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    F1S SELECTS

    Read These 8 Expert Tips

    Before Your Next Family Vacay

     

     

    F1RST Selects

    Read These 8 Expert Tips Before Your Next Family Vacay

    From how to get kids engaged to what to pack to which tours are best, F1S experts offer up their best family travel advice.

     

     

    It’s summer and you know what that means: Family vacations. Whether you’re opting for your first big international trip post-pandemic or for a local adventure, there are lots to keep in mind when traveling with kids. (Did you pack enough snacks? What’s the best way to handle baby’s naps?)

    And that’s where our experts come in: With decades of experience between them, F1S’s advisors and executive team have helped countless families plan trips—and been on their fair share with their own families. So, we tapped them for their best, must-know, print-it-out-and-paste-it-to-the-inside-of-your-luggage advice. Here’s what they had to say—applicable now, as you look ahead to the holidays, and beyond:

     

     

    Talk to your advisor about your family

    Have a science-loving kid? An artsy teen? A preschooler who wears her pirate costume everywhere? Tell your advisor! This is where their expertise really shines: “Advisors can organize itineraries that really highlight the things kids love and age-appropriate activities, like a treasure hunt,” explains Wonnie Baik, Director, Marketing & Partnerships. And advisors can personalize trips for those with food allergies or specific dietary restrictions, making the overall process easier on families. 

     

    Learn about the destination together

    “Talk to your kids about where you are going. Get them excited with what they can do and see,” says F1S advisor Liz King, a sentiment shared by many F1S advisors. “Having kids research the destination can pique their interest and be educational, to boot,” says F1S advisor Linda Montemarano, who is based in Toronto. Some examples: Show them the hotels online, suggests King, and Baik recommends reading a book about your destination—an idea that works from toddlers on up. Also fun? “Pick out and practice a few words in the language of the country you’re visiting,” says Baik.

    Get kids involved in planning

    As you brainstorm ideas for a family trip, bring the kids, especially teens and young adults, in on the process. “As my kids are older—one is a college grad, and two are in college—I always think it’s important to incorporate some of their wishes into the itinerary,” says LA-based F1S advisor Leah F. Winck. Case in point: “We are visiting Greece this summer, and I’ve already asked my kids for their ‘wish lists,’” she says. “For my daughter, she is fascinated by Greek architecture, so the Acropolis and Temple of Athena are tops on her list. For my son, a food/drink tour is on his wish list. This makes it fun for everyone, as they get to choose something special for themselves on our itinerary that is educational and culturally enriching. It is bound to create memorable family time for us all!”

     

     

    Liz King and her family in Paris.

     

     

    Liz King and her family in Paris.

     

     

    “A villa at a resort allows the family their own private, indoor space for gathering, along with outdoor space including a pool, lounge areas and their own kitchen to prepare quick meals or arrange for a chef to come and prepare a meal.”
    Linda Montemarano

    Consider a villa when staying at a resort

    We love a good villa. And Montemarano says villa accommodations at a resort are ideal for families. “A villa at a resort allows the family their own private, indoor space for gathering, along with outdoor space including a pool, lounge areas and their own kitchen to prepare quick meals or arrange for a chef to come and prepare a meal,” she says. And it’s a boon with babies or toddlers: While they nap, for instance, the rest of the fam can hang by the pool, she says. 

     

    Opt for the private tour

    Whether you’re visiting a museum or trying a new activity, consider going private. “Private tours allow for the flexibility at time of touring, if the family wishes to stay longer or shorter in any one location,” says Montemarano. “It also allows for the guide to customize the tour based on the kids’ ages, interests, dietary needs and preferred time of day.”

    Pack snacks—all the snacks (Plus a few more must-haves, like headphones)

    Veteran parent (and advisor!) tip: Stock up on all.the.snacks. “Pack snacks they prefer,” says Montemarano. “It may be challenging to find things they like at the airport or in your destination.” Other ideas? “Pack new, small toys or items that you can take out slowly on the flights to buy time and keep their interest,” she advises. A traveling medical kit and an extra set of clothes are also smart, Baik says. Toronto-based F1S advisor Derrick Bloch strongly recommends headphones, particularly for long-haul flights, so your child’s devices don’t disturb other travelers—or you. And don’t forget their go-to comfort item. “Whether it be their favorite blanket or stuffed animal,” says Baik. “Something that reminds them of home.”

     

    Make time for rest

    “Plan your trip, but don’t overdo it,” advises King. When traveling with kids, she recommends leaving lots of time before flights, tours, experiences—and for the unexpected meltdown. “It’s nice to plan activities, but too much is too tiring,” she says. Plus, she recommends taking time to enjoy the facilities at the hotel, too. “Everyone needs downtime,” she says, both kids and (maybe more so?) their parents.

     

     

    “Pack new, small toys or items that you can take out slowly on the flights to buy time and keep their (the children's) interest.”
    Linda Montemarano

    F1S Advisor Linda Montemarano and her family in New York City. 

     

     

    F1S advisors are experts at creating travel itineraries that the whole family will love—at any time of year (summer! holidays! school breaks!). Reach out today to start planning.

     

     

    Bonus:

    Consider one-on-one trips

    Even after more than a year of constant togetherness, families know how hard it can be to get quality, one-on-one time. A way to change that? Consider a trip for just you and your child. That’s what F1S CEO Fernando Gonzalez and his daughter, Sofia, have been doing for years, visiting places as varied as Iceland, Aspen, and Hawaii. It provides a chance to bond and the opportunity to see a destination through your child’s eyes. The practice is great for a milestone occasion, like a graduation or birthday—or even just a long summer weekend or during a school break.  

     

     

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