When the shift came from traveling as a childless adult to travels with a baby, I found that besides the obvious challenges, there was also the challenge of finding accommodations that fit my taste. Hotels that are known for their attention to detail in their interiors, their amenities, and even in the food they serve, do not normally have patrons of the smaller size in mind. I remember on our first extended trip to Brazil in the spring of 2011, I had discovered a good number of the lovely hotels and B&Bs I had researched back at home (and intended to book) did not allow any children under 12 years of age.
As I love hotels, interiors, and appreciate style and good design, this was a big disappointment. I felt as if there was an element to our unique experience we were both missing. Instead I often turned to vacation rentals, which has become wildly popular since those first days 3 years ago, when Lulu was an infant.
More families are traveling together, and more children are traveling the world with their parents more than ever before. It says a lot about our global culture, and to my delight, it’s inspired a number of travel websites that take into account the tastes of both parent and child. Below are a few that I have used and have recently discovered. I hope they too can make all the difference in your travel experiences. Happy wandering and happy (temporary) nesting with family!
www.i-escape.com – I have been using i-escape for years now. It’s a fantastic informational resource that highlights the high and lows of the hotels featured, specific details of individual rooms, as well as insider tips and special offers for i-escape guests who book through the site. There are accommodation choices of boutique hotels, villa rentals, or city apartments, and the site even breaks down properties by appropriate age group– genius for parent travel planners!
www.ciaobambino.com - CB! was started by a mom determined to fill the need for a resource directed at parents traveling with kids. It has a ton of information on itineraries, travel tips, and booking options for kid-friendly accommodations for those with discerning tastes. Their editorial content is expansive and varied with lots of ideas on where to go in the U.S. and internationally– and what to do once you get there– perfect for travel ideas and inspiration, when thoughts of a vacation first come to mind.
www.kidandcoe.com – This vacation rental booking site has often been on my list of recommendations to friends who travel with their families. Specializing in property rentals that are kid-friendly, it offers stylish apartments and homes for families in various destinations around the world. Especially when first traveling with Lulu as an infant, I would often look for access to a kitchen and convenient laundry facilities. The options here take a lot of guess work out of the equation, without sacrificing aesthetics.
www.blacktomato.com - Black Tomato is where expert travel planners do all the planning for you. They have a service dedicated to luxury family holidays– fill in their questionnaire to get started, such as where you are looking to travel, for how long, how many kids, and any other specific requests– and this will get the ball rolling to have an exclusive itinerary mapped out for your family. An amazing service for parents with little time (and patience) to plan, but with ample budget.
www.hitherandtither.net – This is the only blog I am including, as it is not a family travel planning site per se, but one that is full of inspiration. I’ve followed Hither and Tither for several years now, and Ashley’s blog is a treasure trove of ideas on design and lifestyle– especially her Travelogues. Between her travels and her overall taste, as well as vignettes of her life juggling family, home, DIY projects, beautiful photography and a blog (I don’t know how she does it), she manages to inspire readers to follow a similar life of good living. Alternatively, her Pinterest page is full of travel ideas for the design-conscious.