My wife and I regularly travel with our children and so I thought it would be a natural fit to include a travel section on my blog and add “travel blogger” to my repertoire. Many parents are intimidated by traveling with their children, but having done it dozens of times, we have concluded that traveling with children isn’t just fun for the kids,  it also opens our eyes to things and experiences that we otherwise would not have seen.

NY Times Travel ShowMy first step in this new endeavor was to attend the New York Times Travel Show. It took me about 5 seconds to decide that I want to go everywhere. My family does not fit a vacationer type and we love to do anything and everything. We equally enjoy walking through museums or ziplining overtop a forest. We are both adventurous and cultured. And we love a good meal. We are happy to explore close to home or some far away land. So needless to say, we love experiencing the world.

And I experienced the world simply by walking the aisles of the show.

The first thing that jumps out at you when you walk into a travel show are the many cruises that are vying for your attention. And even though I have never been on a cruise, they all looked great to me. Some travel snobs look down on cruises for their cookie cutter travel experiences and concentration on tourist destinations. The thing is though, that’s the type of vacation a lot of people want. And if that’s what they want from a vacation, then a cruise is the perfect way for them to see the world in comfort.

As I walked around and discussed cruises with the various companies, I was amazed at all the types of cruises.  There were large and small cruise ships, as well as sailboats, yachts and river cruises. And they all looked like fun. Cruises are known for being family-friendly and some cruise lines intentionally cater to kids. My family will be taking our first cruise later this year (A Disney Mediterranean cruise) and I will be sharing my experiences on this blog.

Cruises are not the only family-friendly vacation options, though. As I scoured the travel show, I looked for great destinations for family travel, and I looked for destinations that were trying to market to families. If a beach getaway is your ideal family vacation, many Caribbean and Latin American countries seem to genuinely desire visits from families. I was pleased to discover that beautiful places such as St. Croix, Aruba, and St. Kitts are not only tolerant of children at the various resorts, but they are inviting of them. Resorts that looked especially ideal for family vacation include Windjammer Landing (St. Lucia), The Palms at Pelican Cove (St. Croix)The Buccaneer (St. Croix), The many resorts in Aruba offering (Very Important Kids) programs,  Atlantis Paradise Island (Bahamas) and Oil Nut Bay (British Virgin Islands).

As I scoured the travel show, I was also on the lookout for family adventures. Finding a thrilling adventure with my wife is easy, but sometimes it is harder to find one for the whole family. Companies such as Adventures Within Reach and G Adventures offer family adventures like backpacking, camping, and kayaking. And if you prefer a less physical adventure, I was intrigued by the various train travel vacations like those advertised by Lernidee Trains & Cruises. Taking a train ride along the Silk Road or across Namibia sounds fascinating.

If your ideal family vacation doesn’t involve purchasing passports, there are plenty of family friendly destinations within the United States.  Such as Family friendly hotels in Palm Springs, Universal Studios Orlando, Busch Gardens, and The Family Camp at Mount Snow in Vermont are destinations closer to home.

But as I spent hours walking through the convention center, I kept returning to one destination in particular.  One place seemed to call to me more than any other. That place is Machu Picchu in Peru. As I wandered around the Javitz Center discussing vacation plans and ideas with various people; I kept finding myself staring at photos of Machu Picchu. Looking at all of the steps and difficult terrain, I wondered if it would be possible to hike up the mountain and explore it with my wife and children. I asked representatives from various booths, and they all agreed that it would be difficult, but doable.

After visiting the Travel Show, my list of future vacation destinations has grown longer to include places in the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, Canada, and right here in the United States. But I also have officially listed Machu Picchu on my bucket list. Now to plan.

Here are some other great places that caught my attention:

  • Explorer’s Passage: Geared more towards adult travel, but kids that are experienced travelers are welcome.
  • Newfoundland Labrador: Kids and their parents can experience nature and take in Canada’s beauty.
  • Pacific Delight Tours: A tour highlighting Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand that can be good for adventure seeking families with older children.

You might also enjoy reading:

10 Tips on Flying with Kids

Visiting New Orleans with Children

Missing My Children Inside Brunelleschi’s Dome

My Kayak Trip with My Son

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