7 Considerations For A Quick Family Getaway
After the string of sickness that swept through our home this past week, Dan and I decided that the three of us could do with some sun and special time together. We have bigger travel plans abroad in the summer and winter but wanted to squeeze in a four day easy escape to tide us over until then. Impromptu trips are a little less spontaneous than they used to be when we were just a couple. While it may take away from the romance of it, we have found that a few key things help keep the peace and allow the weekend to be what it's supposed to be.
1. Flight time & time difference
For trips this short, we're looking to optimize for flights that are sub four hours and time differences that are no more than one hour in either direction. Pending what coast or country you're in, that will usually narrow your options quickly. Bermuda, Florida and The Caribbean tend to be our best options to chase the sun from New York.
2. Proximity to the airport
The only thing more exhausting than a flight with a child or children is getting off the flight and bracing yourself for a long car ride. In our experience, Bodie has been a star on planes (for now) because its typically quite novel and interesting and we can sneak in a nap, but the car rides push him to his limits. So we look for resorts sub 20 minutes away from the airport.
Can we afford a suite - either with an extra bedroom, an extra spacious bathroom or a walk in closet (we're not above it)? We like to put Bodie in a separate space that we can make his own so we can end our nights with a bit more privacy to happily watch The Americans without disturbing him. Sometimes this means dialing down the category of hotel we're staying in to spring for a two bedroom or suite but we've found it to be so worth it.
4. Pool situation
Is the pool warm? Is there a separate pool for children? The one thing I'm really wary of is being the family disturbing the peace having been on the other side of the equation. But I also don't want to feel like a second class citizen so knowing in advance that there is a welcoming pool area for families is key. I find Trip Advisor reviews to be very candid and I'll filter for reviews from families to get the good, the bad and the ugly.
5. Kids meals
When you're already splurging on a last minute (in our case) flight and hotel, the one thing we don't want to do is spend in excess for Bodie's nibbles here and there. This is a nice to have but I poke around a little extra to see if babies under 2 eat free.
6. Kids clubs & activities
I used to feel super selfish lugging Bodie around the country on trips because it's most certainly more for us than him at this point. I've quickly gotten over that guilt and realized it does wonders for Dan and I to reset and it helps us stay in touch with travel, which was a huge part of our lives pre Bodie. The compromise is filtering for all of the above but also finding places that have activities he can enjoy too. Many resorts will have playgrounds or kids clubs which I definitely prefer so as to have toys and a change of scenery for Bodie if possible.
7. Baby essentials on demand
I consider myself to have solid packing skills but inevitably I can't and don't want to anticipate every scenario. For peace of mind, I will e-mail the Concierge to see what baby items they have available for guests and confirm there's a grocery store nearby.
After all of this, we ended up picking The Finest Playa Mujeres in Mexico for a four day getaway next weekend.
What do you think about when you're planning a quick trip with kids? Where have you gone as a family that you've really enjoyed? xo
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