Picking Destinations

As with most things, it’s better to know thyself – as well as your actual budget and kids’ bandwidth for culture. Do your children like splashing in a pool at the end of a hot day? Or visiting five museums in an afternoon? Some combination of the two? Pick both city and country destinations accordingly. If you know that your child needs green space, for example, opt for Stockholm or London, which abound with parks, over Rome or Milan, which can feel relentlessly urban. If you want to hit two cities with some countryside in between, then consider a Florence-Venice combination. Do one area – or a small group of areas – and do them well. Trying to cover too much territory with all the inter-continental trains, planes, and automobiles involved can suck the fun right out of any vacation. Ditto the soaring temperatures you’ll find in much of Europe in July and August, or the monsoon rains that flood Southeast Asia in the winter months.

Do your research via web sites and forums, as other parents are the best resources for identifying what works and what doesn’t when it comes to international travel. For great ideas on everything from a city’s best sights to choice hotel rooms for families, TripAdvisor is an incredibly useful, unbiased app that you can download. (Plus you can check out our other favorite travel apps to make life on the go easier for the whole family.) Some helpful websites for international travel inspiration include My Little Nomads, Take the Family, and Babble’s Top 25 Travel Blogs for Families. After reading about these families’ far-flung adventures, you’ll realize anything is possible!

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3 thoughts on “Babble International Family Travel Guide: Tips on passports, packing, flights, and more

  1. soultravelers3 says:

    Great ideas, but think slow travel and extended travel if you want to save money and get deep language immersion. We’ve been traveling the world as a family non-stop for 6 years on just $23/day per person to 43 countries on 5 continents and it’s been an amazing education! http://www.soultravelers3.com/2011/07/how-to-and-why-raise-a-global-kid.html

    As our world shrinks, we need to raise global kids. DO travel internationally with your kids..make it a priority!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree. Travel with them as much as possible. We are military stationed in Germany with a 4yo, 2yo and 4 month old. We travel all over. It’s great for the children. Ours will be so bored when we move back to the US this summer. Funny Barcelona was mentioned. That’s my 4yo’s favorite place of all!

  3. with2kidsintow says:

    We are a family who are at the tail end of a year-long backpacking trip covering 10 countries in SEA, including India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Our kids were aged 3.5yrs and 5yrs when we started. As @soultravelers3 pointed out, slow and extended travel is a good way to actually save money as you can negotiate better long-stay rates on accommodation and spend less on travel. We typically average about $50 USD per day for our entire family, which includes everything from food, accommodation, overland travel expenses and activities. And not only can you get to know a place better, but it’s easier for families as it takes the pressure off of having to do everything ‘now’. Kids need to be well paced and need lots of down time too–happy kids mean happy trip! we’re at http://www.with2kidsintow.blogspot.com in case you are curious. Travel is a terrific family experience!

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