August Vacation With Kids

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ThreeBears
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August Vacation With Kids

Post by ThreeBears » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:12 am

My SO and I have two kids (one is 4 one is under 1 year). Vacationing is very hard with the 4-year old. I used to carry him everywhere, but at 40 pounds, that isn't an option for me anymore. Also, he still walks more like a preschooler than an adult. So, long walks are challenging.

Any suggestions for vacations?

A couple points:

1) we really like safe outdoors vacations. So, we loved iceland.
2) With a young child, we'll likely skip the caribbean for a bit because of the Zika virus (feel free to flame me for this decision. but, i don't think we understand this disease yet).
3) We are definitely willing to go for a week or more.
4) We did try a cruise to Alaska. That was nice, as they had a daycare on the boat.
5) we are willing to fly.
6) I'm not interested in going to Hawaii again.
7) We have done a lot more international vacations, but I'm open to local vacations too.

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LadyGeek
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:23 am

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (vacation).
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Beth*
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by Beth* » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:29 am

When my kids were that age, we went to the beach. Any beach with clean sand and shallow water at the edge of the ocean for the kids to play in is great. A boardwalk with rides appropriate for smaller children is a big plus. Rent a house within a block of the beach so walking is not an issue or stay in a hotel on the beach with a pool. Your kids are not the age for exotic vacations and long flights. In my experience, everyone will be happier if you keep it simple.

ThreeBears
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by ThreeBears » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:41 am

LadyGeek wrote:This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (vacation).

Thank you. I tried to research where it should go and copied another example. I'm glad you fixed it.

ThreeBears
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by ThreeBears » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:44 am

Beth* wrote:When my kids were that age, we went to the beach. Any beach with clean sand and shallow water at the edge of the ocean for the kids to play in is great. A boardwalk with rides appropriate for smaller children is a big plus. Rent a house within a block of the beach so walking is not an issue or stay in a hotel on the beach with a pool. Your kids are not the age for exotic vacations and long flights. In my experience, everyone will be happier if you keep it simple.
In my brain, I know you are right . . . when we had only one small kid we could just carry him. This allowed us to maintain course. I just didn't want to change vacation styles completely, so I'm hoping for a creative solution. Hmmmmm...

abonder
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by abonder » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:06 am

Our strategy with small children is to aim low and make sure we rent a house/condo that is comfortable to hang out in in the event that we don't do a lot of activities. I also agree with staying close to a beach/lake/pool. It provides lots of fun with minimal work. I figure my kids won't remember anything before age 5 so spending top dollar on exotic vacations or interesting attractions seems wasteful to me. I know many will disagree. Our compromise is always to find a setup that will be enjoyable for parents and kids without being too ambitious. I hope that we can be more aggressive/ambitious when the kiddos are older. Just our thoughts.

helloeveryone
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by helloeveryone » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:16 pm

We have done summer road trips to beaches with kids in the age range. Last couple years drove from Texas to Destin, FL. Beautiful beaches, lots of vacation rental by owner options, gas prices make the travel to/from affordable.

ThreeBears
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by ThreeBears » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:43 pm

These are good. I should consider the US more. I have not done Florida much, and I would like to try Louisiana at some point.

For international, a little I wonder about Slovenia, Canary Island, or Portugal.

All three have beaches and minimal crime. But, boy it can be a work-full vacation with kids.

abonder
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by abonder » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:44 pm

You've done a lot of travel with family. I think you're realizing that, while rewarding, it can be draining fiscally, emotionally, and physically. Only you can decide if a week by a lake/beach will be as satisfying as exploring Croatia. I've also heard of families doing "family camp" vacations where there are lots of activities for the whole family and built-in child care so parents can have their own time. Just some thoughts.

Loik098
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by Loik098 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:59 pm

Probably not what you're looking for, but here goes:

As other posters have alluded, if you're finding things hard now, I think you'd spend the bulk of your vacation worrying about logistics, activity planning, providing meals, etc. I think you'd be hard pressed to come home relaxed, refreshed, and with long-lasting memories. In fact, your only memory of the trip might just be, "I'd like to try that again, but when the kids are older!"

That said, if I were in your shoes, I would focus my efforts on finding someone to watch my kids for me so my wife and I really could "vacation": rest, relax, and take the time to discuss how family life is going, the budget, love life, plans for the next year, etc. Strengthening the bonds of your marriage might be more beneficial for your family while children are at that age.

