Visiting Japan soon with the family? For any travelers heading to the country’s western regions, get ready for vast rural towns and quaint accommodations.
Of course, the back-to-basics western region is a welcome getaway for any traveling family, but if you find yourselves on a high-speed train to Osaka, expect the oddly comforting sight of familiar hotel chains. Enter Sheraton Miyako Hotel.
At check-in, guests are graciously greeted by the friendly staff and whisked through the line. I was finished with the whole process in a matter of minutes and was offered assistance with my bag — a nice option for weary travelers or guests eager to get out and about in the city.
I opted to lug my own suitcase as I needed to grab a light jacket and I was pleasantly surprised to find my room was the most spacious I’d had thus far on my trip. It offered a plush, cozy, queen-sized bed and a great view of Osaka from the wide windows — reminding me I couldn’t wait to get back downstairs and out into the city.
One aspect of my stay I was quickly seeing as a great benefit to families, this hotel is well-equipped for tourists with a fitness center, a money exchange in the lobby and attendant staff. As I walked out, a Sheraton staff member asked if I needed a cab and gave me a heads up about fare pricing. He quickly hailed a taxi and told the driver where I was going.
Just 10 minutes down the road and I was in a high-end shopping area, filled with lights, sounds and fun attractions. The short ride made me realize the Sheraton was closer to all the action downtown than I realized.
After walking around, exploring the shops and quirky attractions, I stumbled upon the Americura neighborhood and the famous Dōtombori canal. Reminiscent of New York’s Times Square, this bustling neighborhood is a must for all ages. So much great food, fun shops and characters popping up around every corner — the kids will be in awe for hours.
Walking back to the Sheraton to get some sleep, the street traffic and pedestrians began to thin out. The couple blocks surrounding the hotel were deceivingly quiet; you would never know there was so much activity a short walk away from the hotel.
With everyone stuck at home, looking for entertainment and a way out, the best thing we can do right now is plan for future trips. One easy way to make that happen sooner rather than later is by spending some quality time in the great outdoors.
Lake Powell, a family-favorite vacation destination in the American Southwest, lies between Utah and Arizona — an ideal place to rent a houseboat and spend your time exploring the lake and its shores as a family, enjoying the sun, the water and plenty of adventure.
If you’re looking for a charming new island escape on the East Coast, get away to a locale many have yet to discover. Daufuskie Island considers itself the Nantucket of the South, a hidden gem off the Southeast Coast, near Savannah, Georgia, and Hilton Head. The luxurious environment is unpretentious, but filled with all the amenities discerning family travelers need.
With technology advancing faster than ever, children globally are becoming attached to devices. Adults too. Our Netflix queue and ever-expanding inbox call our names even when we’re on vacation. We carry distractions with us everywhere, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to truly connect with your loved ones.
A beach vacation is a family favorite in the summertime; the weather is nice, towns are thriving and there are fun activities all season. For families looking for the ultimate summer beach vacation, consider Ocean City, New Jersey.