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!