Confession: My husband and I love to travel. Our travel has changed since having kids, but it has not stopped. Case and point: our family expedition to Italy with our two kids, both under the age of three. Need another example? How about the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics with a 4-month-old and a 2-year-old. Crazy? Maybe. Worth it? Definitely.
You will never hear me say that traveling with children is easy. In fact, quite the opposite. Travel with children is not easy. To be honest, sometimes it can be absolutely terrible. Running through Charles de Gaulle carrying a sleeping toddler and luggage strapped on my every limb was way more difficult than any leg I have ever seen on the Amazing Race. (FYI Charles de Gaulle is over 12.50 sq miles)
Arriving to our destination after 13 hours on a flight with a 3-year-old that did not sleep and having the 5-point harness car seats not arrive for the kids was another recipe for a mama meltdown. At the end of the day, “stuff” happens no matter where you are and regardless of how much planning is involved.
What I will say, is that despite all the “stuff” happening, travel with children is worth it. The experiences are worth every sleepless night, every ulcer and every penny. Period. Your child will not think back to their first trip through Yellowstone and remember what a terror they were, they will think about what an amazing adventure it was and how fabulous YOU were for taking them.
There are a number of things you can do to make travel easier, (check out my Arm Candy Travel Essentials here ) but let’s be honest, the accommodations are EVERYTHING!
This section is dedicated to fabulous family friendly stays submitted by Arm Candy Confessions’ authors and readers. The list includes delightful destinations from no-star to five-star. Whether it’s your backyard or the most luxurious place on earth, we want to hear about YOUR favorite family friendly vacations!
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Disney Grand Hotel-Anaheim, California.
Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa- Carlsbad, California. “Special kids buffet and private access to Lego land. AMAZING for kids” –Jennifer A.
Antlers Resort- Mount Shasta, California. “Cabins, campsites and houseboats galore. A fantastic way to experience Lake Shasta with the family.”–Chayna B.
Hotel Oceana- Santa Monica, California.
Sunset Marquis- West Hollywood, California. “Kids are treated like little rocker’s when they check in. They get a cool rocker t-shirt upon arrival as well as a passport where they can go to all the outlets and receive little goodies. They also receive an amenity each night.” –Jennifer A.
Grand Floridian- Orlando, Florida. “Beautiful hotel and everything a kid could ever want. It’s Disney World. Can’t really say much more. The kids had a blast” –Sara S.
Grand Hyatt- Kauai, Hawaii. “Such a gorgeous resort with tons of activities for the kids.”
Grand Wailea- Maui, Hawaii. “LOVE the Grand Wailea on Maui! Tons of pools, slides and activities for the kiddos and great service at the cabanas.” –Priya P.
Aulani Disney Hawaii Resort- Oahu, Hawaii.
Waldorf Astoria-New York, New York. ”Perfect location on Park Avenue. Walking distance to most everything and a little market across the street. Large rooms (rare for NY) and a children’s tea service on Saturdays.” –Chayna B.
The Ocean Lodge- Cannon Beach, Oregon. “Fresh baked cookies 24hrs a day, beachfront rooms, super-kid friendly breakfast, free buckets and shovels for kids, great suites. We go every Fall, great way to end the summer.” –Ginny B.
Surfsand Resort-Cannon Beach, Oregon. “Perfect experience for the kids. They even light bonfires at the hotel nightly with free s’mores roasting (which the boys loved) and give the kids buckets/shovels upon check-in. Located right next to Haystack Rock as well and the kids eat free at the restaurant onsite..” –Sara S.
Embassy Suites- Portland, Oregon. ”Not glam, but easy. Located walking distance to everything. Large rooms, adjoining suites and complimentary breakfast…”
Weasku Inn- Grants Pass, Oregon. ”We stay here every time we drive down to California and LOVE it! –Ami G.
Westin- Hilton Head, South Carolina. “Kids activities every afternoon by the pool and private beach with calm surf. Simply amazing.”
Suncadia Resort- Cle Elum, Washington. “Ice skating, skiing and tubing in the winter. Hiking, biking and golfing in the summer. What else could a family ask? Oh, a spa..they have that too!”
LakeDale Resort-San Juan Islands, Washington. “Excellent lake/camping setting and all types of accommodations. You can stay in the lodge (which is very nice and rustic), canvas cabins (glamping), regular cabins, and tents. We stayed in the lodge because I was 7 months pregnant and not up for the adventure, but would love to stay in the canvas cabin next time.” –Sara S.
The Davenport Hotel- Spokane, Washington. “Beyond gorgeous and surprisingly affordable rates! This 1914 hotel is a history lesson for the entire family!”– Chayna B.
Pan Pacific- Vancouver, BC.– “It’s like a cruise ship on land. Breathtaking views, but walking distance from everything! Absolutely love this place!” –Chayna B.
Summit Lodge & Spa- Whistler, Canada. ”Ideal location in the heart of Whistler Village and amazing service for families (including pets). They also have incredible specials for families visiting in March.” –Chayna B.
Hotel Martinez-Cannes, France. “My kids had complimentary mocktail drink invitations for a kids happy hour waiting upon check-in, along with coloring books, crayons, and kids Chopard sunglasses. Private beach, with tons of toys! If you are going to splurge, this is the place to do it!” –Chayna B.
Le Phebus- Provence, France. “One of the most tranquil places on earth. Playground for the kids, pool, tennis court, board games, and cribs upon request. World class chef that is available for cooking lessons”
Grand Hotel Et De Milan- Milan, Italy. “Fancy Nancy would be in heaven and so would her parents. Located in the heart of Milan, walking distance to everything! Beautiful kids cribs, with stuffed animals waiting.”
Lake Como Villas- Lake Como, Itlay. “Amazing Villas on Lake Como for every size family. Perfect for family reunions or large family gatherings. The kids had tons of room to run and play while mom was busy looking for George Clooney.”
Moon Palace- Cancun, Mexico. “All-inclusive, always amazing! Kids activities daily, tons of restaurants and tons of fun!” –Chayna B.
US VIRGIN ISLANDS
Maho Bay- St. John US Virgin Islands. “A glamping experience that we absolutely loved. Awesome beaches, hiking and inexpensive to stay there (not to get down there though). Set in a national park too, so the island is not touristy at all.” –Sara S.