With an abundance of resorts to stay at, and all of them catering to a unique set of travelers, how do you know which one is just right for you and your family? Traveling with children can make your vacation experience much different, and leaving the comfort and safety of home can make some parents feel uneasy. But believe it or not, there are countless resorts that make their facilities as family-friendly as possible. The only question is—what is the most important criteria for you? Below, we’ve compiled the top 10 items to consider when trying to book your perfect family vacation to help you narrow down your search.
Every family vacation looks forward to at least one day of just lounging out by the pool. But with kids, the more variety the better. Many resorts have indoor pools as well as outdoor pools for those rainy days or colder seasons. Most places also have accompanied children’s pools, which may be important to you if you’re traveling with young children. Resorts in areas like Orlando and Wisconsin Dells even have water slides or water parks on-site. If safety is on your mind, check to make sure the resort provides lifeguards with their pool complexes.
If you’re still looking to stay on-site for the day but need a little break from the pool, see if the resort offers a playground area on property. Most do, but some can be much larger than others. Some may just offer a slide and sandbox, while others provide anything from a gigantic pirate ship to climb on, ball pits, bouncy houses, and more.
Going out to eat every night can get pricey, and deciding where to go to make everyone happy can become a hassle. When booking at a resort, see which units offer either a fully-equipped kitchen or kitchenette facilities to be able to whip up a cheap meal after a busy day.
Whether they’re right on-site or nearby, kid-friendly restaurants can be important for both your budget and the picky eaters traveling with you. Of course eating in is always cheaper, but you may not want to have to cook every night while on vacation. Do a little research to see if there are any surrounding restaurants that offer children’s menus or free meals for kids under a certain age.
Do you want your kids to enjoy themselves, but also wish to have a little fun on your own as a couple? Family-friendly resorts offer babysitting services to keep your young ones safe and entertained while you take off on your own adventure for an afternoon. There’s no guilt in taking some time to do something you’ve always wanted to do!
Renting a car for the week can be expensive, and finding a place to park for popular tourist attractions can be equally stressful. Find a resort that is within a few miles of popular theme parks and downtown areas, and see if they offer free shuttle service for guests (most do). That way, you can come and go as you please without any cost, and not feel guilty if you don’t end up using that rental car as much as you’d planned.
Are you looking for your kids to learn something new on vacation? If so, seeing which resorts offer on-site lessons may factor into your decision. Maybe you want the kids to spend the day at ski school while you and your loved one hit the black diamond slopes. Maybe you want them to learn how to swim, or have the entire family take horseback riding or diving lessons. There are many places that offer specialized schooling on their resort property, or can suggest nearby companies.
More recreational activities may be needed if your family is looking to enjoy something besides the pool without heading off-site. Most resorts offer game rooms, basketball or tennis courts, beach volleyball, or other types of recreation available all day long. The trick is finding a resort that has the facilities you’re interested in.
While making sure the kids are happy and comfortable is top on the list for a family-fun vacation, you also want to make sure your trip will include a little something to keep you happy as well. Spa services, live entertainment, private beach access, and poolside bars are also available at many family-friendly resorts. Find at least one feature that will make you just as excited to visit as the kids!
Unfortunately, having everything on your checklist and on or under budget is the most important aspect of any vacation. Take into consideration the size unit you will need to fit everyone comfortably, what resort features and amenities you wish to have, and proximity to attractions when reserving. All of these factors will influence the cost of your unit. Airfare, car rentals, attraction tickets, and other such fees should also be calculated into your overall vacation budget.
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