[Note: This is a guest post written by Alisa Cohen, a local mom and owner of Luxe Traveler Club, a travel planning company specializing in family travel (as well as those rare opportunities to travel without the kids). She has been traveling with Parker, 4, and Simon, 1, since they were born, both boys having passports by the time they were 3 months old. Luxe Traveler Club coordinates everything from one-night getaways to multi-month adventures.]
With Memorial Day right around the corner, now is the perfect time to plan that summer vacation. Whether it is a long weekend or a multi-week getaway, family travel does not need to be stressful. My favorite memories with my own kids are almost all from vacations. Remembering my one-year-old son trying his first chocolate croissant on the streets of Paris and my four-year-old son playing with kids he met at the playground in Italy makes me smile.
Here are four summer vacation ideas to fit different types of travelers. Where will you make your summer memories?
For the Beach Loving Family
Especially with very young kids, a simple beach vacation is sometimes the best option. It is just easy…and sometimes you need that.
Nothing is less complicated than an all-inclusive hotel, and Azul Beach in the Riviera Maya is a dream for traveling with the 5 and under set. They just have it down perfectly, with swim-up family suites that allow you to be in the pool with a monitor while your little one naps, to availability of anything you would need for a baby (stroller, crib, toys, baby food, etc.), to one of the best kid’s club I have ever seen. With a direct flight to Cancun, and then a short drive the hotel, you will be on the beach by lunchtime.
For the Foodie Family
Poutine? Montreal bagels? Smoked meats? Montreal has its own bucket list of food. Add to this the fact that the current exchange rate for the Canadian dollar is averaging a 30% savings on the U.S. dollar, a stay at the Ritz Carlton Montreal is a fantastic pick for summer travel with the kids. The city may be filled with Parisian charm, but getting there could not be easier with a short direct flight. Kids will love exploring Old Montreal, thrill seeking at the centrally located amusement park, and enjoying activities on the St. Lawrence River.
For the Road Tripping Family
Nothing says iconic road trip more than Highway 1 along the California Coast. Start your adventure in San Francisco riding cable cars, visiting Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, and eating your way through the Ferry Building. A stay at the Palace Hotel will leave you nice and rested for your days of exploring the City by the Bay.
Now it is time for some relaxation. A 2.5-hour drive south will bring you to the Carmel area, where a stay at Carmel Valley Ranch will keep the kids busy with an endless roster of activities, and the parents happy with a wine tastings, spa, tennis, and a great line up for fitness classes.
The scenic 4.5-hour drive to Santa Barbara will leave you ready for some pool time, and the rooftop pool at the Canary does not disappoint. Enjoy exploring Santa Barbara’s restaurants and shops on State Street, riding the Waterfront trolley, and visiting the Zoo and the Museum of Natural History Sea Center.
Saving the best for last, end your trip with the two-hour drive to the Los Angeles area, where you can go out with a bang with a visit to Disneyland. Want to stay in the Hollywood Hills or on the beach in Santa Monica? Stay at a vetted kid-friendly home rental to really live the Southern California life.
For the International Jet-Setting Family
International travel with children seems overwhelming, but, with the right planning, it just so fantastic. The vacation might involve more playgrounds than museums, but watching your kids explore a foreign city really is magical.
Direct flights are key for international travel with children, which is why Spain is one of my favorite picks. Fly directly to Barcelona where the kids will love the fairy-tale Park Guell, tasting their way through the Boqueria Market, and playing in the sand at the city’s beaches. Do you have a young soccer fan? A visit to Camp Nou would easily be the highlight of his or her trip.
Renting a vetted kid-friendly apartment will provide that extra space to make you feel like you have a home base. For longer stays, hop a train to Madrid or Seville to continue the adventure.
Clients are always surprised to learn that there is no charge to work with Luxe Traveler Club. In addition, through relationships and preferred partnerships, they are able to provide VIP treatment for clients, including special amenities and perks, such as daily breakfast, spa and resort credits, upgrades, and late check-outs. They also work with well-vetted kid-friendly apartment and villa rentals around the world.
Contact Luxe Traveler Club for assistance with any of the suggested trips or to start planning your own adventure.