At Forbes Travel Guide, we spend most of our weekdays on the road, traveling the world in search of the best resorts, restaurants and spas. But come weekends, we hit up destinations with our families, and with that comes a whole different kind of preparation. With much experience navigating airports and hotels accompanied by our clans, we give you five pointers for traveling with young children.
Take advantage of the kids’ program at your hotel.
Wondering how to keep your kids happy while you get some much needed relaxation once you reach your destination? Most hotels offer some sort of children’s program, and those at the luxury level have programs that are so delightful and memorable, your kids will talk about them for years to come. At most Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, staff members greet young guests with some sort of welcome gift. But at the Four Seasons Hotel Boston, this welcome goes one step further. At check-in, kids can choose a gift from a wagon filled with toys. And if you choose the Kid-Kation package, a child can make his own sundae when the ice cream man visits his room.
Don’t pack gear that you could borrow from the resort.
Even budget hotels may have pack and plays or high chairs on hand that you could borrow, but we’ve been most impressed by the array of products available to use at luxury properties. At Trump International Hotel & Tower New York, the staff arranges a portable crib, high chair and even a loaner UPPAbaby stroller. Your tykes will also love the complimentary stuffed toy, mini-sized bathrobe and kid-friendly room-service menu.
Get to know the area you’re visiting.
Call on your hotel’s concierge to give you a short list of the top things to see and do with your kin. At the The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado, the concierge can arrange fly fishing lessons, guided hikes and even overnight horseback trips for the whole family. The information you gather from the well-trained faculty helps keep kids entertained from morning to night.
Book the proper size room for your group.
Choose larger quarters when booking so your clan can spread out. If you forgot to do so when making your arrangements, call before check-in to see if there’s any availability for a bigger bedroom. You might just be upgraded to a suite or room with a kitchen. We love the spacious rooms at the four-star Signature at MGM Grand Las Vegas. The non-gaming hotel has oversized suites with full kitchens, the perfect retreat for families passing through Sin City.
Check out the local upscale food scene.
Although restaurant chains are great for kids, take the family to local hot spot instead. The best time to go is during lunch, as that’s a period when wait staff can give younger diners more attention. Scarpetta at Montage Beverly Hills in California offers an indulgent Sunday brunch, which is a great way to taste celebrity chef Scott Conant’s Italian cooking in a casual setting like its outdoor patio.