When considering family destinations, keep the flight time and ease of communication at the forefront. If this is a first international trip for children, this is especially true. While its important for them to experience cultures and people with a different way of life, it’s equally important for them to love the vacation and become truly interested in travel for the experience of tasting the world.
Remember that passports take more and more time to get, so plan early. Passports for children under age 16 are good for 5 years, while the validity is 10 years for adults.
For east coast travelers, Amsterdam is a quick and easy option. With non-stop flights from Boston, New York and Dulles, to name a few, departures will likely be in the early evening resulting in a morning arrival. Plan fun and easy activities on Day One to allow for an early bed time that will get everyone on track with the time zones. The most common local transportation for families is by bike. Plan to ride as often as possible on the mostly flat, well marked and super safe bike routes along the country side.
For west coast travelers, Hawaii may be the perfect family getaway. Participate in a luau on the beach. Experience the dances and customs of island people at the Polynesian Culture Center. The PCC is at least a full day out event.
All US locations will have an easy flight to Tennessee to see Opryland Graceland and Dollyworld. Focus on music by seeing a concert by having a tour of Nashville. If you have extra time, take a paddle boat cruise up the Mississippi. Be sure to check dates that will accommodate families and children. Consider taking Grandma along for a multigenerational vacation.
The US National Park system truly has something for everyone. Choose which park to visit after considering each family members interests. For younger children, hiking should be short and easy, leading to animal viewing locations. A great choice is Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, with lodging at nearby Custer State Park. Older kids will enjoy walking the Freedom Trail in Boston. Fourth of July visits will include fireworks and festivities that highlight our nations independence.
A weekend away, in a resort with a pool might be just right for the finicky eater and sleeper. This will allow them to see the fun and excitement of being away from home, without the stress of a flight. Be sure to pack all the favorites right into the car (blanket, pillow, favorite cup and snacks).
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