Readers of Travels with Baby may have already come across my recommendation for this site, but it has been truly awesome to watch CiaoBambino.com continue to grow and evolve as a go-to source for finding high-end family-friendly vacation rentals, hotels and resorts around the globe.
All content of this blog (c) Shelly Rivoli 2007 – 2011
If I had wanted to make things easy on myself as a “family traveler,” I might have done a few things differently. For example, I might have waited longer to have my first child, I might have called it good with just one child, and I might have waited until she was out of diapers (let alone could roll her own suitcase) to go on that first trip overseas. Yet looking back down this lucky road we’ve rambled so far as a family, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Three babies later, it’s clear I not only still like and advocate family travel, but I enjoy a good challenge to boot. We not only still travel with diapers (for now), but as a five passport family, the mere process of getting through every security check point on an international flight—especially when they decide to pat-down all of us on the jetway (yes, even the 2-year-old)—can be a lengthy ordeal. And even breezing along on a Great American Road Trip, which it felt like we’d mastered with kids #1 and #2, now has a new snafu: Finding hotels and motels that will allow the 5 of us to sleep in one room (sometimes even when I insist we have our own baby travel bed with us—argh!).
If you’ve ever traveled with 3 or more children, or brought the grandparents along on vacation, you know the challenge this can present, especially when most hotel search engines force you to book two rooms for more than 4 people. A couple of years ago, one family of six not only rose to the challenge of finding its own accommodations for a family reunion, but set out create a site to help make at least one thing about traveling with a family of five—or six, or seven, or eight—a little easier for the rest of us.
SixSuitcaseTravel.com has since grown to have some 4,000 family-friendly hotels covering destinations all over the U.S., plus Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean—all of which can sleep a minimum of 5 people in a room or suite. Just use their search box or use their interactive state maps to find listings of only the hotels that are relevant to your “big family.”
All content of this blog (c) Shelly Rivoli
When I recently discovered www.bayareaonthecheap.com, I knew this site could have as much value to those of you planning family travel to San Francisco and the Bay Area as it could for those of us calling it home.
This comprehensive site is a great first stop to find coupons and special deals on everything from your tickets and sightseeing passes (including California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco Zoo, or Red and White Fleet cruises on the SF Bay) to where to buy the cheapest gas for your rental car and find FREE WiFi spots throughout San Francisco and the greater Bay Area — which can be especially helpful when you want to check in online for that return flight or share some of your travel photos with friends on the fly.
Bay Area restaurant coupons, farmers markets, and flea markets can be found at the site as well, plus listings of upcoming cheap and free festivals and fairs.
For more budget travel tips for your family’s visit to San Francisco, see my “Cheap and Free San Francisco” recommendations in the related posts and pages below.
Related posts and pages:
Author of Travels with Baby and the new Take-Along Travels with Baby
http://www.travelswithbaby.com/ Travels with Baby on Facebook
All content of this blog (c) Shelly Rivoli
Having spent hours upon hours searching the internet trying to discern which places might be most comfortable to stay with my own small children, I have often felt the aching need for a comprehensive resource that gives a Mom’s-eye perspective of hotels, resorts, condos and other vacation properties around the world. I’m delighted to report that Jamie Pearson has pulled it off. She just launched Travel Savvy Mom, written by a network of traveling and expat moms around the globe. Already online: profiles of vacation properties in Hawaii, Egypt, Australia, Oregon, Costa Rica, South Africa, Spain, and New York to name a few. Better yet, these write-ups are geared not just toward traveling families, but toward those facing the added dimension of vacationing with babies and young children in particular. I’m so excited about this site that I already submitted a profile of my own, which you can read here. For those of you who have found truly great places to stay with babies and small children, I hope you’ll consider submitting your own property profiles for consideration on the site. If you see a property listed where you’ve stayed with your family, you can add your own comments and experiences, too. Congratulations on a great site, Jamie! And thanks for taking some of the guess work out of planning trips with our littlest travelers.
Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning guide Travels with Baby
The Ultimate Guide for Planning Trips with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschool-Age Children
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