A lot goes into planning a family vacation, from ordering airline tickets and booking rooms to arranging for transportation once you’re there. And it all gets more complicated when you’ve got kids in tow. It’s no longer enough to book any old room, you need to find a hotel that is reputable and clean and you have to make sure to get a non-smoking room on a non-smoking floor, not to mention enough beds to accommodate the whole family, or perhaps even adjoining rooms. And all the hassles of travel can definitely be exacerbated by having to keep track of a pack of little ones in addition to yourself. But you probably still want to play the tourist game in order to get the most out of your time away from home and work, and setting up tour packages is a great way to reduce the stress and headaches associated with seeing the sights. Here are a few tips to help you select the right ones for your family.
- Kid-friendly accommodations. You’re no doubt familiar with the double-decker tour buses designed to show you the skyscrapers of Times Square or the homes of Hollywood stars. But these types of open-air transport with nary a seatbelt in sight may not appeal to parents who have the safety of their children to consider. So before you book any tour packages make sure that they provide suitable accommodations for kids.
- Reserved seating. Whether you’re boarding a bus or seeing a show, you might face difficulties when it comes to securing seats for the whole family if it’s a first-come-first-serve operation. Since you probably don’t want to split up the group, it may be worth your while to look for options that include reserved seating to ensure that you’re all together even if you end up running late.
- Appeal for all ages. Even though you find fine art museums riveting, young children might not be as interested in the work of the masters (and the walk could tire them, as well). By the same token, you wouldn’t exactly be on the edge of your seat at a children’s concert. However, with a little research you should be able to find options that appeal to the whole family…except maybe teenagers, who are probably too cool for a family vacation altogether.
- Cost. This is an important factor for any family. You not only have to purchase multiple tickets for every outing, but you may also be working with a budget for your trip. So don’t hesitate to factor cost in when trying to decide between multiple family tour packages.
- Tourist checklist. Whether you’re hitting up the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe on your tour of Paris or you’re visiting Balboa Park and the Gaslamp District via San Diego tours, there are likely a bevy of sites you want to see when you visit a new location on your vacation. Rather than booking a slew of tours, however, you might want to look for a family tour package that includes several sites on your vacation checklist. This could save you both time and money, and a complete package will also save you the trouble to trying to time your tours so that they don’t overlap.