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HELP! Tips Needed for Traveling With Kids…

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These readers need your help! Do YOU Have Any Advice?

Michelle says: Anyone have ideas of places to take kids out of the U.S. that is inexpensive (or cheaper than Disney)! I don’t even know where to start looking. I would love to go to Europe or someplace like that but not really sure if there are better places to go with kids that are really not that expensive. A resort in Mexico isn’t really what I’m thinking of… something less resort-like.


Winter says: We will be traveling with two children aged 8 and 11 on an international flight this summer. Travel will include an 11 hour flight, 3 hour layover and a 9 hour flight before reaching our destination. Any tips or ideas on making the long hours spent at the airport and on a plane easier would be appreciated.


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Comments 97

  1. Andrea

    An amazing trip we took was southern Utah/northern AZ! We camped so it was really cheap. But we hit up Sedona, AZ. Grand Canyon, antelope canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion national park… a trip to NEVER forget!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • J

      Sounds amazing! Adding this to our travel list!!

    • Momto2

      We were thinking about Utah as well. Would love to go to Zion. What time of year did you go?

      • haleslll

        We went in July last year and it was blazing hot but so much fun. If we did it again I would aim for June or September.

      • parkerspantry

        My husband and I went to Arches National Park in UT in September and it was amazing. Perfect weather and so much outdoor activity (walking the park, hummer tour, river rafting). My boys are only 2 and 4 but we have already decided we are taking them there once they get a bit older.

  2. Jane

    One word VALIUM! ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคง๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    • JeanMarie

      Baaaaaa- I was thinking the same thing !!

      • Proudmommaof6(7thOnTheWay)

        Taking medication without really needing it is terrible. Parents are supposed to be an example for their kids. Way to go mom!

        • Shannon

          Wow proudmommy, always with the mom shaming comments huh? First about the target booze rude comment and now this. I think these people are kidding jeez.

        • rebecca

          why are you assuming these people don’t really need it? for example, i think withholding dramamine from a child who will be sick for 20 hours of flying is practically abusive.

        • Rama

          “If you can’t say something nice; hold your tongue”; is what we were taught as kids. Hope your 7 kids are taught kind things…..

        • Jane

          WOW! Proud momma…your hormones must be kickin in. ๐Ÿ˜‚. Get the corn cob out! Your poor kids! Lighten up!

  3. vs

    responding to Winter’s query.. this sounds a very familiar route for people like me who travel back to our home countries.
    your kids are old enough, so choose their favorite board games, gadgets that wouldn’t need wifi, on flight movies/songs.. this will be enough to entertain.

  4. Jenni

    Snacks galore! Electronics, chargers, maybe also something with a camera to document the trip from their POV.

  5. mommyof3

    Collin, I will like to know how did you plan your family trip?? tru a Agency, Groupon, or other online site, how to save $ on trip out side the U.S with a family of 6

    • jaci

      We did a all inclusive to jamaica thru a travel agent it was nice she knew the budget and what we were willing to spend. It was awesome! The kids still talk about it.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Hi there! We used a small travel agency. It wasn’t necessarily cheap to go that route but we had saved up and did that instead of Christmas gifts. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. L

    My family and I have traveled a lot with our two kids ages 4 and 2, most of it being overseas. There will probably be a tv on the headrest in front of you that will have movies, games and tv shows on it. As others said bring a lot of snacks and small games or toys. It will be a long trip regardless.

    As far as fun places to go in the USA there’s ideas all over if you go to TripAdvisor.com and type in the location, state, or city you want to visit and then”things to do.” Also consider signing up for the Family Fun magazine (often free on here) and it has a travel section with a lot of unique ideas!

  7. Jennifer

    I purchased movies over several months from hollar.com. we didn’t watch them until we traveled. It helped to keep everyone occupied for a few hours at least.

  8. Proudmommaof6(7thOnTheWay)

    I took my 6 boys to Europe last year and we had a blast. It was a whole month of fun! They still talk about it and want to know when we are going back.

  9. J

    To Michelle: Check out Branson MO and the whole Ozark area!! Beautiful, family friendly, way cheaper than Disney and so much to do!!

