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.
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Northwest Florida is a haven for beachgoers seeking the waters of Panama City Beach, Pensacola and Destin. But this region of Florida also has some extensive history, offering family travelers a great way to introduce young ones to Florida’s Spanish and indigenous past.
More than 1,000 miles from Spain’s capital city of Madrid, the seven Canary Islands are also part of Spain. They are the tallest peaks of ancient volcanoes rising out of the Atlantic, not far from the coast of North Africa. Two of these volcanoes, both still active, offer exciting adventures for families traveling to the islands.
Filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, Seoul invites travelers to unearth its many gems, and Seoul Tourism Organization is here to help travelers do just that. Through thoughtfully created initiatives like the Theme Tourism County Competition, Seoul Tourism Organization works closely with local districts to identify and showcase what makes each district unique and charming in all seasons.
If you think you have to head into the wilderness just to get some hiking time in on your next vacation, rest assured. Cities across the country pride themselves on being great all-around family destinations, and that often includes fun urban hiking opportunities. These cities prove you don’t have to hike to a mountaintop to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. They are home to great parks and walking trails designed for easy walks that let you enjoy the fresh air, and get to know the personality, culture and history of the city you are visiting.