There’s only so many sub-standard hotel rooms you can stay in before the kids run straight for the television remote and outlets to charge up their devices for an evening in front of the screen. However, instilling the love of travel in your kids requires getting them out of their comfort zone and shaking up their world view.
You may not be able to travel around the world or explore mountains to do that; nor do you need to. Instead you can book your next stay at a totally unique lodging experience your kids will love. Here are five to choose from.
Not everyone’s idea of camping includes sleeping on the ground and braving the elements. But you can still get your creature comforts and a splash of luxury by sleeping under the stars in a yurt. These portable, round tents are covered in fabric of animal skin with the rooftop often open-air.
Today’s yurts are often part of a glamping, or glamor camping, experience and come outfitted with electricity, hardwood floors, real furniture, beds and private bathrooms. Some yurts are even designed to look like colorful teepees like the ones at Westgate Ranch Resort & Rodeo in Florida. You can tell your kids you’re camping without actually sleeping with the mosquitoes.
Remember when camping out in a treehouse meant huddling with your friends and telling secrets while keeping the Twinkies hidden from your Mom? Well, you can sleep in a treehouse hotel and get all the fabulous amenities you want like real beds, room service that doesn’t involve snack cakes and, of course, treetop views.
Try the Bangkok Tree House in Thailand for an exotic twist and bring a copy of the book Walden Pond that inspired this property. There are also stateside treehouse hotels like the Cedar Creek Treehouse in Ashford, Wash. This one-room hotel is perched on a 250-year-old Western Red Cedar with the tree trunk and branches running right through the room.
Sleeping in a lighthouse has been a dream of many children and adults alike with visions of guiding in wayward boats looking for shore. You can tap into that fantasy without looking for volunteer opportunities or somehow buy one for yourself. For a picturesque New England seaside escape, try the Inn at Cuckolds Lighthouse in Southport, Maine. And if you’re really feeling inspired, you can reserve the entire private island for yourself.
You may have heard of sleeping on a boat during an overnight fishing trip, but you can slumber on an actual boat turned hotel in locations dotting Europe. The ultra-mod Bert’s Barges in London features monochrome style interior and Scandinavian decor complete with a walk-in Agape shower. For a more traditional houseboat experience, the Harbour Houseboat on the Isle of Wight in the U.K. features a kitchen, multiple rooms and a rooftop deck for lounging and a game of cards with the kids.
Plenty of families slept in tiny train sleeper cars or sat up in their seats all night. You can stay in a converted train hotel instead for added creature comforts and less jostling about during the midnight hours. The historic Chattanooga Choo Choo Historic Hotel features Pullman train car hotel rooms in close proximity to the city’s incline railway and kid-friendly attractions like Rock City.
There is a downside to how amazing these unique lodging experiences are. Kids will soon measure all of their vacations against that time they got to sleep in the treetops or on a boat. Remind them hotels and lodging comes in all shapes and sizes and get them in on the planning process for your next totally unique vacation experience.
Only the bravest of family travelers should venture to Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights. Every year, Universal Orlando turns into the spookiest place in Florida, if not in the country. On select nights throughout the season, visitors and locals alike can head to the popular amusement park for frights, scares and thrilling adventures. Explore 10 terrifying haunted houses; five scare zones; live entertainment; and themed attractions, food and merchandise.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
With kids back in school and the grueling temperatures of summer finally behind us, life is starting to get back into the routine of fall. That doesn’t mean, however, that family fun has to stop. Big international trips may not be practical for all family travelers this time of year, but places like South County in Rhode Island offer so many fun things to do for families, a quick trip to this East Coast haven is practically a must.
Take Part in England’s Exmoor Dark Skies Festival Dusk Wildlife Safaris and Children’s Art Competition
Planning a trip to the United Kingdom soon? Time your travel for the Exmoor Dark Skies Festival in Somerset, England, from Oct. 13 to 29. The setting is Exmoor National Park, located within a gorgeous mix of farmland, wild forests, stunning valleys and moorlands in South West England.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Part of a family who just loves a good scare or ghost story? This fall, wherever your travels might take you, chances are you’ll be near an Omni hotel or resort with a history of haunted sightings and other scary happenings. So, why not learn a bit about where you’re staying to make the experience all the more eerie …