    • StephB

      ๐Ÿ‘†๐ŸผThis! This is our go to family vacation spot. Been going to Branson since I was a kid and so has my husband. We picked up the tradition for our family and our kids love it! So much to do and we LOVE Silver Dollar City! There are also places where you can buy show tickets 2 for 1 making it a fairly inexpensive vacation. I highly recommend!!

      • Shannon

        Wow thanks! I actually live near by but have never been!

      • Tanya

        We love Branson, too! We are going again this summer. We have a 12 hour drive but it’s worth it. There’s much more than just old country music and old people (as most people think)! Another place similar to Branson is Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We did that last year and had a blast. Every show we went to was great! Dollywood was amazing and no where near the lines that Disney has.

  10. MrsFelix1004

    Dominican Republic is amazing! Also most of the resorts for family’s have kid camps so that the parents can feel comfortable relaxing while the kids are hanging out with other kids their age. Check with your insurance company to see if they offer any flight or travel discounts because USAA has amazing deals!!

    • jaci

      USAA offers travel and flight discounts?

      • MrsFelix1004

        Yes go to your USAA site and look under products. They offer lots of discounts not just travel! If you can find it call and they can help or give you the number. They have been amazing. We stayed at a three bedroom townhouse at Disney last July for 4 nights for under 600. They had an amazing pool and travel to and from the park.

  11. nicole

    I’ve traveled a lot with my now 9 year old, but we started when he was 18 months. Ditto to in-flight entertainment, but don’t plan on your kids eating any of the kids meals (think steamed chicken nuggets etc- bleh). I’ve found that requesting a fruit tray is a far more reliable bet that my kid will eat any of it. I pack plenty of food I know he’ll enjoy and generally give him the desserts from my tray. (We’ll split the fruit plate)

    Kid sized earplugs! Enough said. No sleep=misery for everyone. I also bring eye masks (the airline masks sometimes smell like chemicals and my kid won’t wear them) At check-in- ask if there are any empty seats. More room = happy trip/sprawling out to sleep.

    Gum for takeoff and landing.

    New books, toys and apps. Mid-trip you should still have something you could pull out if needed. Love water wow for the preschool kiddos.

    Also, have a plan for when everything goes completely downhill. So many parents don’t have a plan B. Whatever your kid’s bribe of choice is- make sure to have lots of it. Not for general crabbiness- but for the moment that you’re deplaning, nobody has slept, everyone is starving and you not only need your kid to walk, but also to pull a suitcase etc. This is the moment bribes are made of.

    Also have your kid’s medications with you (just in case!) Tylenol/cough syrup etc I have no desire to navigate a pharmacy that has directions written in a language that isn’t my 1st!

    • Julie

      Love this realistic post and totally agree… lots of helpful info here!

    • Wendy

      I am in complete agreement with the bribes! We flew to Europe a few months ago with our kids–ages 8, 6, and 2. I had games, books, and movies downloaded for them, but they were intrigued mostly by the tv on the headrest. I put a balloon in my pocket (not inflated, obviously) and lots of lollipops in my backpack. The balloon came in handy when we were in a long line in customs. I just told the kids they could only touch it with one finger to keep it off the ground, so it didn’t go very far. Whenever I sensed a possible meltdown, I handed out a lollipop. It was one of the best vacations we’ve ever taken!

    • Rama

      Nicole,
      Such practical advice written so well!
      Thank you!

  12. Brittany

    The Catchie Is Amazing For road trips with toddlers, a huge helper while driving!

  13. Misha

    When my kids were younger I used to purchase several surprise toys from the Dollar Tree that I would pull out on long flights. They loved it!

  14. thehenrydthoreau

    If you live on the east coast, go to Iceland. It is a 4-5 hour flight from Boston or NYC. It is really inexpensive as the dollar is much stronger than the Icelandic kronor. You can go to the geothermic Blue Lagoon, enjoy Reykjavik and enjoy great cuisine. if you want to see other parts of Europe, you can fly from Reykjavik to Sweden, Norway, Denmark or the Uk on a short flight. You can travel through most of Europe without a car. Most of Europe takes trains, walks and bicycles. I have stopped at the major cities like Amsterdam, Stockholm, etc. I find true Europe outside of the major cities.

    Just make sure you have the proper visa paperwork and know the no go zones in each country. Also, learn a bit of the native language of the countries you visit. I have seen Americans who do not speak any of the language treated so differently than those Americans who do speak the language. Do not assume that everyone speaks English nor speaks it fluently.

