The idea of taking a family vacation can sometimes be a little daunting, especially when you’re traveling with tots. From accommodations options to flight timings and in-country safety, the check-list when planning a family trip can sometimes seem endless. Thankfully, Black Tomato’s team of Travel Experts consists of parents, young and old, who have been arranging these kinds of adventures for decades. So, whether you’re looking to plan your very first family vacation or are thinking of changing up your annual escape, read our tried and tested expert tips for family traveling or get in touch with one of our experts today to start planning your family adventure.
PLANNING IS KEY
Trying to get the little ones out the door can be a challenge in itself, let alone to the other side of the world. Thankfully our experts are familiar at creating the kinds of itineraries that will get the kids excited about their trip. Whether you’re travelling with tots or teens, we hand-pick each destination, hotel and activity to ensure that the whole family will enjoy the experience. But it’s not all about our choices, we also take inspiration from you, listening to what you like and dislike, then combining every element into the perfect vacation. And if any minds happen to change during the trip, we’re on hand 24–7 to smooth any unexpected issues or changes of plan.
This is essential to help ease any stresses on both the day of departure and throughout your vacation. Forget trying to squeeze in toys and books in your bag – tablets are a great way to combine a variety of entertainment into one place. Stock up your tablet with child-friendly games, movies and music that will keep tots occupied on car journeys, road trips and long haul flights. Make sure you leave room in your hand luggage for extra clothes for your child too; you never know when an extra top or pair of socks will come in handy. With the strict rules and regulations at airports, it’s also worth checking security and airline restrictions before taking your own baby food and formula to ensure you a smoother journey through the airport.
When it comes to choosing accommodation for the whole family, this can sometimes be a mission in itself. Thankfully we’ve tried and tested every hotel we recommend, so when it comes to choosing the perfect family friendly accommodation, we have you covered. We know it’s important for parents to feel totally relaxed on vacation, so we like to recommend properties that offer children the space to explore and experience the local area with their parents, rather than staying indoors in a kids club for the entire trip. And for those trips when a kid’s club might be more suitable, we always use hotels that offer the finest clubs in the world, offering everything from cooking classes, mini field-trips to identify local flora and fauna and even yoga classes and spa treatments for the little ones.
Travelling with your family may be easier than ever before, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to be under-prepared. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns and you don’t want to arrive in your destination to find yourself stuck in the monsoon season or in the middle of an unwanted national holiday. At Black Tomato we’re committed to taking the stress out of planning your trip and by utilizing our expert travel knowledge we can advise you on where and when, leaving you to prepare for the finer, more personal details, like planning appropriate nap times to combat jet lag on long haul trips and booking the right vaccinations for your children.
TAKE THE UNEXPECTED ROUTE
Recently we’ve seen a trend in families wanting to seek more authentic travel experiences; the kinds of trips that inspire children rather than distract. We believe that travelling can often rival the educational value of the classroom, and we’ve noticed a rise in parents that are eager to get their children discovering things that are a little out of the ordinary. Immerse your child in a new activity or sport that they will truly cherish forever; hit the waters in Costa Rica and learn to surf, or take some time to volunteer on the Galapagos Island looking after giant tortoises. Our kid-friendly destinations promise unique, safe experiences for the whole family to enjoy that will also guarantee long lasting memories and ignite new passions and hobbies.
OUR FAVOURITE CHILD-FRIENDLY DESTINATIONS
There’s certainly no shortage of destinations that offer safe, exciting alternatives to your usual family vacation. Here are a few of our favourites…
Italy: Whether you’re setting off from the UK or the USA, Italy is one of our best picks for a family vacation. Italians love children, so you can assure that they’ll be welcomed with open arms in most restaurants. City breaks to Florence and Rome are ideal for tots small enough to be in carriers – so make sure to plan nap times well so you can get a few peaceful minutes to yourself, whether that’s contemplating Botticelli’s masterpiece in the Uffizi or savoring a multi-course Italian lunch. A step into the gorgeous countryside is perfect once kids are crawling – we will forever adore the Borgo Santo Pietro, an ultra-luxe romantic Tuscan retreat that’s also family-friendly. The hotel provides babysitting services and mountain bikes with baby seats to help explore the surrounding countryside.
Sri Lanka: Another perfect destination if you’re setting off from either the UK or the USA, Sri Lanka’s culture is so diverse that it will guarantee to leave the kids in awe. From spotting baby elephants at Pinnawela elephant orphanage to watching thrilling fire walkers in Kandy, this paradise island offers countless family experiences that promise to stay with the children forever. Improved infrastructure over the past few years has also meant incredible growth in luxurious, family friendly hotels and has also made exploring the country much easier, allowing guests with young children to see so much more in a shorter amount of time.
For more of our family friendly destinations, take a look here.