Family travel has come a long way since my 70’s childhood. In those days, we kids were content to stay at an inexpensive motel and put coins into the bed’s magic fingers device. For a quarter, the bed vibrated for a few minutes, which we found thoroughly entertaining. Today, the travel industry is courting families with hotel packages geared specifically to the interests of prized junior customers. If you’re looking to indulge your child with a family vacation that caters to their particular passion, there are a variety of options. Themes include American Girl, Lego, American History, Tintin, Broadway, a Barbie cruise and more.
Allison Tibaldi - Writer
Allison is a native New Yorker who's been lucky enough to have lived in Italy, Australia and Canada. She is fluent in Italian and Spanish, and
believes that language is a key to understanding other cultures. She frequently contributes travel pieces to Family Travel Forum, using her own children as guinea pigs as they journey around the globe. She's also a senior writer at offManhattan.com, contributing car-free vacation ideas. Her background as an Early Childhood Educator gives her an added understanding of what it takes to travel with kids in tow, and she firmly believes that the most important part of education takes place outside of the classroom on the road. Her love for travel goes hand-in-hand with her love for food and wine.
Latest posts by Allison Tibaldi
Spring is nearly here, and family vacation discounts are blooming. Jet Blue is flying kids to Disneyland and Walt Disney World for free. It is not too late to ski in the Catskills, catch spring training in Arizona, see the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. or head to the beach in Cape May. If your family enjoys train rides, the Downeaster is free for kids on Sundays, and will take you on a scenic journey from Boston to Maine. If you are seeking warm weather, Bermuda, Riviera Nayarit in Mexico and Naples, Florida are a few destinations that are offering good deals. If you have luck on your side, you might win a trip for two to Peru.
President’s Day Weekend is on the horizon and a family getaway is especially refreshing during the dog days of winter. The following destinations offer families a much-needed break at discounted prices. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive hotel near NYC, an urban escape in Philadelphia, Norfolk or Chicago, a ski vacation in Santa Fe, Beaver Creek or New Hampshire, or a discount Disney Cruise, read on for some money saving winter deals.
The December holiday season is prime family vacation time, so finding deals can be next to impossible. But Christmas vacation packages do exist and deals can be had. We searched far and wide to find winter vacation deals so you won’t need to break the bank to spend some quality time with the kids on a family getaway.
Consider alternate Christmas vacation ideas like Colonial Williamsburg and Richmond, Virginia; Lancaster and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; the bucolic Finger Lakes in upstate New York; Vancouver, Canada; sunny Phoenix, Arizona; or historic San Antonio, Texas. Read on to get the scoop on these Christmas break packages.
If you’re looking for a Thanksgiving getaway, a Black Friday shop-till-you-drop special, a bargain in Orlando or a tropical getaway, there are good family travel deals to be had this month. Consider spending Thanksgiving on the slopes in Maine, get online to score a Cyber Monday special in Los Angeles or plan a money-saving trip to Myrtle Beach, Palm Springs or Vermont. There is also an Aruba resort with a heart, which is donating funds to East Coast victims of Sandy. Read on for the full scoop.
Halloween is tailor-made for kids, but why not go the extra mile and try a weekend getaway that takes the goblin and ghost-laden festivities up a notch? Several hotels have special events that serve up an extra dose of Halloween fun for a super fun weekend getaway.
Beyond Halloween, there are great discounts at Disney Resort hotels. Mohonk, the iconic Upstate New York resort, is offering a "Kids stay and eat free" deal in November. The Caribbean island of Anguilla has a bargain getaway at the trendy Viceroy. Sarasota, Florida is offering a chance to win a free trip to experience the sugar-soft sand and gentle waves that makes its beaches perfect for families.
Brussels is a kid-friendly city that manages to be fun loving while maintaining an air of grace. It gets down to business yet is surprisingly hip. It is not as big or bustling as London or Paris, but that is part of its charm. Brussels works just that little bit harder to enchant you. Medieval architecture blends with funky painted murals, and a statue of a little boy urinating is the mascot of this city. The people here get the humor in life, which makes it an excellent place to travel with kids.
Brussels is officially bilingual, and though it is predominately francophone, Flemish is also an official language. It is the seat of the European Union, so you will hear a polyglot of languages. It is easy to get to via high-speed rail from many European cities, making it a convenient stop if you are visiting other continental cities. It is a worthy stand-alone vacation destination, especially if you take some time to explore Belgium’s other towns. Fairytale-pretty Bruges and arty, under-the-radar Ghent are both worthwhile day trips.
The following attractions are great family spots, but keep in mind that Brussels is high on ambience, so wandering the cobblestone streets and squares is the city’s best attraction.
Columbus Day Weekend and Fall Getaways
With the stress-inducing routines of school just getting under way, families may be looking for Columbus Day weekend getaways that are easy to undertake. Washington D.C. is pleasantly cool in early fall, so you can enjoy its many free attractions without overheating. October is peak foliage season in colorful upstate New York and Vermont, both easy to reach via Amtrak. The beach can still be glorious this time of year, perfect for walks and building sand castle even if the water is chilly. California families can consider an overnight trip to Los Angeles, where they can catch the Cleopatra Exhibition and spend the night in a stylish downtown hotel. If you are not quite ready to part with your flip-flops and say goodbye to summer, the Riviera Nayarit in Mexico is offering real bargains right up until Christmas Day.