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  • #16
    I think Maui would be great with kids.  The Four Seasons has a kids club that is included in the room price.  There are kids everywhere and restaurants very kid friendly.  But everyone is so chill because it is Hawaii, why would you be screaming at your kids?  There are great drives, beaches, whale watching (in winter)

    Also really liked the big island if they want to do volcano experience.  Stayed at the Fairmont Orchid, very family friendly, great sheltered area/bay with paddle boarding, snorkeling.  And much less expensive than Four Seasons but very nice.

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    • #17




       

      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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      Especially since among the Maasai the women build the houses. My favorite vacations have always been in Eastern and Southern Africa, camping safaris, bungee jumping Victoria falls, booze cruises along the Zambezi. Good times

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      • #18




        I think Maui would be great with kids.  The Four Seasons has a kids club that is included in the room price.  There are kids everywhere and restaurants very kid friendly.  But everyone is so chill because it is Hawaii, why would you be screaming at your kids?  There are great drives, beaches, whale watching (in winter)

        Also really liked the big island if they want to do volcano experience.  Stayed at the Fairmont Orchid, very family friendly, great sheltered area/bay with paddle boarding, snorkeling.  And much less expensive than Four Seasons but very nice.
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        At the hotel would be fine, but you'd not be able to do some of the cool hikes and visit certain sites with younger ones as they can be quite with no warnings about serious dangers. Maybe you'd just stay at the hotel/beach and itd be just as fun. Have no idea, last time we rented a condo on the beach for very good pricing. Maybe Im more adventurous but I'd be pretty bummed to not do Hana, ride up/down Haleakala, and visit all the cool places many of which you'd want a tight leash on toddlers. Older kids might love it but I'd keep them close too. I live in California so we go to the beach whenever anyway, so thats not the draw for us and might be pretty awesome from lots of other parts of the country.

        Its weird, you just pull off the highway and walk down a path/hillside to some amazing things and there will be no signs, no real entry point, and certainly no infrastructure or warnings of the dangers. People die at the blowhole almost every year because they dont know enough to stay away from it or never get between the ocean and it, etc...There are a couple of places where it would be fun for kids as the hotels are pretty amazing, and a couple more kid friendly breaks at certain beaches, bays.

        Iirc Maui revealed is an amazing little guidebook and will give you so many ideas you cant do them all. I've gone twice and do some serious attempts everyday and theres a lot of things I havent done yet.

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        • #19







           Reserve camp site 6 months in advance
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          To the minute. Camp sites are VERY competitive.
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          Not really recommended, but we have had family that has always had luck staying in Yosemite Valley by finding a spot a week to a few days out as other people make cancellations. Would put a major damper on your vacation if it didn't work out, but if you are ok with going with the flow or have a viable back-up plan you can consider rolling the dice and not having to wait for at least 6 months from now. Absolutely worth multiple visits at some point!

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          • #20
            With young kids I'd suggest a nice hotel with a pool and beach access....my young kids have a great time on the Florida gulf coast just swimming in the hotel pool and combing the beach a couple times a day for shells. Get a room with a fridge , microwave, etc. and you can even eat in your room. My kids are too young to enjoy sit down nicer restaurants, endure plane rides longer than 3 hours, etc.  Save the money now with plans to spend more on vacations as they get older and can appreciate more things....

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            • #21
              With 3 kids under 6 I would be very careful in vacation choices as many thing just don't seem worth the stress. What has worked well for us is to find a condo rental through VRBO or aribnb that has really nice amenities. That way you have a nice place to relax, hang out, cook meals, take naps, spread out, etc which is important with kids. Then plan 1 or 2 outings each day, at most. Kids start to melt down when you do too much with them. We try to avoid flying more than like 3 times a year and the rest of our trips are all about 4-6 hour drives from home. And if you can go with friends, even better. Gives you all someone to hang out with! And camping has always been a hit with our son, as well as the beach.

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              • #22




                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.

                 
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                1. Hawaii

                2. Close to $0 as we charged most of our wedding expenses to credit cards and utilized the points game to pay for the honeymoon

                3. I would. I'm sure it would still be fun with kids. It was a dream as a honeymoon with just the two of us

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                • #23
                  Second the condo and with friends, that has always been fun.

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                  • #24
                    top trips

                    - 2 week 10th anniversary cruise on Celebrity. We splurged on two cabins so we could have some privacy, us in 1 cabin, kids in the other (adjoining). great great memories. We have done 4 cruises and they are very relaxing.

                    - many, many camping trips every summer all over our beautiful part of the country. 2 nights, 7 nights, everywhere in between. We enjoy tent camping for a week as much as a week on a cruise ship. It's nice to be able to appreciate both experiences.

                    - we have a special place we go to every summer for 1 week which is off the grid for the most part, and isolated enough that you cannot drive there and hiking there takes 3 days. You can float plane or take a boat. But they have a restaurant and a bakery, a cabin with a kitchenette. It's great.

                    - Hawaii is special to us because family is from there. I have gone dozens of times. There's no place like home.

