Depending on your experiences with travel and children, you may have two different viewpoints. One says a vacation with little children isn't a vacation, but is more like torture with some fun sprinkled in. The other sees traveling with children as an adventure, pitfalls and all. I have traveled with children. Many times. I hold both the above views. However, there are definitely some ways to make it more enjoyable for everyone.
Sometimes, it's the actual getting to the vacation that presents the most problems. A recent study from TravelNerd found some of the best airports for kids. So why not start with the hardest part of the trip -- the travel?
Of course, you can't control your departure city, but you can choose your destination. The good news is that you'll get to depart from this great airport destination as well. We all know the blues that come from leaving a fabulous vacation. At least with a great airport, the ride home won't be so bad.
Here are the top three airports, however if you want to see the entire study as well as a list of the worst locations, you can find it here.
1. San Francisco (SFO) gets top honors! Its airport has 14 dedicated nurseries and three kid play areas. Should you be lucky enough to fly out of Terminal One, you can check out the aquarium. Lucky for you, the city itself is super cool with lots of attractions that make it interesting for kids (Golden Gate Park, Alcatraz, Pier 39, the cable cars).
2. Portland (PDX) comes in second as tops for kids, with 13 total areas dedicated to children. Two of those are play areas. Once out of the airport, you will find that Portland is a very child-friendly city. Lots to do, including the Oregon Zoo, Portland Children's Museum and the Oregon Rail Heritage Center.
3. San Jose (SJC) ranks third. The big lure? Free WiFi! It's rumored to be very fast, so it's perfect to keep the rugrats occupied with all the portable electronics that their hearts desire. There are also six dedicated nursing rooms, so baby will be happy too.
It goes without saying that planning and distracting make the for the best travel with kids. So pack your carry on with plenty of food, games, books, pacifiers and special treats to keep the kiddos occupied. My favorite thing is to have one surprise that the child can get after they demonstrate that they can be good for the first half of the flight. A little bribery never hurt anyone -- just ask my fellow passengers.
Have fun and remember, there will come a day when you can read a magazine again on a flight.
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