NJdad6
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by NJdad6 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:07 am

When my kids were young we went to Kiawah Island, SC a few times. They were fantastic vacations. The island is still very rural with miles of bike paths. There are beautiful beaches with gentle waves. You can see dolphins, deer and alligators the same day. There is also world class tennis and golf (one of the majors was there a few years ago, US Open maybe).

We rented a cool 3 bedroom villa on stilts. Just do a search on vacation rentals in Kiawah and you will see plenty of options.

Charleston is only 20-30 minutes away and is an amazing city. Full of history (pirates, colonial, civil war, etc) and some of the best restaurants in the country. There is something for everyone.

P&C actuary
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by P&C actuary » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:55 am

Club Med Sandpiper in Florida.

You mentioned daycare on the cruise. This has care for your 1 and 4 year olds.

We went years ago and enjoyed it.

Rupert
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by Rupert » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:02 am

A resort on the beach somewhere is the way to go for kids that age. The 1-year-old probably requires 2 daily naps, eats constantly, and requires lots of gear. The 4-year-old probably doesn't care (or doesn't care for more than a few minutes) about art, architecture, or national treasures. A 4-year-old wants playgrounds, other kids to play with, and the ability to be loud and boisterous when he/she wants to be loud and boisterous. A resort on the beach checks all those boxes.

ThreeBears
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by ThreeBears » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:44 am

Loik098 wrote: That said, if I were in your shoes, I would focus my efforts on finding someone to watch my kids for me so my wife and I really could "vacation": rest, relax, and take the time to discuss how family life is going, the budget, love life, plans for the next year, etc. Strengthening the bonds of your marriage might be more beneficial for your family while children are at that age.
You mean just ignoring the strain for the next 14 years is a bad approach? Hmmmm. :)

Also, FWIW, DW likes international travel as much or more than I do, and she is hesitant to leave the kids with someone else.

But, I do like some of these suggestions. Even just two years ago I had the attitude that I was too young for a cruise . . . then 12 months ago, I saw that they had a daycare!! I was like, "oh we NEED to do a cruise!" So, I posted this in part to see how others have addressed this.

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Pajamas
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by Pajamas » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:48 am

If there are willing grandparents, let the children stay with them for a couple of weeks while you go on vacation with your spouse.

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lthenderson
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by lthenderson » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:51 am

No suggestions on where to go but when we traveled with our girls at age 4, we took the off road 3-wheel stroller with us. That way when they got tired, we had an option to continue on pushing them. We had a backpack that we could carry them in when they were younger but I think both outgrew that by age three.

chmcnm
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by chmcnm » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:10 pm

Beach resort. When our kids were younger that was our go to vacation. Indoor pool was also a requirement or close to an indoor water park. Can any grandparents go?

At those ages we really liked the Virginia Beach/Sandbridge area. Don't laugh but we also like Presque Isle on Lake Erie.

renue74
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by renue74 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:51 pm

Amelia Island near Jax, FL is nice. Nice beach, walking trails, pools, etc. Sort of laid back. Plus, you have Jacksonville within 30 minutes and they have a nice zoo and probably more child friendly things to do as well.

When our kids were that age, we hit Ocean Isle, NC or Myrtle Beach, SC.

My 2 boys are now 14 and 12. I can tell you the magic age of children is about 6 to 10. Before that and after that is not so exciting. :)

squirm
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by squirm » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:29 pm

Disneyland/world.

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cheese_breath
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:45 pm

If you're planning the vacation for the kids then a kiddy amusement park like Disney or the beach would be fine. If you're planning it for yourselves and dragging the kids along, then leave them with the grandparents and go off on another international trip or whatever suits your adult desires.
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psteinx
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by psteinx » Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:07 am

4 YO and a <1YO baby?

Most likely, the 4 YO will barely remember the vacation, and the 1 YO not at all. So why these extravagant, long distance vacations? A simple beach trip, your local amusement park (I would not do Disney at that age barring something unusual like a need to be near the parks anyways), a camping trip, a visit to grandparents, etc...