                    - we did some great international trips with the kids when they were very young but they don't remember them and we stopped pushing the issue as we realized it was too much trouble, not enough bang for the buck or effort. They're older now and we're starting to explore major US cities (NYC, DC, SF) and will probably head back to Europe in a couple years.

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                    • #25
                      National Parks are always our go to.  My favorites so far have been Yosemite, Glacier, Mt. Rainier, Olympic, Hawaii Volcanoes.  I can't really comment on the kids though (don't have any).  We do a lot of backpacking so these are excellent places for that.  But all national parks have great educational opportunities at the visitor centers, ranger programs, family friendly activities like biking, canoes, nature trails, etc.

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                      • #26
                        Rent an RV and travel to some great places in the States. Traveling with kids in an RV is great. You can pull over at any rest stop or Walmart when you get tired and go to sleep. You can drive as much or as little on any day.  There are tons of places to see and you can do them at your own pace and driving longer distances with kids in an RV is much better than a car. It's not Europe but it is pretty inexpensive and there is a lot to see and do without having to get on a plane. We have traveled with kids in Europe and elsewhere but the RV trips were great too.

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                        • #27
                          We travel 2-3 times per year, almost always beach. We have 3 year old boys and a 1 year old girl. Our favorite with kids so far has been renting a house on the beach in San Diego with another family. Houses work well over hotels for us, even though my wife still likes the amenities of hotels/resorts. We love Hawaii and plan to go there often, but an 8 hour flight is a little much for us with our kids ages. I think it would be a great spot with kids, but as others have said, you will not likely be able to do some of the adventurous stuff, but it will still be a great vacation.

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                          • #28
                            We have had been lucky to have a number of amazing vacations that have ranged from spendy to cheap.

                            Our most expensive trip was to Italy. We spent two weeks there in the summer a few years ago and it cost us about $20,000 for flight, lodging and what we spent while there. We all had an amazing time and we all still talk about it fondly. We also all fantasize about going back someday. We went with another family who are good friends of ours. We made sure to allow the kids (age range was 5-12 at the time) limitless pizza and gelato in exchange for complaint free walking which we did tons of. We also made sure to limit outings to boring grown up places to just one per/day and allowed for plenty of time for the kids to just goof around together.

                            We've also had a lot fun in Hawaii on Oahu and the Big Island. We tend to just veg out while there though. We live in the gray Pacific Northwest so just seeing sunshine in the winter is pretty exciting for us. As others have mentioned, really getting adventurous in Hawaii with young kids would probably be hard or unsafe. One tip--if you can swing taking your in-laws with you, that can be a great way to have both fun veg out family time and alone couples time while the grandparent hang out with the kids. Hawaii is a place we will definitely return to again and again.

                            But we've also had tons of vacations to small, scenic towns near where we live that we were able to drive to and weren't terribly expensive and we all loved those trips too. Our kids also absolutely love going to Idaho where we have good friends. We've never done anything particularly extravagant while there but traveling to hang out with people you really can enjoy being with and relax around is priceless.

                            Also, if you find a family that you can travel with that you really enjoy and can travel stress free with, you can swap free babysitting. When our kids were little and we'd travel with friends, we'd each get a night to go out as a couple while the other couple held down the fort with all the kids.

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                            • #29
                              One of many trips to the great outdoors.  Hiking in the US and Canadian Rockies, backpacking in the Yukon, hiking in Alaska, family trips to the grand canyon, southern Utah, Death Valley, Smoky Mountains/Pisgah forest.  Heading to Costa Rica with the family soon.

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                              • #30




                                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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                                My mistake. I apologize.

                                As to 3 kids under 6, I cannot answer it fully but I have one kid who was under six when we traveled. She had her first flight to Boston at 6 months and had multiple trips within USA by the time she was five. Her 1st long distance trip was at age 4 to India via Dubai, that was 14 hours flying time and a 4 hour layover in Dubai ( that could have ended in a nightmare when she suddenly ran to an elevator, got in and pressed the button before we could react and we watched in horror as the elevator descended down. We were hoping against hope that she would not run out when the elevator door opened and there was no other elevator nearby for me to go down nor a stairs. Luckily she stood there and the elevator came up after a minute   .)

                                She has had multiple international trips from age 5 starting with Peru and mist recently Kenya and Tanzania and South India. Young children get bored with long flights and ears pop during take off that they may not be able to handle. I would do road trips in USA, short 3-4 hour flights within USA or maybe a 6-7 hour flight to one destination.

                                Wait till the youngest is 5+ before you take long trips abroad. Children are disinterested in culture - our greatest trip which was to Russia was my daughter's bottom of the pile trip. She hated the magnificent churches and castles that blew us away visually.  Most children will rather swim in a swimming pool of the hotel than the calm bay or the beach and they would rather jump from the diving board of the roof top pool than admire the beautiful Parthenon just a mile away.  But the family time is well worth it.

                                If you have close relatives and friends who have similar aged children, similar tastes and can afford the trip, group trips can be more fun for the children as well as the adults.

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