If you read my blog regularly, you know that my family likes to travel. Okay, we love to travel. My kids love to help in the planning our trips; they like to pack (more than I do); they love staying in hotels; they enjoy going new places, too. We have a penchant for all kinds of trips – visits to the country, beach vacations and city trips. While strolling around London, Reyjakavik, Berlin, Prague, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, D.C., we have had opportunities to teach them about art, architecture, diversity and more. They always come back more well-rounded, more worldly, more mature in many ways.
But there’s something about a beach vacation that gets all of us really excited. Knowing that we’re going somewhere warm, especially after the winter that we’ve had in New York, where we can ride the waves and sit under the sun, is a good thing. We’re headed to Florida in a few weeks, and we all can’t wait to get there. We’ll be taking out our swim suits, suntan lotion, sunglasses and beach toys. It’s been a long winter in NY.
When the kids were very young, we would go online and do a search for good family holidays. Our kids were born 19 months apart and we needed a break. When you’re working and raising kids, there is simply no time to relax, yet alone plan a trip. At the time, there was not a good web site to find the information. Times have changed. Now there is a tremendous amount of resources to help plan a beach holiday, but it’s important to know what you’re looking for before you start the research. Here are some factors for consideration when planning a family holiday at the beach:
Destination: Where do you want to go? Do you want to stay domestic or international? We always like to go to the Caribbean beaches, like Jamaica, or even Mexico. They tend to be affordable destinations for U.S. residents and have plenty of activities for kids. But when we travel abroad, which we do every year, we check out the gorgeous beaches in Italy, Spain and Greece. But American beaches are pretty terrific, too. From Florida to the Gulf Coast to California to Hawaii to the Jersey Shore, kids will love the warm sands and blue skies.
Budget: Going all-inclusive for a beach holiday can be a huge savings. If you are pre-paying for an all-inclusive resort, it means that you know exactly how much you’re paying ahead of time, and you don’t have to worry about going over-budget. It’s a relief not to have to carry money around the resort. Feeding a family of four, five, or six can be enormously expensive; it helps when the trip payment is behind you. However, if you’re planning to travel a la carte and break things up, do your research. Google family beach holidays and find resources that offer the best discounts on flights and hotels.
Kid’s Clubs: One of the most important considerations is whether you want where you’re staying to have a kid’s club. If you do, you can be rest assured that there will be enough activities and entertainment for your children, and you’ll manage to get some time to yourselves, too. My husband and I tend to need some time alone while on holiday. You can have breakfast with your children and then drop them for their own day of fun, which consists of activities catered to their interests. We always pick them up after lunch for a day at the beach and for a swim in the pool.
Activities: Do you want to be near places to explore or do you mainly care about staying close at bay to enjoy water sports? Most hotels/resorts offer tours to sites, ruins or towns. It depends what kind of trip you are trying to have. When we were at Tulum in Mexico, we took our kids on a few day trips. They were ages 2 and 3. I won’t lie, it wasn’t always easy but we were determined to see a bit of the country outside the resort.
Going where you won’t see your neighbors: I don’t know about where you live, but up here people go to Cape Cod, the Jersey Shore or Long Island for their family beach holidays. When we’ve told them we were going to these exotic destinations, they’re always shocked…and impressed. When we started venturing off to far away destinations, the kids were just a few months old. No one can ever understand why a sane adult would spend so much money to go somewhere far away to deal with their own children. Think again. It’s less money then they’re spending to go an hour away; and your children will enjoy the trip as much as you will.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, however the views and opinions expressed here are strictly my own.