The newly renovated Hawks Cay resort in the Florida Keys is popular with families because it offers a mix of different activities for all ages, including the new AquaJam program, where kids between 12 and 17 can sign up for a mini three-day camp. The camp is a huge hit so far, including kayaking tours, sailing lessons and snorkeling and diving.
If you're going to sign your kids up for some activities at a resort, make sure you know who is running the program. Ask to meet the supervisor beforehand so you feel comfortable with your choice and know that your children are in good hands. You also want to make sure the person interacting with the kids is someone the kids can relate to and enjoy, so you know they'll have a positive experience.
Le Meurice in Paris has added a "family butler" to the staff just to keep a close eye on the kids.
"We recognize the growing trend of family travel and see the importance of catering to families," said Charlotte Padayrol, manager of guest relations. Padayrol says it's important to make sure all guests, and even the youngest children, are comfortable and happy.
Anyone can take their kids on vacation, but for a truly successful trip you need to carve out some specific family time. This is especially true if you have teenagers who would rather disappear until dinner.
"The best way to bond on a family vacation is by sharing new experiences," said Susan Santiago, the general manager of the Hyatt Regency Aruba. In Aruba, the Hyatt has different programs where the parents and kids can participate together. In another great deal, parents can book one room and get 50 percent off a separate room for the kids. Teenagers LOVE this option.
The secret of traveling with kids is all about planning ahead and making sure your vacation choice is a good fit for everyone. So what works for your family? We'd love to hear your secrets!
For more on family friendly vacations, and for more unique travel destinations, check out Karen Schaler's Travel Therapy Web site at www.traveltherapytrips.com.