There is something unique about traveling with children, in this case the travel experience is truly different. We noticed an important difference between when we travel with our children and when we travel without children.
The people we meet have a much more helpful attitude in the presence of children, everyone gives us a smile, many stop to exchange a few words. Often you share something with the locals, you can more easily get accepted, you can see another side of local life. And then when our children meet the children of the country we visit, it is easy for them to make new friends and these friends usually open the doors to new acquaintances for us parents too.
In a travel, children will experience different cultures, religions, ways of life, languages and different people! They will learn to understand, listen and tolerate from a young age. They will not remember in detail what they saw and where they were, but they absorbed life lessons and realized the diversity and beauty of the world. Do not postpone travel because you have children, but do it with them, it will be an enrichment for your children and for you. Remember the time window for traveling with your children is limited, they will grow up and have their independent lives. The time to travel with your kids is now not put off!
TRAVEL DEDICATED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ARE ALWAYS MORE
In the past, traveling with children was a big problem, children were a limit, there were no suitable facilities to welcome them. Children were a real brake on the pleasure of traveling.
Fortunately, things have changed considerably in recent years. Traveling is an opportunity that opens the mind of adults, but travel has the same therapeutic function for children too. The important thing is to talk and explain the trip to the children, what they will see and create curiosities in the child. There is no reason, if not the economic one, for not taking children on the road. The experience of a trip will allow children to learn new things, to make new friends and acquaintances.
Many tour operators and tourist facilities increasingly have ad hoc proposals for families with children. There are hotels – the so-called family hotels – that have specialized in welcoming families with children. In these structures, special menus are offered for children, there are playgrounds, babysitting services, special services for families, activity programs dedicated to them and spacious rooms. South Tyrol is one of the few Italian regions that has developed proposals dedicated specifically to families with children, Familienhotels Südtirol / Alto Adige offers 25 certified hotels suitable for children. Even some holiday villages in different areas of the world have packages dedicated to families.
CRUISES ARE AN EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY BOTH FOR CHILDREN AND FOR FAMILIES
Some cruise lines allow children to travel almost for free – paying only port taxes – together with their parents. In some cruise companies – such as Costa Crociere – the offer to pay only port taxes is extended to children under 18 years of age, while others – such as MSC Cruises – have the same type of offer but only for children up to at 12 years old.
So if the cruise does not include a flight, there is the possibility of bringing the children with you, paying negligible amounts. On cruise ships there are clubs dedicated to children of all ages, where professional entertainers entertain the kids with games and other activities, while mum and dad can participate in excursions or other activities. On a negative note it must be said that on ships, the costs for excursions for children are usually very similar to the costs for excursions for adults. But the problem of costs arises mainly if you have to buy a flight on your journey. In this case it all depends on the age of the child.
NEGATIVE NOTE: FLIGHT COSTS
On flights up to 2 years of age, children pay only a small percentage which is usually less than 10% of the cost of the ticket for an adult, in this case, however, children do not have a seat to sit on them, but must sit in the neck of a parent. Usually, however, if the plane is not completely full, the hostesses will take care of finding a seat for the baby too.
The sore notes for flights arrive when the child is over 2 years old, in this case the airlines issue tickets with slightly lower costs than those of an adult, but which still represent a percentage ranging between 80 and 90% of the cost of an adult ticket, so the savings in this case are very low. On air flights, families with children have priority over boarding over other passengers. On board there are often menus specially prepared for young children, and children usually receive small gadgets or games from the hostesses. To learn more you can read the page Traveling by plane with children.
What we have noticed, at least on the European market, is the lack of tour operators specialized in travel for families with children. This could be a very interesting niche to be developed for European tour operators who organize trips specially dedicated to families with children and young people. Among the foreign tour operators who organize trips for children there is the Australian Intrepid Travel with offices also in Europe. This tour operator offers family trips to every continent … English GAdventures has a more limited catalog of itineraries dedicated to families. Evaneos also offers tours dedicated to families with children.