    • thehenrydthoreau

      Also, make sure to have a credit card with no foreign ATM transaction, get a universal EU wall charger since they are 220 volts vs 110 volts in America and pack lightly.

      • Sann

        What card do you use? We travel to europe and just cancelled our chase sapphire card because of the annual fee. ($99)
        Since we have famiy there and go a lot I would like to get a card with no exchange fees plus no annual fee. Does this exist?

        • NN

          Hi Sann, it does exist ๐Ÿ™‚ Try Capital One. No foreign transaction fees or annual fees on mine. I’ve used it on multiple trips abroad.

          • Sann

            Thanks!

  15. Stacy

    For Michelle: I know Puerto Rico is part of the US, but its tropical and fairly reasonable. We can get flights there for under $300 rt by using Southwests Low Fare Calendar.

  16. Tam

    Took my 4 and 2 year old to Australia. Long flight but they did great on the plane. Lots of great wildlife parks to visit amazing beaches, lots of hikes to do. Exchange rate is good so you get more for your dollar. Already planning our next trip back. As for keeping entertained, travel guess who, those gel stickers you get for 10c after holidays great for decorating car or plane windows. Take some wipes and wipe down arm rests and plane tables anything to not get sick.

  17. Cleo

    We took our kids to Belize for an unforgettable vacation which was relatively less expensive….and clearly less expensive than Disney.
    Southwest flies there. 4 days in the jungle and 3 days on the beach.
    Amazing!

    • Katie

      Cleo, how did you plan your Belize vacation. I have only been there on cruise ships but it is so pretty.

      • Cleo

        Hi Katie!
        I love to plan and dream! That has been part of the fun for me! We have taken some amazing and relatively inexpensive trips that way.
        I started with Guidebooks from the library. And also scoured Trip advisor —- using their forums and asking questions. The beauty of Belize is that there is much less travel time than Europe…and it is super active….hikes and tubing and horseback riding and exploring caves and snorkeling.
        And it was less expensive than Disney.
        You fly into the main city. It’s about 2 hours west to the rainforest and one hour east to the coast.
        I will happily go into more detail if you’d like—I think I am a closet travel agent—-
        I’d love to share my shutterfly book with you.
        Feel free to email me and I can help if you want! It’d be fun to re-live it?
        cynbrown13@gmail.com

  18. Laura

    Michelle–I highly recommend starting with London to take your kids. Lots of cheap flights (from everywhere in the US relative to other destinations), almost all museums are free for kids under 18 and many of the others have a family rate which makes them much cheaper than paying for each person.

    We took our three kids 11, 8, and 8 at the time to London, took train to Paris and flew home from there. No car rental or train rides other than the Chunnel one. Did public transit the whole week (free for the younger kids and cheap for the older). It was an amazing introduction to Europe for a very reasonable price. We stayed in a great hotel ,Premier Inn (in the vein of a Hampton Inn in the US) for a great rate. Paid for bkfast but the kids were free. They had a latte machine and I had 3 doubles our first morning which more than paid for the $10 breakfast, lol.

    In Paris we rented an apartment because we were there 5 nights. That was fun because we lived like Parisians and were on a shopping street so gathered a picnic for dinner in our room each night. Wonderful trip and my two now-15yo are taking French so they can live in Paris someday.

    Good luck and have lots of fun!!

  19. mckeeversmom

    Michelle,
    Perhaps this has already been mentioned but taking a trip to Canada might be of interest. Currently the American dollar is worth almost $1.40 in Canadian currency. There are many places to see and so much to do there and it might even be possible for you to drive, depending on where you live. Just a thought.

    • Shannon

      Definitely recommend Canada! I love it so much! Weather is great in the summer months, people are friendly and speak English. Ottawa and Montreal are my favorite and are 2 hours apart. Public transportation is available in the city and buses between the cities are easy to do. The bus is not sketchy at all like it is here. Lots of outdoor festivals take place in June and July and are free.

      • Andrea

        Just wondering if you need a passport to go to Canada?

        • Nel

          Andrea you do need a passport for Canada.