As for Louisiana - New Orleans is fun, but my kids appreciated it a lot more in March, at ages 11-17, then they did in mid-summer (too hot), at ages circa 7-13. And outside of New Orleans, I don't think there's a lot in Louisiana that's all that compelling for kids, especially very young kids.

andrew1976
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by andrew1976 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:13 am

I have 5 kids (ages 1 to 13). Consider these places:

1. Tradewinds in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida (full kitchen with refrigerator)
2. Renting a house in Outer Banks, NC (look for a home in the Corolla Light development near the large community pool on the ocean side)
3. Camp of the Woods in Speculator, NY (Christian resort with an all-inclusive feel)
4. Cancun or Punta Cana, DR all inclusive resorts (Grand Palladium Punta Cana)
5. Club Med Sandpiper in Florida (I haven't been since it would cost an arm and a leg for 5 kids but my sister who has one child love this place.)

sandramjet
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by sandramjet » Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:36 am

We found we mostly did two different vacation types ... camping, generally at a beach/lake if we wanted to be "near" home. Otherwise, cruises ... because of the easy daycare on those.

matt fe2o3
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by matt fe2o3 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:12 am

psteinx wrote:4 YO and a <1YO baby?

Most likely, the 4 YO will barely remember the vacation, and the 1 YO not at all. So why these extravagant, long distance vacations? A simple beach trip, your local amusement park (I would not do Disney at that age barring something unusual like a need to be near the parks anyways), a camping trip, a visit to grandparents, etc...

As for Louisiana - New Orleans is fun, but my kids appreciated it a lot more in March, at ages 11-17, then they did in mid-summer (too hot), at ages circa 7-13. And outside of New Orleans, I don't think there's a lot in Louisiana that's all that compelling for kids, especially very young kids.
:sharebeer

I really agree. Our daughter is 11, she has been to Ireland a few times, Spain, Germany, England and last year Rome, Florence and Venice with stops in Pompeii and Sorrento. Up to 7 or 8 years old - it all washes away. At 10 they remember parts of it.

Disney World was fantastic. The Boneyard at the Animal Kingdom was great - one way in, one way out. let them climb, explore the tactile elements and be a kid. Great for parents too, just to relay. One year old is tough. Just keep them happy.

Lego-land is good for that age (4), any sand, beach, quaker oats canister with a stick - just go with it. Enjoy the kids as they are - in their precious element. Those time will fade - trust me we have a 25 year old too.

When daughter is 14 we will go to China. Son was 15 when we first went and it is still memorable to him.

chw
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by chw » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:28 am

For the time of year you mention, and ages of your kids, I would recommend Cape Cod beach communities on the north side of the Cape (Dennis, Brewster, Orleans, Wellfleet). The beaches there are kid friendly at low tide, with magical tidal pools for exploring, and miles of walking the flats. Weather is usually about the best you'll encounter in the US that time of year as well (generally moderate temps/humidity as compared elsewhere). Kids that age really only care about spending quality time with Mom and Dad, and spending time outdoors exploring the environment and what it has to offer. You can rent near the beach or stay at the few properties that offer resort amenities (Ocean Edge Resort is one).

mikepru
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by mikepru » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:37 am

We often took our young family to Carpenteria, just south of Santa Barbara. VERY safe beach, condos with pools on the water and just off the water. Dolphins would swim by every day. We used Solamar Sands, altho there are plenty of other options. Santa Barbara is just 5 minutes away--nice zoo, lots to do. Good places to eat--perfect location for a young family.

msk
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by msk » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:32 am

With young kids we found that self-catering accommodation + car was a must, next to a beach. August in a foreign country: West coast, Vancouver area; East coast, Nova Scotia (mostly very rural). Far away foreign location: Surfers Paradise, Australia. Yes, they actually have a city by that name :P August is winter down under, so accommodation is off-season cheaper, but Surfers Paradise has great weather all year. I think we spent 5 (northern summer) vacations there (i.e. during the Aussie winters). Anyway, Australia has endless fine beaches. If you find a certain location too cool, you just drive north a couple of hundred miles. Cairns is very tropical, with temperatures to match, all year. Driving south goes into cooler winters; Melbourne is like England :(

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jharkin
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by jharkin » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:43 am

Roughly where in the US are you?

We love doing outdoor stuff, being in New England we have road tripped up north with them many times. We have done New Hampshire mountains with them twice (Conway area) - there are a bunch of kid focused theme parks there, plus a lot of Hiking, riding the train to the top of Mount Washington and the local ski resorts have lots of summer activities.

