Family Travel: The Best Itinerary for Traveling with Children
Turks & Caicos
Traveling with children is a very different experience than traveling on your own or with your spouse, but indescribably worthwhile. Travel makes children curious, empathetic and smart, and watching them discover something new is thrilling. My dad took me to 29 states and two countries before I was 13, which sparked my love for exploring new places. I've taken my own children to 14 states and nine countries, as of this writing, and I'm thrilled to watch them learn and grow through travel. Keep your expectations in line with their level of development and have an amazing vacation, adventure or journey of a lifetime!
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Where to stay
St Martins Lane Hotel
Luxe property located on a bustling street in the heart of London's West End, known for its trendy hotels, bars and restaurants.
Complimentary cocktail per guest.
Upgrade & guaranteed late check-out.
Beaches Turks & Caicos
All-inclusive resort on a white sand beach with spacious rooms.
An adventure-glamping experience amidst an activity park with fun things to do for all ages.
Unlock perks by contacting Nancy to book your trip.
Things to do with infants
I understand that traveling with an infant can be a bit intimidating, but it's not only possible, but also a lot of fun! The best part? Your little one won't complain about spending too much time in art museums or how boring architectural marvels can be.
I suggest you explore Europe during your child’s infancy. I recommend starting with London. Many parts of the city are stroller-friendly and have an excellent public transportation system that makes it easy to get around with your little one in tow.
Your London itinerary with an infant should start with one of the world's oldest museums, The British Museum. Its vast collection of artifacts from around the world makes it a must-visit spot, and your infant is welcome, as the museum has dedicated feeding rooms and baby-changing areas throughout.
From there, stroll through the markets of Covent Garden and have lunch at The Barbary Next Door. It’s a great place to graze, as much of the menu is tapas.
Next, head to the Millennium Bridge, where you can cross the Thames without a care about traffic, as it is pedestrian only. Once you cross, you’ll be at the doors of the world-renowned Tate museum, where each level has a bathroom with diaper-changing facilities.
After a few days exploring London, why not take a quick trip to Paris? You will find many things to do in Europe with your infant via the Eurostar. That train makes it easy to get to many European city centers, and all trains have baby-changing facilities for your convenience. So, strap on that Björn and get ready for a European adventure with your little one!
The best things to do with toddlers: travel with friends and family
Traveling with toddlers can be challenging, but with a little bit of planning, it can also be a really great experience. One of the best ways to make the most of your trip is to travel with friends and family. They're often excited to see your little ones and willing to lend a helping hand, giving you some much-needed time off.
If you really want to have a memorable trip, consider traveling with another family. That's what my family did on a trip to Savannah and Tybee Island, and it was a blast!
Fun things to do with toddlers in Savannah include stopping for lunch at The Crab Shack and letting the kids feed the alligators (from a distance, don’t worry!).
In Tybee, while the grownups sunbathe, the kids can make sandcastles. With us, the adults took turns looking after the kids during naptime. (My favorite naptime getaway was touring the picturesque Bonaventure Cemetery and learning about its most famous interments.)
This family-sharing worked so well that we did it again the following year. On our second jaunt, we brought a nanny along to help out so that the adults could enjoy some fine dining. (Try The Olde Pink House for the most upscale, old-school Savannah experience in town!)
Don’t be afraid to team up with another family for your next adventure with toddlers. You might be surprised at how well-rounded your vacation is.
Must-do travel with school-aged children: kids' clubs
Traveling with young school-aged children is an adventure unlike any other, and all-inclusive resorts with kids' clubs make it easy. A week at an all-inclusive resort with a kids' club means everyone has a great time.
Imagine your child's excitement when they discover they can order a smoothie at the swim-up bar as often as they’d like. There is also the thrill of making new friends while splashing and playing games at the kids' club. We brought our two kids to Beaches in Turks & Caicos, and while the kids were burning off their seemingly limitless energy, my husband and I indulged in sipping piña coladas around the pool all day. I mean, we went snorkeling. : )
If you are not a beach person, there are plenty of other options. Club Med offers kids' clubs at ski and golf resorts. C Lazy U Ranch keeps kids active all day, whether their interest be horseback riding, archery or beekeeping. Even cruises offer exciting kids' clubs where children can play and have fun while parents relax and unwind. (Check out Disney’s Oceaneer Lab, a supervised place for your kids to hang out while you cruise.)
With so many family-friendly options, the only difficulty in traveling with young school-aged children is deciding where to go.
What to do with tweens: adventure travel
Traveling with tweens is inspiring because they’re starting to have real opinions about what they’d like to do and see, and they’re able to participate and express their experiences in a more adult way. But they still have more energy than the average adult can cope with on their own. There is only one solution to this dilemma: adventure!
Iceland is the perfect destination to ignite their sense of adventure. As they hike through stunning mountains and arrive at a swimmable hot spring, they'll feel a sense of accomplishment that will stay with them forever. The learning opportunities are just as thrilling, like exploring a glacier up close and personal, opening their eyes to environmental science in a way that no classroom can match.
But they can still be kids in Iceland. Iceland’s playgrounds are special, with trampolines and zip lines that will keep even the most difficult-to-impress kids entertained. From the natural wonders to the man-made excitement, Iceland is the perfect place to make memories that will last a lifetime with your tweens.
A note from Nancy
No matter the age, if you plan with your child in mind, traveling with them is a gift that will last all of your lifetimes.
Need to Know
Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, A Long Weekend in Chelsea, NYC.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on family travel.