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  • Your favorite vacation experience.

    I'm looking for vacation ideas (family with little kids) and it would be interesting to see what others here have done which they found particularly good.

    1. Location
    2. Total cost
    3. would you do it again

    My dream vacation is a winter vacation in Europe (Bavaria or Switzerland) for some nice cross-country skiing.

     

  • #2
    Wouldn't suggest trekking across Europe with little ones.  Check out the national parks in the US.  A trip to Yosemite can be done cheaply (even throw a day or two in San Fran if you want) and it's a beautiful experience.  You won't be able to do the longer hikes with little kids but there are many rewarding smaller hikes.  Reserve camp site 6 months in advance or stay just outside the park in a hotel.

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    • #3




      I’m looking for vacation ideas (family with little kids) and it would be interesting to see what others here have done which they found particularly good.

      1. Location
      2. Total cost
      3. would you do it again

      My dream vacation is a winter vacation in Europe (Bavaria or Switzerland) for some nice cross-country skiing.

       
      Click to expand...


      Switzerland is expensive. Airfares to Europe during the time that the school is off is expensive. Western Europe on the whole is more expensive that Eastern Europe. And little kids get bored with cultural activities like visiting castles and churches.

      As a resident ( that is what it appears from your screen name) you should not be blowing money on overseas trips if you have other debts. Traveling within USA would be much cheaper.

      What is your budget for the vacation?

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      • #4
        When the kids were younger, we did mostly beach trips and Disney trips. As they got older, we did national park trips, gradually increasing the length of hikes and the intensity of the experiences, and ski trips. Older yet, France and Italy and allowed them to go on international exchange trips. We value travel very much and find it educational and fulfilling.

        My favorite family trip was two weeks in Italy (Bellagio, Venice, Florence, and Cinque Terre) for our 50th birthdays, two years ago when the kids were 16 and 13. I do not remember the cost but it was not a bargain trip, in excess of $20k. We do not stay in fancy hotels but we plan extensively and pay up for guided tours, drivers, and interesting experiences--like learning to row a gondola in Venice, personal guided hike in the foothills around Lake Como, and personal running tour of Florence for me, as examples). I could not put a price on how much I enjoyed the trip and would do it again in a heartbeat. In fact, we are planning to do it again in a few years--sans les enfants.

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        • #5
          You sound like maybe you like more active vacations than me, but sometimes when you have little kids you have to go somewhere and chill.

          1) Maui Four Seasons

          2) $10,000 (probably more now, but you might be able to hit an off peak time if your kids not in school)

          3) If I only had one month to live I would spend it here, it is that amazing

           

          Also fantastic with young children, I am sure you have heard about it, I had my doubts but:

          1) Disney cruise (did Caribbean route)

          2) $7000 for large family veranda room plus airfare to Orlando

          3) We are signed up for another one next year!

           

          Sorry, no low cost ones here but you did ask for best vacations.  I did wait about 5-7 years after residency to start doing really nice vacations.

           

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          • #6




            You sound like maybe you like more active vacations than me, but sometimes when you have little kids you have to go somewhere and chill.

            1) Maui Four Seasons

            2) $10,000 (probably more now, but you might be able to hit an off peak time if your kids not in school)

            3) If I only had one month to live I would spend it here, it is that amazing

             

            Also fantastic with young children, I am sure you have heard about it, I had my doubts but:

            1) Disney cruise (did Caribbean route)

            2) $7000 for large family veranda room plus airfare to Orlando

            3) We are signed up for another one next year!

             

            Sorry, no low cost ones here but you did ask for best vacations.  I did wait about 5-7 years after residency to start doing really nice vacations.

             
            Click to expand...


            We are looking to do a big "we paid off debt" vacation next summer and have had several people recommend Maui. Good place for those with kids(4-13)?

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            • #7







              You sound like maybe you like more active vacations than me, but sometimes when you have little kids you have to go somewhere and chill.

              1) Maui Four Seasons

              2) $10,000 (probably more now, but you might be able to hit an off peak time if your kids not in school)

              3) If I only had one month to live I would spend it here, it is that amazing

               

              Also fantastic with young children, I am sure you have heard about it, I had my doubts but:

              1) Disney cruise (did Caribbean route)

              2) $7000 for large family veranda room plus airfare to Orlando

              3) We are signed up for another one next year!

               

              Sorry, no low cost ones here but you did ask for best vacations.  I did wait about 5-7 years after residency to start doing really nice vacations.

               
              Click to expand…


              We are looking to do a big “we paid off debt” vacation next summer and have had several people recommend Maui. Good place for those with kids(4-13)?
              Click to expand...


              Im sure its fine with kids but dont know that theres anything there especially for them outside of the hotels and their fancy pools. Otherwise, for adults Maui is great, but I would be concerned with kids doing some of the more interesting stuff as its a lot of nature and hiking, etc...Its a little different there that very dangerous areas are not necessarily marked and there are no warnings of potential pitfalls, all these areas are drive up and explore at your own risk, which can be quite high. These can be avoided by paying attention and knowing beforehand, but kids wont be doing so.

              Ive done Maui twice, once with a baby, but baby didnt do too much of course.

