Family Vacations and Travel Advisors: The Perfect Pair
December 22, 2021
There has never been a better time to hand over the reigns and let your vacation be planned and perfected by a professional. Even if you love planning your travels, there’s a new level of stress these days, and a vacation is supposed to be anything but stressful. Not to mention, when planning a trip for the whole family, the questions and confusion can add up. But, if you’re still not convinced why you should use a travel advisor, take it from the professionals themselves…
Q: Why is now the time to book with a travel advisor?
- Covid has certainly complicated travel requirements. Use a trusted travel advisor to give you the advice you need for a smooth and stress-free time! New clients are walking in daily. People have realized the value travel advisors bring to the trip planning process. Create a relationship with your personal travel advisor now, as they are only going to get busier!
- Amid the ongoing global pandemic, and as we move forward, there are more hurdles to travel, and most prospective travellers are rightfully apprehensive. A good travel advisor can streamline the process, ease the apprehension, plan the best possible experience, and maintain reservations from the initial booking to the return home. Before travelling, it is more important than ever to be confident in the travel style, destination, and the overall experience, while getting good value for your dollar. In the post-COVID world, the only way to be sure you’re checking all the right boxes is to utilize a professional, an expert, an advocate: your travel advisor.
- Travel has changed SO much in the past 18 months from government travel restrictions in foreign countries as well as our own country, the usage of masks, as well as things like quarantine insurance, and airline cancellation and rebooking policies. Travel advisors are on top of these things, and you can't afford not to book through one!
Q: What value can you bring to a family vacation?
- More than anything, we bring peace of mind – we can speak firsthand about how safe it is to travel and how to navigate the requirements of each country. After two years of anxiousness, we can help families plan an amazing vacation by leaving the details to us.
- Let’s be frank, planning and arranging travel for yourself can be stressful. Planning and arranging travel for yourself, your spouse, your kids, grandkids, grandparents, can be another level of anxiety-inducing worry. Not to mention, all of the detailed nuance that must be addressed when putting together travel for a family group in the post-COVID world. A travel advisor can greatly reduce the stress and take the weight off your shoulders which alone is a major value add. A good travel advisor also has destination knowledge across a range of locales, a portfolio of trusted, preferred partners, and an awareness of various options to leverage in determining the best vacation for your family. A quick Google search and the average traveller is pulled down the rabbit hole of endless resorts and hotels, cruise lines and itineraries, escorted tours, and independent travel options. Travel advisors have always provided a tangible value add in saving you time, taking care of the details, addressing the range of options, advocating on your behalf, and navigating regulatory hurdles. When it comes to crafting the ideal vacation for your family, the value of employing the professional services of a travel advisor is unparalleled.
- Family travel is fun, but it can be stressful. We manage all the little details that can make a trip magical without you even knowing it. Our insider knowledge of what properties offer the best value for your family is priceless!
Q: What are some destinations you'd currently recommend for families?
- I ALWAYS recommend Costa Rica for families – great hotels, friendly people, and fun activities for any age. No museums are necessary, and it’s very different than the standard "beach vacation.”
- If children are young, I would recommend a Caribbean cruise! Children love the security they feel onboard a cruise ship and the freedom they have and, of course, all the activities and other kids onboard! Our clients’ favourite family destination is the Mayan Riviera. The all-inclusive family resorts do a wonderful job of combining all the right mix of activities, beach time, and food to keep everyone happy.
- Taking kids out to see the world, experience other cultures, and embrace that awe-inspiring sense of wonder enriches their lives for decades to come. One of our favorite suggestions for multi-generation families is an Alaska cruise. If you’re looking for a more laid-back escape from winter weather, there are family friendly all-inclusive resorts near Tulum in Riviera Maya. Tauck Bridges offers some fantastic escorted touring opportunities in the contiguous US with local experts and easy access to remote places that are a bit closer to home (with tours that are specifically curated for families). One of the best experiences to share with the family is an expedition in the Galapagos with Lindblad Expeditions, partnered with National Geographic. There is no better way to provide a firsthand, experiential education about wildlife and the environment than a trip with Lindblad Expeditions in the Galapagos Islands.
Q: Which type of activities are good for family vacations?
- Learning about the culture and traditions of the country you are visiting in a fun way is always a great activity. This could be a pizza making class in Italy, learning the haka in New Zealand, mask making in Venice, or painting Faberge eggs in Russia – there are so many unique activities families can do together where kids can learn AND the parents can enjoy themselves as well. This is another reason why family cruising is such a great way to see the world since cruise lines will often have cultural activities onboard and offer shore excursions that tick all the boxes.
- Kids love swimming – so a great pool or a great beach is what I look for. How sporty are the kids? If they are heavily into sports, look at Club Med. They have the largest array of sporting activities – kayaking, windsurfing, water skiing, just for example – and the staff available to teach the skills! Movies under the stars for quiet down evenings. Touring historic places – whether on a Mexican beach holiday or a Mediterranean cruise. Show them more of the world, and instill an appreciation of the world in your children!
Q: BONUS: What's one tip you have for travelling as a family?
- Pre-book an activity at least once during your stay.
- Get everyone in the family involved in the planning. Anticipation of the trip is often just as enjoyable as the trip itself – plus, it’s a great way to ensure everyone is onboard with the plans BEFORE arriving to the destination.
- My one tip for families: Make sure no one feels that it's an "educational" outing. No lectures about history, no fussy dress requirements. Make it fun and plant a seed that will make future travel something the kids will always want to do with you.
- My best tip would be to pick one or two destinations as base points and do day trips from there. This helps eliminate the stress of packing and unpacking, checking in and out, and loading up the car.