The Best Luxury Travel Tips for Families

Luxury travel isn’t just for business executives and honeymooners; it’s something that the whole family can enjoy. If you are bringing your children on vacation, you can still enjoy the high life while keeping them entertained.

  1. Spend the night at a castle

    You don’t have to be royalty to experience the extravagance of a royal lifestyle. Anyone who’s grown up reading fairy tales and watching science fiction movies would jump at the chance to travel back in time. Properties like Castello Aragonese in Italy, Notre-Dame-de-Sanilhac Castle in France and Ballyhannon Castle in Ireland are all open for business. Featuring modern amenities like air conditioning and Wi-Fi, one can still feel like the king of his own castle. These decadent accommodations are often surrounded by hundreds of acres of woods, gardens and coastline giving you ultimate privacy. Not surprisingly, palaces are quite popular as wedding venues because there's more than enough space for attendees to roam free.
    Kids will naturally gravitate toward the fantasy aspects of the castle but it can also be a great learning opportunity. Turning your summer vacation into a family heritage quest allows both parents and children to unlock secrets of their ancestry. Similarly, this interactive immersion into the days of knights and maidens, princes and princesses paints history in a much more engaging light. Instead of reading about The Middle Ages, families can experience it.

  2. Escape to the beach

    Flexibility is key for any family vacation and beach escapes are especially customizable. Many prefer to rent out an entire beach property for a “home away from home” feel. Kids settle right into this familiar environment because it has a similar setup as house, with plenty of backyard space to run and play sports. Many rentals are located within walking distance to the beach, thus allowing families easy access to sand and surf.

    Whether crossing the Atlantic or driving to the nearest coastal town, there’s something for every taste and temperament. That being said, Harbour Island in the Bahamas, Fregate Island in Seychelles, Saint-Tropez and Wailea Beach in Maui are among some of the most notable luxury beach destinations for families.

    Upon landing in your destination, consider hopping back in the air with a private helicopter ride. Companies like Blue Hawaiian Helicopters service several of Hawaii’s islands and are located right by the airport in many cases. These trips not only give passengers a birds-eye view of the island but the pilots are generally well versed in the island’s whale population and plant life. Renting a boat for the day or participating in a deep sea fishing tour are other interactive ways to learn about the local environment. When the sun goes down, get creative with a private cooking class that involves the whole family. Instead of renting a minivan, ride in style with one of Maui Roadsters’ rental cars that feature professional reproductions of the 1957 Porsche Speedster convertible.

  3. Go camping with a modern twist

    The concept of “Glamping,” also known as glamorous camping, brings the comforts of a luxurious city hotel to the middle of nowhere, thus allowing families to experience nature without completely “roughing it.” Say goodbye to traditional camping because there’s no need to pitch a tent, unroll your sleeping bag or cook dinner. Everything is pre-prepared for you so that you can enjoy nature like nature intended.

    Glamping gives families full control over where to go and what type of activities to fit into their schedules. Due to high demand, more glamping sites are popping up in mountains, on the branches of trees, along the white sandy beaches of an island and pretty much anywhere where nature reigns supreme. Essential items like towels and bedding are always provided and some tents even include a Jacuzzi. Glamping turns an ordinary tent into an extraordinary home.

    Properties range in terms of both location and interior design but many amenities remain the same. For example, this rental in Jimena de la Frontera, Spain is completely surrounded by hills, fruit trees and a wild olive forest. Inside the Thai style wooden lodge, there is a twin bedroom with a spa bath and an outside kitchen. Breakfast is served in an open gazebo. Similarly, this Waiheke Island rental in New Zealand is remote yet still accessible to many nearby attractions including Mudbrick Vineyard and Oneroa Village. An ensuite bathroom with a large vanity is an added perk.

  4. Sightsee on a wild safari

    Going on a safari in Africa is a once-in-a-lifetime trip so why not bring the whole family along? South Africa’s Garden Route is one of the country’s most scenic areas for both beaches and game parks. There are also several other nature reserves to visit along the route, like Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary and Knysna Elephant Park, if a safari is not in the cards. Finally, there are a few malaria-free parks for families whose children aren’t taking malaria pills. In total, the 150-mile journey takes you through bays, coastal towns, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and national parks and reserves.

    Namibia, particularly the Etosha National Park, is another popular safari destination for families. The park is home to the endangered black rhino, plus cheetahs and other big cats. Comparatively, Namibia is a relatively easy country to get around, with well-developed infrastructure and a number of comfortable lodges and home rentals. Sign up for a guided climb along the famous sand dunes with Desert Magic Tours, one of the only tour companies that take travelers to kayak with seals. Take a break from the parks and embark on a private luxury catamaran along the Walvis Bay with Dolphin Tours Namibia.

  5. Create your own winter wonderland

    Instead of escaping to the beach this winter, why not embrace the cold with an over-the-top ski trip? Kids of all ages and athletic abilities can hit the slopes and improve their skills. Private or group ski and snowboarding lessons are available at almost any lodge, giving adults ample time to shoot down some of the harder slopes. If traveling with teenagers, respect their independence by spending the morning apart and meet up a few hours later for lunch and a fresh cup of hot chocolate.

    After hitting the slopes, wind down with a quiet evening with the family. Organize a cooking class or splurge on a private dinner instead. Cities like Salt Lake City have a variety of local restaurants that can accommodate small parties and intimate gatherings. Sleigh rides or horse carriage rides through the snow are safe bets for kids of all ages. Take in the holiday lights as you sip hot apple cider and curl up under a wool blanket. Companies like Whistler Blackcomb help organize luxury activities like helicopter and snowmobile rides, spa treatments, bobsleigh and skeleton programs and even culinary tours. If staying in Aspen, indulge in some rest and relaxation with a treatment at The Aspen Club & Spa.

Luxury Family Vacation Rentals