Location is most important. The best location minimizes driving or walking distances and maximizes convenience to recommended restaurants and activities. The lodging choices have been carefully selected for their ideal location, price point, safety, and proximity to your activities. Knowing what part of town to stay in is a huge part of making a trip a success.
Many of the itineraries include vacation rentals provided by VRBO and Airbnb. More space, separate bedrooms, a kitchen, and laundry facilities make everyone happier. Again, only the best have been selected based on their location, cleanliness, and user reviews. We have used these booking sites for years for our own family vacations and have developed a sixth-sense for selecting just the right vacation listing.
Organized Daily Activities
A clear daily schedule groups activities together by proximity, ideal time of day to visit, and the best nearby dining choices. It's all been laid out for you, along with directions, maps, travel tips, links to more info, and more.
The organization of each day has been thoughtfully planned in order to to maximize your time without squeezing in too much for one day--that only leads to cranky children, which leads to cranky parents.
Local dining establishments are highlighted. The kind where children are welcome but isn't necessarily a restaurant geared primarily towards kids. You won't find many restaurant chains in our itineraries, just good local food mirroring the destination's culture. This could mean a food truck, a pizza place, or a nice sit-down restaurant, but always delicious. If there are any local brews, wines, or coffee houses around, we'll mention those too.
Local Culture and Nature
The itineraries are family-focused and include activities that are fun for both kids and adults. In general, the itineraries offer a lot of outdoor activities for the family as well as cultural and historical sites unique to the destination. Many itineraries include easy hikes, bike rides, and float trips that have been selected for their kid-friendly length and ease of difficulty as well as their scenic beauty (always worth it!)
You won't find a lot of shopping recommendations in our itineraries, though certain "can't-miss" shops will be highlighted. Our usual plan in a city or town: Go see a cultural site together as a family and then blow off steam at the neighborhood playground or in a park. Always a win-win!
It is All in the Details
Travel guidebooks and blog posts often leave you with too many questions unanswered.
Can I do all the recommended sites in one day realistically with kids?
Which activities, restaurants, hikes, etc. are suitable for children?
What is there to do on a rainy day?
Where's the closest playground?
What is truly fun for everyone and what's skippable?
How far do you have to walk from one activity to the next?
What part of town is the best to stay?
Simply Awesome Trip itineraries answer these important logistical questions.
For larger cities, specific walking distances are noted along with detailed maps, special directions, and dining and playground locations. Public transportation options are also outlined. For national parks or smaller towns, we include not just which hikes are best for kids, but also the location of the nearest grocery store, whether a quirky museum is located nearby for a rain delay, or where you can find the closest location of a killer ice cream parlor. It is these small details that can take a trip from good to fantastic.
Tried and Tested
If it is something we would want to know before going, it has been included in the itinerary. We have taken our own families to these museums, on these hikes, and eaten at these restaurants. We have found out, sometimes the hard way, what works and what doesn't.
Our goal is to help simplify your trip planning by sharing all the details you need for an enjoyable family vacation.