travel for kids trip planner Travel for Kids
Planning trips with kids is easier than you might think – do a little research, find the travel itinerary and budget that works for your family, and everything will fall into place. Do you want to make your own flight and hotel bookings, or would you like a family tour? Finding kid-friendly hotels is a snap on Travel for Kids with our well-researched lists of hotels and apartment rentals. Family vacation over Thanksgiving or planning a spring break holiday – book everything in advance to have the most choices. Here's our family travel staff picks for useful sites we use to plan our trips:  
Not for Parents Paris
Klay Lamprell
Not a guidebook, it's filled with fascinating stuff and stories about Paris – pampered dogs, the Eiffel Tower was called the "metal asparagus, a self-cleaning church, beaches on the Seine, caves with bones, king's cake and stinky cheese. Lots of fun! (Illustrated chapter book).

trainsLooking for a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle, bike tour around the Berlin Wall, Maya ruins in Guatemala and more? Viator has a great selection worldwide:


What about a family walking tour of Rome, Venice, Paris, London, Madrid,New York?

Context Travel

Kids just love riding on trains, there's something fabulous about a day-long train ride through the snow-covered Andes, or sleeping in berths on an overnight train through the Canadian plains, zipping at speeds through the French countryside on the high-speed TGV, or eating dinner with a view of the vast Australian outback.
Read our travel tips article: "Trains in Europe: Get those tickets to ride"

Flying in the U.S., look for regional carriers such as Southwest.

For trips out of the country, you'll want a good selection of schedules and prices from different airlines to make the best choice. Here's what we use for our online flight purchases abroad:

smartphones travel for kids

We've created a special version of Travel for Kids, for smartphones and small screen sizes.

On your smartphone, just bookmark:
We wereclueless about constellations, but no longer. Now when we're out in Death Valley or the Australian outback, we can easily identify the stars:  
Night Sky    
Dictionaries! We never travel without dictionaries in our iPhone. Sitting in a restaurant in Granada, when the menu listed some dishes we didn't understand, we consulted our Spanish English dictionary app, and ordered without delay:  
Spanish - English Dictionary    
Click here for more of our favorite travel apps.
travel tips
Lots of practical tips for family vacations: "Traveling with stuffed animals," don't leave home without them, "Tips for traveling with preschoolers," encourages parents with young kids to take long trips, "Choosing a family tour package," how to find a trip to the Galapagos or African safari, "Get those tickets to ride," family discounts on trains in Europe,"Baby's first flight," insider secrets for flying with infants, "Packing for your trip" and more...
We were having a hard time finding our favorite toothpastes in travel sizes, but no more problems once we found these "GoToobs." The wide mouth in the bottle makes it easy to fill with your favorite toothpaste, and it's also easy to squeeze out. These are 2 oz bottles so you can bring them in your carry on luggage.
currency converter
For trips abroad, right off the bat, it's wise to consult the currency rate of exchange for your home currency. When making hotel reservations or vacation rentals, you'll want a clear picture of the price. Don't make the mistake of thinking pounds or euros convert one to one to dollars. Here's a currency converter we use for reference, conversion for over 100 countries:
Currency converter
Tip: While on our trips, we use this currency app: Currency Pro
Canon Powershot D20
This is our favorite travel camera. We purchased the camera for our trip to Belize because it's waterproof. Not only that, the camera does 1080p video and it's light and compact. Now we never worry about raindrops on our camera, getting splashed while whale watching, and works well underwater too.
Travel for Kids videos. Watch the adorable giant pandas playing, rolling around, eating bamboo, and snoozing at the San Diego Zoo:
giant panda video San Diego Zoo

With our non-refundable plane tickets, we purchase travel insurance.

Allianz Travel Insurance

Kids under 18 are covered for FREE!

family hotels
Staying with kids in hotels, the most important thing isn't necessarily a scenic view or luxurious sheets – it's hotels in neighborhoods near to places you'll want to explore, and staff that welcomes families. It's staying in a place that's convenient for meals, and amenities, such as fresh-baked cookies, cribs and babysitting services, swimming pools, suites with kitchens, and more. Travel for Kids now offers our own lists of family hotels. Here's some of the most popular:
Rome Paris
Florence Barcelona
Venice Madrid
Milan Zurich
London Amsterdam
California Washington DC
San Francisco New York City
San Diego Boston
Los Angeles Chicago
Tucson Las Vegas
Seattle Orlando
Bangkok Tokyo
family tours
Depending on what you want to do on your trip, you may want to sign up for a family tour package. Are you concerned about traveling abroad with kids for the first time? Thinking of a holiday to the Galapagos or an African safari? Are you a single parent, or you have an only child? Has your family been talking about an extended family vacation, taking the grandparents along too? Would your kids like a long bike trip through the Loire or kayaking in Alaska? Here's our editors' choice for family tour companies:
Classic Journeys
G Adventures
Journeys International
Quivertree Family Expeditions
Thomson Family Adventures
Wildland Adventures Family Travel
passports and visas
If you don't have a passport for your kids, start now. You' ll need to bring the child in person to apply for a passport, and to renew kids' passports. Here's information on how to apply for US passports: Passport Services
Need passports in a hurry, or would like assistance with your visas, check out this site:
Passports and Visas
Boarding pass holder   This holder keeps your boarding passes handy while going through security.
Tip: Our lists of Travel for Kids hotels make it easy to find hotels just for families. But the world is big place, and you may be traveling to a locale that we haven't researched yet. In the meantime, while we are expanding our Travel for Kids lists, here's five hotel sites with lots of choices:
Best Western
travel for kids | travel tips | trip planner