  20. Amanda

    South Africa is an amazing place to visit. Long flight, but totally worth it once you get there!
    Try and get a flight with as few stops as possible and buy your kids a kindle fire (kids edition)
    Also, the rand/dollar exchange rate works hugely in your favor ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Amanda

      I mean Amazon Fire

  21. barbara

    DC is a great trip

  22. Karina

    We travel often with our 3 boys. 6,4 and 2 now. I like to get ideas from this website.
    http://www.surfandsunshine.com/tips-for-traveling-abroad-with-kids/

    I’ll say that traveling to South America is always much cheaper than Europe. Cartagena, Colombia is a great destination in the Caribbean (and so much history). We’ve done Chile (Santiago, Iquique), Perรบ (Lima and Iquitos which is jungle = super fun to stay at an Amazon Lodge),
    Panamรก. We’re doing Costa Rica next summer. Hope this info helps

  23. Melissa

    I bring a bag of dum dum lollipops to help with the ears for take off & landing. They work well for kids who are too young to chew gum and kids are pretty quiet when they are occupied with a lollipop. My kids have been flying since they were babies & this works well. Little packs of clay also work well. They can make clay animals on their tray table & it doesn’t make a mess. It is important to have lots of things for them to do within reach in your carry on. Be prepared to play & read & spend time with them on the flight.

  24. Emily

    Sometimes I wonder if we travel to these far places with scenery just as beautiful in our backyard. We’ve been as far as New Zealand, which was breathtaking, but thinking to go somewhere in the US this year to explore more closer to home. Any opinions on the best parks in Colorado?

    • CO Mama

      Golden Gate Canyon SP
      Great Sand Dunes NP
      Rocky Mountain NP
      Breckinridge is our go yo getaway in Summer
      Cheyenne Mtn State Park, Gardennof the Gods (free, hiking only no camping)
      Pagoda Springs & Telluride

      • CO Mama

        *Pagosa*
        Or out of CO we were totally impressed with Busch Gardens, recently went in VA (grew up with Disney passes in So Cal) & Busch Gardens was Ah-Mazing!!!! Great for ALL ages, what a fun family time. If camping in VA highly recommend Chippokes SP, so beautiful!

        • Emily

          Thank you so much for the ideas!

      • parkerspantry

        Any tips for Estes Park? My husband and I will be going with our 2 and 4 year old boys next month.

  25. krista

    We also want to do the international thing but have been doing the US until the youngest is a bit older. We actually had a fantastic family trip to Seattle. Tons to do and very family friendly. We even took the little ones to the glass garden (they were free!! I thought they should charge double for kids๐Ÿ˜€). We also did New Orleans and San Antonio, but Seattle was the best by far with a family.

    • Maria

      Do you have any other suggestions for Seattle?? We live in Houston, so we love San Antonio, and go there often since it’s close to home, but want to visit somewhere else.

      • Hip2Save User

        Hi Maria since your a local what do you recommend to visit with a 5 year old girl? We are living in Lake Jackson for a few months due to husbands job so what are must see’s in Houston or San Antonio? So far we’ve seen Hermann Park & Zoo but that is all so far. Thanks!

  26. Kiya

    Hi can any one please suggest the most beautiful places in SC and NC

    • MrsFelix1004

      Greenville SC is kinda your small town laid back vacation. We take our kids to camp Greenville every year and they have an amazing “Pretty Place” it is a beautiful outdoor chapel/church sitting on a bluff with breathtaking views.

    • Debbie

      Check out Charleston, SC and Asheville, NC. I have actually never been to either, but Charleston seems to be loved by everyone that goes and the western part of NC in the mountains is beautiful from what i understand.

    • Cleo

      We love Brevard, North Carolina. Sliding Rock and hiking.
      Asheville is fabulous as well

  27. ana

    Costa Rica is perfect and safe with kids.

  28. Jenna

    We took our kids on a 10 day road trip to Niagara Falls Canada. We drove with 5 kids from MN ๐Ÿ™‚ I made activity binders for each one and went to the dollar store and got some activity books to take along. Younger kids love stickers, so we bought a bunch of stickers and then a sticker book to have them arrange the stickers in. For Niagara Falls we bought the super plus passes, which included the horn blower, areo car, butterfly garden, journey behind the falls, etc. We bought our pass early and got a great deal on them! Our kids also love the outdoors, so we took a scenic drive back and stopped at a bunch of parks to hike on the way home. It was $5 a car for the day, no matter how many parks you went to. So we would hike for a while then get in the car and drive for an hour or two, stop at the next park and hike some more. We also stopped at 4 of the 5 great lakes. Since we drove we were able to pack lots of snacks, and drinks to take along. We kept a small cooler close by that held snacks and drinks for the day. When we ran out, we ran into a local store and bought more. Much cheaper for us then eating out. And our kids aren’t much for sitting an hour plus at a restaurant ๐Ÿ˜‰
    This year we are heading to South Carolina to the ocean/beach and Tennessee to see the Great Smokey Mountains.

