Most would agree that traveling is one of the great luxuries in life, and also one of the most educational and inspiring activities you can do. It makes perfect sense that you would want to travel and bring your children along for the adventure. Of course, traveling has always been considered more of an adult activity, and many destinations simply aren’t very child-friendly. What is the family with wanderlust to do?
Thanks to the internet (applause), there are many resources for the family who desires to travel.
First of all, the question must be asked: Where should I visit? It’s not always the easiest question to answer. Start with something you’re interested in–food, music, culture, architecture, leisure activities, etc. Take some of your initial ideas, and head over to…
Google – We all know and love Google, and why not? With easy access to information, photos, and videos, Google is a great place to begin your research on travel destinations. You can also find some websites or blogs dedicated to travel within a certain region.
Of course, sometimes Google’s information is too much to digest. How about visiting…
Wikipedia – Wikipedia is a great resource where you can get up-to-date information on just about any destination, culture, cuisine, language, attraction, and so much more.
Want to dig deeper into a destination? How about checking out…
Google Earth – If you read my little post about the awesome piece of software, Google Earth, you already know how I feel about it…It’s great! Look at everything in the world via satellite imagery, plus view photos, videos, and articles about just about anything you can find. Google Earth can also help you map out your destinations.
Now that you’ve done your initial research and decided upon some potential destinations, it’s time to get real about a very important resource when traveling: Money. Getting there is usually a big part of your budget, and accommodations are another big expense. Obviously, you don’t want to spend more than you have to, so I recommend checking out…
Kayak – On the surface, Kayak appears to be another website where you can search for deals on airfares, hotels, and car rentals, etc. However, if you dig a little deeper, there are some excellent tools for finding hidden deals and determining the best time to travel to certain places. Visit the “More” page to find the good stuff. Kayak also has excellent apps available for all of the major mobile devices.
Now that you’ve looked at several destinations, plus gotten a good idea of what places are expensive, and what places are cheap, it’s time to look at the kid-friendliness of your potential destinations.
Ciao Bambino – Ciao Bambino is a website that is all about traveling with children. One of the most helpful features of the site is information about child-friendly accommodations. If you are planning on visiting one of the destinations profiled on the site, you’ll have some great info about attractions and hotels that are child and family friendly.
Frommers/Trip Advisor – Looking for more family friendly vacation ideas? Have a look at Frommer’s family vacation guides. Trip Advisor also has an excellent guide for family friendly vacation destinations on their inspiration page.
Travel Mamas – Travel Mamas is a fantastic website devoted to providing information to families interested in travel. The site has even recommended our nursing covers for mothers who want to breastfeed during flights.
Travel is one of the greatest ways to introduce children to the world that exists outside of our homes and communities. It can be a wonderful educational and inspirational activity, and with some savvy research, you can ensure that you choose destinations and attractions that are suitable for both kids and adults. Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll address some helpful tips for the actual “travel” part. Bon Voyage!
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