What to Expect
The beauty of a guided vacation is having all the details of your trip taken care of; with that stress removed, the hardest part is selecting the right one. When picking the right guided vacation for your family, you should always consider two main components: the destination and the itinerary.
Selecting the right destination is often the first step in planning your family vacation. Luckily, most tour operators that specialize in guided family vacations can transport your family almost anywhere in the world, from Australia and China to Peru and South Africa. And each of the vacations offered in those locations are often tailored to reflect the local culture, history and adventure to be found. No matter the chosen destination, you must look carefully into any age restrictions, required travel documents and/or required vaccines. We can assist you with figuring out which destination is best for you and the family, as well as handling some of the more practical concerns involved.
The way in which an itinerary is set up also impacts your guided vacation experience. Are you and your family early risers who like to always be on the go and have plenty of activities in store? Or are you more laid-back, preferring to travel at a more leisurely pace? Does your family mind moving from hotel to hotel daily or prefer more 2- and 3-night stopovers? Do you have to eat your meals at a set time each day? Asking yourself questions like these will help you figure out what type of guided itinerary is right for your family.
Is there a minimum age requirement?
Age requirements vary by trip. For a family safari in Africa, many tour operators recommend that children be at least 6 years of age or older to fully appreciate the trip and possess the maturity level required to sit through long game drives. Most tour operators require any child under 18 to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Some activities may also have specific height, weight and/or age requirements, so it is important to check these ahead of time.
What should I pack?
This will be determined by the destination, itinerary, season and what your tour operator can provide. At an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, most of the big items (cribs, diapers, etc.) will be available on site, and in this case you’ll want to pack plenty of beach attire. If you’re headed on a tour of Europe at Christmastime, plan to pack your own travel supplies and much warmer clothing. When traveling with young children, be sure to pack everything they might require, from baby formula and medicines to their favorite toy.
Do I need special travel documents to travel with children?
Depending on your country of origin and your vacation destination, passports and/or visas may be required for international travel. U.S. citizens need a passport valid for international travel and a visa is required, for example, for travel to China and Australia. Some countries may have specific entry requirements for children under 17 who are traveling without both parents. For specific documentation requirements, U.S. residents should consult the U.S. State Department.