    • Andrea

      Did you need a passport to go to Canada? I know it’s another country but I’m not sure of the requirements now. Thank you.

      • jenna

        Yes we did. But there were 2 options available, one was a “card” and the other a book. We did the card, it was cheaper and allows us to go to Canada,mexico and maybe one other place.. I cant remember though. They are good for 5 years. Through triple A we were able to get the passport pictures taken for free.

        • Jenna

          Also if you do travel by car or want a short vacation. Check out http://www.onlyinyourstate.com I use this site to plan stops on our way to our destinations. We stopped at the sand dunes in Michigan on our way to Canada and the kids LOVED them! They are already asking to go back!

  29. Sylvia

    Sticker books

  30. Coco

    Bring a pack of chewing gum in case their ears get hurt in the airplane!! When air planes take off and land small kids have tendency of ear aching. Then chewing gum would definitely help!!

  31. Adair

    I would go to London. So easy to get around. The history is amazing and kids will love it. Get a rail pass before you go and take a train ride to Edinburgh. Also try Bath and Chester.

  32. Kate

    I find the most important thing is to help kids develop the right attitude about long flights and layovers. I remind them several times that while you are traveling you just roll with the punches. Lots of things are outside of your control, out of your parent’s control, and that’s just how it is. Complaining won’t get you there any faster. Sometimes the only thing you can control is your attitude. This discussion helps me stay in the right mindset, too. Side note: It is a little awkward when they start reminding impatient strangers in the vicinity that their grumbling won’t make a late plane come sooner. ๐Ÿ™‚

    We also make little envelops with challenges written on them (math problems, which of the following letters are symmetrical, stand on one foot for 30 s without falling over, random things like that) and then the envelops have craft items, or candy bracelets, or little toys in them. Sticky hands at oriental trading are a huge hit, as are Pokemon cards and fidget spinners. These are nice for long customs lines at the end of long flights.

    • Cleo

      So strongly agree! We have traveled with our kids forever without devices. And they love the airports as much as the destination. We have fully engaged with them. Playing silly games, walking around, cards, etc.
      They are older now. When my husband and I travel, I am sad for the parents who are so busy on their devices that they are not playing with their kids!
      My 17 year old and I just took a quick trip and he pulled out cards and games for us to play!
      We laughed so hard and enjoyed each other so much with our silliness that the dad in front of us had to ask us what we were doing!
      The joyful fruit of being engaged for their whole formation as young people!
      It matters!

  33. Nurse Heather ๐Ÿ’‰

    I’m a single mom, but a complete travel junkie.. even on a single moms budget. I took my children (13 & 7) to Europe in February and had the time of my life. To save money, checkout wow airlines. It’s an Icelandic airline and you do a stopover in Iceland (which was an added bonus for us!). TOTAL, for 3 roundtrip tickets to Paris from Baltimore (with a stay in Iceland) it was $927. Then I got credit card rewards too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I live in Carolina beach, nc .. so we had to drive to Baltimore. Was a 5hr road trip that we got up early for and my kids slept through. Spent some time doing free touristy things in Baltimore before flying out.

    We stayed a few days in Paris.. spent Valentine’s Day there and had dinner on the Eiffel Tower for my 30th birthday! Did you know you could ice skate ON the Eiffel Tower?! Then we took a train to Bayeux to visit Normandy, France (site of the WWll D-Day Omaha beach and American Cemetery). After that we used an Irish airline and paid $90 total round trip from Paris to Dublin, Ireland and spent some time in Ireland too! We visited the Cliffs of Moher and wild Atlantic way.. as well as drove the ring of Kerry. Use viator for booking tours! Save 10% when signing up ๐Ÿ™‚

    Even on a single mom budget, I was able to do this with my children this year. Check different dates for cheapest fairs!

