two very different suggestions: Costa Rica and Italy tours. Both of these remarkable places are packed with scenery, colorful culture, fantastic food and warm, welcoming people. There are plenty of other options across the globe, so give us a a call and we’ll help you craft the experience that fits your preferences and your budget.
Q: I’m worried about what will happen if someone gets sick when we’re on our trip.
A: Being sick on a trip is never fun, but you can protect yourself against some of the anxiety and inconvenience with travel insurance. There are many options and we’d be happy to talk with you and help you choose the best plan for your family.