A Perfect Vacation Day with Kids

When you are traveling with your family, sometimes the perfect vacation day is hard to define.  Is it when you have actually conformed to the schedule that you planned, when there weren’t any public tantrums, or when everyone is totally absorbed in the activity and time flies by so fast that it is time to go back to the hotel before you are ready?  For us, any one of these definitions can fit the bill.

We have been fortunate in finding a number of experiences that make our whole family happy.  Maybe it is because I am such a kid when it comes to discovering things about a place I have never been, or maybe it is because we focus on finding activities that have something that appeals to each one of us.  Whatever the perfect blend is, I would say we have stumbled upon the recipe and have created a number of lasting memories with each of our vacations.

Family portrait outside the Colosseum

When we were in Rome, we had so many great days that it was hard to pick one that was a favorite, but our Night Walk Across Rome, as outlined in by Rick Steves’ Rome 2010, was hard to beat.  In Boston, the Old Town Trolley Tour was an easy pick for the same reasons the Night Walk in Rome worked, we could go at our own pace and there were some great things to see along the way.  And our time in Maui was jam-packed with adventure, but the Iao Needle, Maui Ocean Center and luau were definitely highlights.  Although I don’t think of Santa Barbara as a vacation spot as much as home, it is a great place to go with kids.  We like to spend most of our time down around the waterfront, but the zoo and Natural History Museum are definitely worth a visit.  Both Houston and Dallas have served as home for me so family days spent in these locations tend to be a bit off the beaten track, but still enjoyable for everyone.

With these experiences in mind, I have put together some ideas for day trips for each of these locations that are child-friendly but please the whole family.  Check out these itineraries on AOL Travel:  Boston, Santa Barbara, Rome, Maui, Dallas, San Antonio and on Suite 101 Houston.  

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