    • Rama

      Way to go, Nurse Heather! You rock!

  34. Kristen

    We love renting a house by the beach for vacations with kids. Saves lots of money on food since you don’t have to eat out and honestly rentals are cheaper than hotels. And everyone can run back and forth to the beach as they feel. We also love going to the Smoky mtns with the kids. We spend most of the time in the national park and avoid the expensive tourist stuff. We rent a cabin and we and the kids love it.

    Flying with older children should be fine, yes to no more toddler stage! Just bring movies, cards, adult coloring books, books, snacks, crosswords, Sudoku, something like a Nintendo ds if they have that, gum, maybe a new travel game or trading card game ( there are so many awesome ones in stores now), something that doubles as a jacket/scarf/blanket for cool planes, just customize the activity for the kids interest. A couple of special new activities should get you through the trip.

  35. rebecca

    we. love. cruising. it may seem expensive at first, but that inclusive price is for all your meals, accommodations, entertainment, seeing multiple cities, and getting you from place to place!
    you can get really cheap deals if you are able to go without a lot of advance notice (like if you’re flexible and book only a couple weeks out.) you can also watch for deals in advance, but will pay a little more.
    even if you don’t opt for the ship-sponsored shore tours and other extra add-ons, you will eat well, can see more than one country, and have many FREE activities offered for all ages (think swimming, movies, classes, games, parties, trivia, stage performances, etc.)
    most cruiselines have amazing kids’ programs that come WITH the price of your booking.

  36. Kellie

    There should be in-flight entertainment to keep your kids attention. It helps me to with hold sctreen time from my kids a couple days before a long flight, then let then have at it once we are on the plane. At the airports I do lots of walking (moving walkways can be very fun), especially since they have to sit still on the flight. I also purchase snacks somewhere as a treat. Look up the airports online to see what they offer…maybe try new food at a restaurant, some have play areas. We try to get the kids energy out so they are more restful on the plane. Pack a few books to read, word puzzles, etc to help pass the time. Let the kids walk around the cabin a bit (when safe), and there is usually always a tray of drinks and a snack on the back set out for passengers. Your kids are older, but I bring a carrier (or wear a scarf you can tie into a carrier) to carry your baby/toddler off the plane. My kids seem to enjoy the 11 hrs of in-flight tv and fall asleep as soon as we land. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Cleo

      Wrap up small things! They love to unwrap!

  37. Holly

    Create a scavenger hunt for the kids. This keeps them alert and having fun at the same time! I travel a lot domestically with my daughter. I always let her (with help) pack her own carry on. She tens to pack things like go fish, coloring, activity books, books, and some kind of small action figure or two. We also take her i-pad which helps. I also stash a little candy for pick me up moments and healthy snacks I know she enjoys.

    In regards to trips, I would say a cruise it pretty easy! This way you get to see multiple places, don’t have to move your luggage, things for kids to do on board and all food included in your cruise price!

    Puerto Rico is pretty cheap but watch out for Zika!

    Iceland has also been runnign great deals but its more expensive for food and such there.

    Check out Groupon for trip ideas as well. They offer some nice packages.

  38. Jen

    Spain is a very cheap (and gorgeous) place to visit and the US dollar goes far. We loved Portugal (Lisbon area) too. For anyone living near the border with Canada, we’ve found it much cheaper – literally HALF price – to fly out of Toronto (not sure about other Canadian cities). We are a family of 5 with teenagers. If you’re adventurous, I’d highly recommend hosting a foreign exchange student. It’s a great cultural experience for the kids and a side benefit we never thought of was how close we would become with our student’s family, prompting them to invite us to visit their country. This summer, for the 2nd year in a row, our family of 5 will be traveling to Europe where they graciously host us and take us to all the authentic, non-touristy places that make Spain and France (where they just moved) great! These trips sound glamorous and expensive, but staying, eating, and touring with the locals make it incredibly affordable. We can’t wait until they are able to visit us in the USA so we can return the favor!

