Taking the kids to Europe doesn’t have to break the bank when you leverage frequent-flyer miles, credit card reward points and some ingenuity. But you can also score European accommodations on a budget that are actually more fun and engaging for the kids than a typical hotel room. Plus, you’re more likely to get some sleep without the kids bouncing off the walls and your bed. Here’s five ways to get started.
Camping in the United States may not sound like an upscale option for families with kids, but there are more than 10,000 campgrounds in Europe that often include restaurants, mini waterparks, cabins, mobile home options and entertainment for the kids. You can find these ACSI campgrounds outside of most urban cities in Europe, as well as in rural areas. The best part is you can go ultra luxury and rent out a cabin or fully stocked mobile home, or stick to a frugal plan and just pitch a tent. A family of four can enjoy a European campground for roughly $60 a night.
Housesitting with kids is not only possible in Europe, but a completely free lodging option for families of all sizes. However, you may have to pay a small fee to join an organization that helps connect housesitters with owners like Trusted Housesitters. It’s true not every accommodation will be open to kids staying in their homes, but many are completely open and encouraging to the situation. For example, a large home with a hobby farm including chickens may specifically ask for a family to help the home look full of life and the animals cared for while they’re away.
Hostels often have a reputation for targeting teenagers and college graduates, but you can find plenty of family-friendly hostels with private bedrooms and amenities like kids programs and free tours. Look for hostels that come with fully equipped communal kitchens. You may be able to pay a small fee for a potluck with new friends, or use the kitchen to store perishables and cook for your family.
You’re probably already aware traveling to Europe during the off-season yields savings. But when you combine it with an Airbnb rental, it can really pay off in big savings. Look for Airbnb homes, apartments and family-friendly accommodations on the outskirts of a major European city with access to the transportation you need like a bus. And when you book your lodging off-season, you’re likely to slash your price tag by up to 50 percent or more.
Even die-hard Costo fans may not realize you can score vacation packages and hotels through Costco Travel. Its travel business model is similar to its store. Costco relies on large volumes of people to purchase its products in large quantities in order to pass on the savings. When a large audience is ready and willing to book vacation deals, Costco can also extend better deals to travelers. And their options are impressive. In addition to hotels and a specialty on theme parks, the packages and hotels include gathering up the kids to head to Rome, Paris and Barcelona including daily breakfast.
But there’s another benefit to booking budget-friendly accommodations in Europe. You end up on a totally different type of adventure than most of the mainstream with stories and experiences that form lasting memories. And at the end of the day, that’s what a family vacation should really be about.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 …