Summer is the perfect time to take the kids to the beach for a vacation. If you are looking for a family-oriented beach resort, there are plenty to choose from in most coastal U.S. and Canadian towns, and with a little planning you can find one to suit your family and your budget.
Obviously you will be looking for a beach resort that is kid-friendly, and possibly even pet-friendly. While most of this information is available online, you may also wish to call your choice of hotel or motel directly to be sure, and also to find out if there are any catches (maximum four people to a room, for instance) or extra fees (some poplar areas such as Miami and San Diego charge resort fees, parking fees, etc.).
Ideally, you'll find a great beach resort that caters to kids and may even offer planned activities and programs. If you're going somewhere a little more exotic such as Bahamas or the Caribbean, you'll find many all-inclusive resorts that are wonderful for kids, such as the Beaches resort family.
To make the most of your beach family resort vacation, here are some tips. Look for resorts that include a lot of extras in the price, such as:
- A premium location directly on the beach, or complimentary shuttle to a nearby safe and clean beach
- Activities geared towards your kids' age/s. Sports, kids' clubs, lessons and other fun activities are available at better family beach resorts.
- Extras such as beach towels, beach and water toys, umbrellas and lounge chairs, etc.. At adults-only hotels these are often at a premium, but for travel with kids you'll want to have as many amenities as possible included in your price, or things will quickly get expensive.
- Multiple pool areas and possibly special water features like lazy rivers and waterslides
- Food - many resorts include breakfast or even discounts toward food. It doesn't hurt to ask for these at check-in even if it's not listed as included.
- Babysitting, especially for evenings, if the adults may wish to have a little grown-up time. Some resorts offer daycare or nannies, or can suggest options.
- Restaurants and/or venues that cater to kids' tastes, with basics like hotdogs, mac'n'cheese and ice cream. You may also want to sour a local grocery store to pick up healthier items such as fruits and vegetables and drinks cheaply. Look at sites like Tripadvisor for consumer reviews.
- Suites or room styles made for families, with plenty of space, sleeping room and possibly adjoining doors. Some offer extra cots or pull-out couches to accommodate more kids.
- Investigate the safety precautions (lifeguard on duty? first aid nearby?) and layout of the resort (are there lots of jagged steps and rocks or is it flat and easy to navigate?). Some destinations are just naturally far more kid-friendly than others.
One further note on the type of beach; different types of beaches may be more suitable for different age groups, eg. teens might love large waves and slightly rougher water for learning to surf, sail or windsurf. Small children and toddlers may require calmer waters. Have a great time on your family beach vacation, and remember to wear sunscreen!Family Beach Vacation: Tips for Travel With Kids