  39. Jen

    Another recommendation I have is flying to Puerto Rico and taking the 7-night Southern Caribbean cruise. With 2 paying adults, kids 17 and under only cost $199 each for the whole cruise! Our family of 5 needed a grand suite (was actually cheaper than 2 regular rooms). Having 3 children ages 13-17 (2 of them boys) I think the cruise line might have lost money on the amount of food they ate! We always arranged our own excursions that were much cheaper and better than the cruise line offered. There was only 1 day at sea and we all loved being on a new island pretty much every day! The beaches and snorkeling were amazing everywhere we went! San Juan, PR is pretty awesome too.

  40. Katie

    Collin is Peru a trip you would recommend planning on your own or do you think you need to do a tour? I am not sure what you did but that is my dream trip! I just am not sure how to plan it!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Hi Katie! We used a small local travel agency to help us plan our trip ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. sarah

    We took our family to New Orleans last year. It has a party city reputation, but it was very family friendly! We stayed off of Burbon Street, & had a blast! We ate begneits , drank chicory coffee, had crawfish, & stuffed ourselves with gumbo. The food in that area is just amazing!

    We took the kids to the zoo, went on a swamp boat tour, to a fairy tale themed park, went to a the botanical gardens in the evening when it was filled with lighted sculptures. We enjoyed the French Quarter, went to a free jazz concert in the park, and visited a weekly art market on Frenchman St.

    The kids had a blast! We rented a house outside the main busy part of the city. It was actually directly across the street from a National Guard training ground, so we got to watch them doing helicopter maneuvers one morning. Having the house saved us a ton of $ on eating out too. We would eat breakfast & supper at home each day.

  42. Sue

    Two family-friendly places that never get old for us are the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg/Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our family has been to both places many times! Also, the U.S. State Department just issued a new travel alert to Europe a few days ago, which expires September 1. Although we all know something can happen anywhere in the world, those planning a European vacation might want to consider the new alert.

  43. April

    Haven’t read through all the comments but, I’m a flight attendant and have been traveling, both domestic and international, with my kids since they were infants. Location really depends what you’re into. I’m a beach ๐ŸŒŠ girl so I love Dominican and west coast of Puerto Rico, and Philippines. As far as long flights, break the monotony of screen time. Bring crossword puzzles, travel sized connect 4, mad libs, sketch pad/pen, small loom to weave๐Ÿ˜Š.

    • April

      Costa Rica is pretty amazing too

  44. tina

    When I travel with my kids, I always do research on Trekaroo.com, a family travel website. They also have a great blog https://blog.trekaroo.com/

  45. Laura

    Can anyone help me with Las Vegas frugal shopping info? We are flying there to do a 3 week RV trip to see National Parks at the end of this month! I’d like to know the best thrift stores, grocery, and Walmart to stock up on what we’ll need before we got the road. I’d love to touch base with a local who is willing to give me some tips to shopping there…thanks!

  46. Adrian

    Main tip would be to have your kids carry backpacks anywhere you go filled with snacks and waters. Wherever you go take a couple of hours to find a walmart or costco and buy a case of water and snacks. Then when you go out walking around tourists spots carry your own water and snack with you so you don’t spend $3 on a single water. Also, for flights take things to entertain your kids. Charge all electronics ahead of time. Download movies. Buy travel games(hollar has some).

  47. Cleo

    Please don’t totally depend on screens!Have fun playing tic tac toe and connect the dots into squares and battle with cards! It is so fun!
    Your kids will grow up so fast…enjoy them! Get off your screen! Get on the floor with them and play! Watch the luggage people load luggage and the airplanes take off. Pack tiny things that they can unwrap! Like a small piece of candy!
    A Thomas train kept my oldest occupied for hours! But we PLAYED with him!
    Do your best to minimize stress and anxiety…,.
    Enjoy all of it! The journey as well as the destination! It’s like Christmas! We as adults are focused on the gifts but the kids love the unwrapping! Add travel time. If you get there early it’s a bonus! it will keep you less stressed….Take naps!
    Make sure you eat…..that makes me in a better mood!
    Have fun checking out the entire hotel! We always flipped every switch in our rooms! Went all the way up and down on the elevators and stairs!
    Stress puts everyone on edge….If you miss a landmark or a “must-see” it really is not a big deal…..
    Enjoy you family!Sadly my kids are now in college and it’s the end of the true family vacation! Savor it!
    Get off your screens and into the moment! And teach them to be in the moment as well!

  48. travellingbambino

    New Zealand! Check out my blog for kid friendly iteniraries!!!

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