7 Family Travel Hacks

7 Family Travel Hacks – So Your Next Family Vacation Goes off Without a Hitch

Traveling with children of all ages can be one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences in your life. Together, you discover the world, different cultures and lifestyles, and share with your children your passion for travel. For our best-in-class travel agents travel is one of the best forms of education.

So, to make sure your little (or not so little) travelers are happy throughout the trip, some of our family travel experts want to share with you some ingenious travel tips.

  1. Alyssa Scott (Protravel, Encino, CA) says: It is important for both kids and parents to step away from phones and technology and immerse themselves in the moment. Maybe that means taking less photos or not uploading to Facebook and really focus on the memories you create with your family.”
  2. Michelle Rosen (Protravel, Encino, CA) recommends: “It’s important that you spend quality time as a family, but also everyone has a bit of independence. Adding a simple activity that will allow them to have a blast while the parents are able to spend some alone time brings great value to everyone. Most children like to create and eat! Cooking classes are great on any budget. Learning how to make dumplings in Asia, a gelato class or making pizza in Italy are always a big hit. Also, watching nature is a wonderful opportunity for children to experience something special they can then share with adults. Watching turtles hatch in Costa Rica or bathing Elephants in Thailand are 2 of my favorites.”
  1. “For a perfect family vacation, I recommend a cruise that matches your family and demographics. This is where my experience and knowledge come into play. When a family is on the right cruise or cruise line there is something for everyone: adventure, alone time, exploration, family time, relaxation, memorable meals and exceptional experiences that will last a lifetime,” shares June Kleier (Protravel, Scottsdale, AZ.)
  2. To make sure that everyone gets what they want, and you don’t have to worry about what to do and where to have lunch next, Dede Thea (Protravel, Woodmere, NY) recommends to “book a good all-inclusive resort.”
  3. “One thing I always tell people when planning family travel is to lower your expectations, which is not to say that the trip won’t be fabulous. But if you are used to a carefree travel experience where you sit for hours on a beach with a good book, or hit every gallery or museum in a city, forget about it.  Of course, this depends on the ages of the children.  I have taken my very young children to Africa on safari, and, as they got older, we traipsed through Southeast Asia, so a lot also depends on your family’s dynamic, energy level, and interests.” explains Amy Parker (Protravel, Beverly Hills, CA).

Amy continues: “When you have small children, I like to plan one cultural outing or fun excursion that the parents really want to see and/or do, and then spend the rest of the day doing something very kid-focused.  Local ice cream and sweets are always a good treat afterward.  For instance, we walked through the Tuileries Garden in Paris, hitting the Carousel and the Louvre, but then grabbed a delicious ice cream cone and headed over to the Luxembourg Gardens where the kids enjoyed the playground and just listening to the other children speaking French.  Another time in Salzburg, we rode bikes all around and ended up at a local public pool where we paid to get in and spent the afternoon swimming with the locals.”

  1. Ellen Regenstreif (Protravel, New York, NY) explains: Each age group of children is different, as is each child. My philosophy is to look at the family as a whole, but at each individual as well, so that each person does something during the trip that is either furthering an interest (like a budding chef), or reliving the past (dads and moms get to have fun too, say doing a Rock and Roll tour in London), or just visiting someplace that one has always wanted to see (Paris for a Madeline fan, for example).”

“When working with families with younger children I give them websites they can visit ahead of time to get an idea of what is coming,” Ellen continues. “When I work with families with older teens that is not as critical, but it is fun to recommend books that correspond. And my final suggestion is to travel as your family works–if you have a busy family and you like to go, then plan away and use your momentum to fill your days with exploration. If you know your kids need downtime in the afternoons, then ensure to make time for them to unwind. But if your teens like to sleep in, don’t let them. You didn’t take them on a wonderful vacation for them to sleep it away.”

  1. “Travel games and books are a great way to entertain your children while traveling to your destination or home,” says Courtney McGroarty (Protravel, New York, NY). “I hate to say it, but iPads are a life saver for a lot of people.  Whether you encounter flight delays, traffic, the unpredictable, a tablet will keep your kids occupied.”

Feeling inspired? To speak to one of our expert family travel agents, call 800.227.1059.