Best Vacations for Kids of All Ages
May 18, 2021
by bea krasner, guest contributor
Vacation travel is fun for all ages. While many kids are happy anywhere that is new and different, there are specific locations that are ideal for certain ages. Following are some favorite locations to travel with kids at any age.
Newborns and Infants: Historical Getaways
Newborns are fairly easy travel companions. They have no preferences about where you eat or what you do. As long as you have easy access to changing and nursing areas, almost any location can work with an infant. An area that is replete with history, combines indoor ease and outdoor fun is ideal for babies. Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. are all good places with plenty to do for parents who need both entertainment and easy downtime.
Special Note for Traveling With Babies: Before you go on your first trip with a newborn, it is important to know how to manage flying with a baby. Infants may struggle with the air pressure changes in the plane's cabin. To avoid this, give the baby a pacifier to keep their ears from popping. A good trick is to nurse the baby or give them a bottle while the plane is reaching altitude. Another tip is to buy the extra seat. Airlines will not force you to buy a ticket for your baby who is under age 2. You might be tempted to save the money, but you will find that both you and your baby will be more comfortable in a travel seat than in your arms for the duration of the flight.
Toddlers and Pre-K: The Great Outdoors
Toddlers are naturally curious. What better way to sate their curiosity than by introducing them to nature? Camping in or near national park sites is popular, especially during times that families want to get away from crowds. Choose spots where you can easily keep an eye on your young ones. Yosemite National Park is beautiful any time of the year. Other excellent choices for young ones are Glacier National Park in Montana, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, and the Grand Canyon.
Ages 5 to 9: Theme Parks and Zoos
Any age is a great age for theme parks. Young children are especially entertained by the smaller rides and characters that are seen at places like Disneyland and Six Flags. Head to San Diego for some family fun activities with easy access to places like Belmont Park and Legoland. In addition, you can take the kids to some of the world's most famous places for animal life: SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo.
Tweens: All-Inclusive Resorts
Tweens are caught in a phase between wanting more independence and still needing parental supervision. They might feel resentment toward parents who they feel spend too much time hovering over their every move. However, parents know that tweens aren't ready to face a strange area on their own just yet. This is when a resort might be the best option. Choose an all-inclusive resort with clubs for kids based on their ages. It will give them a few hours of safe time away from the family, which also leaves parents with some kid-free time to relax and unwind.
Teens: Beaches and Island Getaways
Teens are old enough to explore on their own. Instead of letting them get lost in the city, take them to the beach! Book a hotel room with beachfront access so teens can come and go as they please. Beaches near cities are perfect for sunny days with plenty of places to explore during evenings or if rain sets in. An island vacation is great for this purpose as well. There are plenty of islands that are in or near the United States. Hilton Head, Maui, Mackinac, and Catalina Island are all places teens will love.
Kids at Heart: Movie Sets and Studio Tours
There is no reason to lose your youthful edge just because you are a parent. Find the joy in the magic behind your favorite television shows and movies by planning your vacation around the silver screen. A number of movie studios offer tours that are fun for the whole family. Many scripted television shows, talk shows, and game shows allow live studio audiences. Many of these do not allow young children, so make sure you check ages and availability before excitedly planning this trip. Another option is to make your own movie tour. Many places in southern California have been used for film purposes. Explore the region to find the filming locations of movie classics like Top Gun, Back to the Future, and La La Land.
Bea Krasner is a passionate writer, part-time foodie, and full-time dog dad. He’s a frequent contributor to The Authentic Gay and specializes in topic areas including exotic travel, exercise and holistic wellness, environmentally-friendly skincare, and LGBT rights advocacy
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