We also took them to Mt Desert Island Maine at 2 years old and are going again this year at 6 yr old. Thats our favorite New England spot of all - You have Acadia national park (hiking, biking, horseback, sea kyaking, etc) , the nice little seaside town of Bar Harbor with restaurants and resorts, boating and a few interesting museums within a 2 hr drive range. The beach also but keep in mind its Maine so the water is cold even in summer.

Last year we flew down to Florida for a week on Sanibel Island. You can sit on the beach all week but also half the island is a nature preserve so lots of outdoor stuff as well.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:06 am

We enjoyed vacations on St. Martin, in Grand Case on the French side, where you can find beaches suitable for young ones. In August, it's mostly French tourists, few Americans. Food is exceptional. Prices are low in August. It's a very kid-friendly place, more European in style (relaxed family spending time together) than American (shuffle them off to some media-saturated highly stimulating separate place).

You mentioned concerns about Zika precluding a Caribbean vacation. I'm not a doctor or epidemiologist, but you mention Florida as a possible location; Zika virus is in Florida, locally acquired.

fishmonger
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by fishmonger » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:29 am

chw wrote:For the time of year you mention, and ages of your kids, I would recommend Cape Cod beach communities on the north side of the Cape (Dennis, Brewster, Orleans, Wellfleet). The beaches there are kid friendly at low tide, with magical tidal pools for exploring, and miles of walking the flats. Weather is usually about the best you'll encounter in the US that time of year as well (generally moderate temps/humidity as compared elsewhere). Kids that age really only care about spending quality time with Mom and Dad, and spending time outdoors exploring the environment and what it has to offer. You can rent near the beach or stay at the few properties that offer resort amenities (Ocean Edge Resort is one).
+1. I've been going to the Cape since birth and there are tons of things to do for kids: beach, fishing, outdoor activities. If the 4 year old gets sick of that there's mini-golf, bumper cars, arcades, etc. Only rebuttal I would have is the northside beaches are cold, not as bad as NH/Maine, but close. If you go to the southside of the Cape (Dennisport, Yarmouth, Harwich) you get the gulfstream and the water is probably 10 degrees warmer.

I may be in the minority here, but what about camping? Our kids are 6 and 7 and have been camping since birth. When that age they find everything about it cool and new: setting up camp, making breakfast/dinner, tending the fire, etc. It can be challenging with one still in diapers, but most decent campgrounds will also have cabins with bunks/cots that can make it a little more user friendly for infants if you want to go that route

millervt
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by millervt » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:41 am

camping in a tent with very young children can be very challenging - getting them to fall asleep, them waking up crying and waking up everyone near you, changing diapers, etc. And don't get me started on keeping kids entertained in the rain in a tent. It can be done but it will be very stressful if the 1 year old doesn't have compatible behavior for an environment where sound travels everywhere. In a cabin, then you should be fine. The 4 year old will probably love it, camp in a campground with kid friendly amenities and a beach and they will have a great time.

if you want to enjoy it personally, I also vote for a house near a beach - a lake is easier to manage with a younger child.

texasdiver
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by texasdiver » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:58 am

YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park Colorado:

https://ymcarockies.org

It is basically like going to summer camp with your kids. My wife and I took our kids there a few years ago when they were younger for a medical conference and I basically spent the week hanging out with the kids.

It is a low key all inclusive outdoor resort. They have decent rooms and a good cafeteria so no need for cooking or housekeeping. The camp is an old historic lodge just outside Estes Park CO and at the gateway to Rocky Mountains National Park. At the camp they have everything to do with your kids like a phenomenal arts and crafts building, indoor and outdoor swimming, horseback riding, evening hay rides and campfires, fishing, hiking mountain biking, etc. etc. Plus lots and lots of group family activities like games and scavanger hunts. And you have Rocky Mountains National Park and the town of Estes Park to explore as well.

I've done a LOT of traveling and vacationing with the kids over the past decade. YMCA of the Rockies and Costa Rica were the two most memorable family vacation locations that we have visited.

ThreeBears
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by ThreeBears » Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:32 am

It appears we may go to Azores. They look like fun islands.

This Christmas we want to go to Vietnam.

It looks like they have good food: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWI4SdrY6Qo

barreg
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Re: August Vacation With Kids

Post by barreg » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:30 am

squirm wrote:Disneyland/world.
Disneyland (CA), maybe, but I can't think of anywhere with more miserable weather than central Florida (Disneyworld) in August.

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