Where should I go on vacation? It’s the question people love to ask travel writers. And our answer is always, “Well, what do you like?
Every family has its own ideas of what is a relaxing, exciting, interesting or fun vacation. Our ideal trip might leave your kids bored and you stressed. Travel budget is a factor, too. The Four Seasons is almost always going to offer a fabulous retreat for parents and kids. But that doesn’t help if your budget is more Hyatt Place or Holiday Inn Express (two chains I like a lot with kids, by the way).
Luckily the folks at *TripCentral.ca have developed a cool trip planning grid, a matchmaking tool in which you type in a time frame, possible destinations, your interests and a budget. And they offer a selection of airfare and hotel packages to suit your style. (Most leave from major Canadian cities.)
We did some family vacation matchmaking below to show you how the tool works to match hotels with your travel taste. Maybe one of these is your ideal holiday with the kids.
What’s The Best Vacation For Your Family?
1. The Beach
The beach is the most reliable vacation with kids. It’s the one where they have fun, entertainment is largely free and you might actually relax a bit. If you love beach vacations consider these resorts:
Good Value: Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort in Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic is an all-inclusive resort in a destination known for its good deals. In addition to the usual beach, pool and kids activities the resort has an Extreme Zone with paint ball, hockey, basketball, flag football, trampoline, miniature golf, bowling, rock-wall climbing and archery.
Splurge: The hands-on service Seven Starts Resort Grace Bay in Turks & Caicos (left) starts before you even arrive, with online concierge and grocery stocking services. Those are available after you arrive along with daily breakfast, kids activities, pool, a long stretch of beach and beachside spa services.
I like the manageable size of Disneyland for a first family Disney experience with kids. And once you’ve spent enough time with The Mouse, you have all of Southern California at your doorstep. If Disneyland is in your future you might like one of these hotels:
Good Value: Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Anaheim is a 10-minute walk to Disneyland park entrance and to the downtown Disney monorail station. Have breakfast onsite before you hit the parks, and take afternoon break at the pool and splash pad. Watch the fireworks from the hotel’s roof deck with tired kids.
Splurge: The Disney Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is aptly named. With its direct entrance to California Adventure Park, soaring craftsman lobby, huge pool and waterslide area, and well-regarded restaurants, it shows that Disney understands what makes both you and your kids happy.
3. Other Theme Parks
Theme park vacations don’t stop as kids get bigger, but the setting might shift to parks that offer more thrills, diverse activities and pop-culture themes that appeal to tweens and teens. If you still like theme-park getaways you might like these hotels:
Good Value: Doubletree By Hilton Orlando At Seaworld is a winner with families because of its roomy rooms, good size pool and gardens, free shuttle to Sea World and of course, the cookies.
Splurge: Loews Portofino Bay at Universal Orlando Resort has a lush Italian theme and onsite perks at Universal studios including early admission to parts of Universal and Volcano Bay parks, and complementary water taxis and shuttles to and from the attractions. Three pools, bright spacious rooms and several onsite restaurants make it easy to take a break from the parks, too.
4. City Getaways
City vacations are great with tweens and teens. But with their ample playgrounds, parks, zoos and aquariums, and good casual restaurants, cities work remarkably well with kids and preschoolers, too. If you like city vacations consider these places to stay:
Good Value: La Centre Sheraton Hotel in Montreal has a handy central location near the metro, underground Montreal and the Atrium 1000 ice skating rink. When your kids won’t sightsee anymore revive them with a dip in the indoor heated pool.
Splurge: The Parker Meridien is the quintessential New York City hotel. It has a sleek lobby, a great bar, a famous burger, and a very convenient midtown location. Your kids will love the glass-enclosed pool while you love its rooftop city views.
5. Travel To Europe
Yes, your family wants to go to Europe, the only question is, where to start? London and Paris have plenty of activities to make both parents and kids happy and so are safe choices to start with. If your family wants a European vacations you might like one of these lodging options:
Good Value: Adagio’s ubiquitous apartment style hotels are ideal for families looking to visit Europe without breaking the bank. The Adagio Paris Centre Tour Eiffel offers compact modern suites with kitchens, complementary breakfast and a pool. It’s all within a few blocks from the famous tower at surprisingly reasonable rates.
Splurge: Citadines Trafalgar Square (above) offers stylish, upscale apartment-style rooms in a historic building. It’s steps from the Tube and bucket-list sights like the National Gallery. Have groceries delivered or explore the ample choice of local shops and restaurants.
Pin it for later!
*This post was brought to you by TripCentral.ca