Kids of different ages work best with different types of family holidays. Parenting expert Kathy Buckworth tells us where and why to travel with kids of every age.
Infant/Toddler (few weeks old - 2 years)
A less structured vacation is good, as sleep schedules are being established and disrupted daily. Kathy suggests either renting a cottage in the summer or travelling somewhere warm and all inclusive in the winter. Beach and pool sitting is incredibly easy with a baby.
Great Way to Save Money:Take advantage of the fact that at this age your kids aren't in school yet. Save some big bucks by traveling during off-peak times and mid-week.
Pre-School (ages 2 - 4)
This is a great age to travel to a theme park geared to younger kids. When picking the best park think kid-friendly like Disney, not thrill rides. Book special meals in advance and check the park schedules online before leaving. Stay on-site for ease of getting to parks. While off-site accommodations will be less expensive, remember to factor in rental cars and parking, as well as your time. If you can, try to travel during off-peak times and avoid school holidays.
Great Way to Save Money: Look into meal plans, which can save quite a bit of money. You'd be surprised!
School Age: (Ages 6 - 12)
You can do more of a traveling trip at this age. At this age kids can take a longer plane ride and carry their own bags, making it much easier on the parents. Heading to Europe and discovering history is a great option. Travelling to places with rich history is great for school-age kids because they can relate what they see to the history they’re learning in school. It can really make their learning come alive for them!
Remember you don’t always have to head overseas for history! You can explore the history and geography of your own country as well. Since the kids are old enough, ask them to help plan the trip by picking some sights that they want to see.
Great Way to Save Money: Start researching for deals long before you go, and book tickets for attractions and events online before you go. It's often cheaper that way, and you’ll get to bypass ticket lineups on site.
Teenagers (Ages 13 - 19)
The biggest challenge of travelling with teenagers is they don't always want to be on the trip. They'd rather be playing video games with their friends, or sleeping in. Kathy says a ski trip is great with older kids, Teens can explore parts of the hill by themselves, but still have family meals together.
Even if your family doesn’t ski, most hills offer age and level-related instruction. Ski trips are a great way to reconnect with your teens, the whole family can bond while doing something fun. Also, teens are captive on chairlifts. There’s nowhere for them to go!
Great Way to Save Money: Instead of eating all your meals out, rent a room with a kitchenette. By having at least breakfast and maybe some dinners in your room, you can save some big bucks!