Picture the scene…
You’re on your way to your dream family holiday, cruising at 35,000 feet high in a comfy airplane and enjoying a chilled glass of champers with your better half, while your kids are peacefully plugged into their iPads in the row behind.
But this idyllic scenario only comes after months of tense familial negotiations, pinpoint planning and budget balancing – not to mention running the gauntlet of an often tricky pre-flight period when unforeseen delays or complications can bring underlying tensions back to boiling point.
However, with plenty of prior research and the agile ability to adjust your plans, you can ensure that you take off on any family trip feeling calm, cool and collected.
With that in mind, here are five hassle-free hints for your family vacay.
1. Independent travel
When you’re traveling with kids in tow, the appeals of a major resort are manifold – for starters, they’re tried and tested in terms of safety, customer service and overall standards.
Independent travel is much more of a gift to your family because you can arrange your own itinerary, immerse yourselves in the local culture and make serendipitous discoveries together – all of which evoke an authentic sense of adventure.
And when you get home, you’ll be able to regale friends and family with tales of getting a genuine taste and feel for your holiday location, much to their envy!
2. Family-friendly airlines
While every airline undoubtedly tries its best to satisfy family travelers, some carriers seem to excel in making every member of your brood feel a little bit special.
According to a recent Inc. article, the most family-friendly US airline is Southwest – based on criteria like advance seat assignment availability, early family boarding, seat comfort, kid-friendly cuisine and entertainment.
However, JetBlue, Hawaiian and Alaska aren’t far behind in the rankings, so you can feel confident boarding any of their planes too.
Beware that quality can vary from time to time though – so always check a reliable ratings site like Skytrax for the latest reviews to keep up to date.
3. Kid-friendly airports
If you’re lucky enough to have a choice of convenient departure airports, you’re just as well choosing the one that’s rated the most kid-friendly.
Travel app TripIt’s list of top family airports includes Philadelphia, which is praised for its plentiful nursing rooms and children’s entertainment, and Portland, which boasts a fairly new kids’ play space and a…
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