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              • #8




                 Reserve camp site 6 months in advance
                Click to expand...


                To the minute. Camp sites are VERY competitive.
                Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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                • #9







                   Reserve camp site 6 months in advance
                  Click to expand…


                  To the minute. Camp sites are VERY competitive.
                  Click to expand...


                  Oh my lord is this correct.  I remember having multiple screens open, doing refreshes, etc. the second it hit 8am EST (or whenever they opened).  By the time I got on there were a ton already booked.  Amazing.  $15 bucks a night or something is hard to beat though.

                  Comment


                  • #10




                    I’m looking for vacation ideas (family with little kids) and it would be interesting to see what others here have done which they found particularly good.

                    1. Location
                    2. Total cost
                    3. would you do it again

                    My dream vacation is a winter vacation in Europe (Bavaria or Switzerland) for some nice cross-country skiing.

                     
                    Click to expand...


                    I've done chill out, drink, and not leave the resort +/- baby (6 mo) and trans-Atlantic flight, gallivant across a country +/- baby (12 mo)...both ends of both spectra.

                    Frequent changes of environment can be tough.  I'd pick no more than 3 places to stay, no less than 2 nights (preferably 3) at each place.  If you're all at one place the whole time, make sure there are enough diversions/excursions for the kids.

                    How old are the kids?  How much stimulation do they require?  Can they just run around a resort with pools and a beach or bunny slopes, or do they need specifically stimulating programming?  Some all-inclusive resorts have Kids' Clubs, etc, which can be helpful if you want some adults-only time.

                    My brother is currently in England with his 8 and 4 year-old visiting our family and is picking two things to do each day: zoo, Harry Potter World, London sightseeing, family time in rural villages.  The oldest my son has been on long trips was 12 months, so I can't be of too much help with personal experiences since they're easy to manage at that age.  Finding the balance between frenetic shifts and under-stimulation is key.

                     

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                    • #11
                      Our best vacations by age :

                      toddlers-preschool:  church camp with all the cousins.  the kids ran loose with their own lake, sand piles, camp fires, and forts.

                      elementary years: adventure camping in Costa Rica. We biked down a volcano, meandered down a lazy river, white-water rafted, created a real rainforest café, rode horses through a rice field, climbed strangler tress, and zip lines.

                      teen years:   slept on the ground for 2.5 weeks in Tanzania.  we watched  a lion kill a zebra, scouted the celebrity animals and birds,  met with Hadzabe, Masai, Dorobo***, and another tribe that looked emaciated. We bought a goat for extra food.

                      On a financial note, I exchanged questions with the wife of the Masai tribe leader.   she asked me, "  In your land, when the boy and the girl marry, which one builds the house?  I answered, "  Well, we don't know how to build a house, so we hire a specialist, borrow the money, and then pay back the money over 30 years. "  She moaned in sadness for me, likely  thinking " sucks to be you."

                      ***Dorobo are poor people who own no cattle. Our family was revealed as dorobos.

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                      • #12
                        Scotland!  Rented a Mercedes.  Stayed in castles.  Short and long hikes.  Ferry boats.  Distilleries for daddy; learning about chemistry for kid.  Climbing.  Great food.  Great people who were gracious with our 5 year old.  Lovely drives.  Awesome history.  And a great exchange rate at the moment.  Looking to go back while kid still little, which speaks volumes because my bucket list is still quite long.

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                        • #13
                          Im an attending now, wife will soon be out of fellowship. Just kept the resident_1 name since I joined when the forum first apeared.

                          What is most difficult is flights with 3 kids under 6yo.

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                          • #14
                            Geting a 5th wheel trailer and traveling across Southwest and CA is something on the bucket list.

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                            • #15




                              Im an attending now, wife will soon be out of fellowship. Just kept the resident_1 name since I joined when the forum first apeared.

                              What is most difficult is flights with 3 kids under 6yo.
                              Click to expand...


                              Mm, the aircraft equipment is important.  the 3x3 seating is easy, pick the isle/window and maybe you'll luck out and get the whole row--if not, I guarantee you the schmuck who gets the middle seat between you and one of your little devils will trade you for a window or aisle.  I also know a guy who purchases an entire row for himself when flying to Oz, so that he can stretch out for half the price of business class--if you have any equipment options with a 3 seat, perhaps you could just buy 6 seats and do that.  otherwise for the big hop, you'll want a dc10 with the 5 seats in the middle--I bet if you book early enough with an actual person (you'll want to do this anyway to ensure you get the children's rate on intl airfare), they will assign you the bulkhead which is usually reserved for families since you can hook up a bassinet.  you can put a parent on each end of the row and let the rugrats loose in between.  the downside to that is that the armrests don't go up, which makes stretching out to sleep hard for the little ones. (we already know you're not going to be sleeping.)  a bottle of ear plugs and an offer to buy folks drinks (on the domestic flights) has helped turn some glares into bemusement (e.g. when that presumed middle ear squeeze causes your 3yo to scream inconsolably at 1am when you thought it was grand idea to take a red eye flight)...and it's just the offer itself that seems to help--nobody has taken me up on it!  and just like nursing in the hospital, the flight attendants can tell when the parents are really trying--they are a great resource too.

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