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July 14, 2014

Your Voice: Family Vacations – Summer Travel Ideas

Unless you are a Disney fanatic, chances are you are looking to take a relaxing family vacation this year. One that doesn’t involve long lines, a hefty investment and Mickey ears. So, let’s chat about great summer family vacation ideas that fit your needs.

BEACH RESORT VACATION

When people hear the word “vacation”, most minds immediately go to the beach. So, here are some of my favorite family-friendly beach hotels from coast to coast. Keep in mind, I prefer a hotel over a beach house due to air conditioning, room service, resort activities and housekeeping (a must for me and my husband due to little sandy kids running around and the fact that I don’t want to do chores on holiday).

The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida

You caught the “& spa” in their hotel name, right? That means mom can slip away for a relaxing and much-needed massage one morning. It is a vacation, after all. Besides the fabulous spa, the resort location can’t be beat: steps from the water where your kids can play all day. Build your vacation itinerary to include great dining, tennis, Kids Club, sand castling building and poolside games.

Sheraton Carlsbad Resort, California

Okay, so the resort is not on the beach but it’s pretty darn close (like 1-2 miles), and the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort is right next to LEGOLAND®. What family wouldn’t enjoy themselves in San Diego – from the zoo to the beaches to the restaurants, your options are endless. I really like this resort and the spacious rooms (a must when traveling with kids). I would recommend getting a connecting room or a suite for even more space.

The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort & Villas

Just do it. Save up and plan a summer family vacation to Maui. I think this trip is best for kids that are old enough to remember it, but then again … you are old enough to remember it. You can book a room at the resort or the Villas property. When you book a Villa you can get a room with a kitchen, washer/ dryer (amen!) and amazing resort views. Your kid(s) can have a room of their own without being outside the safe walls of the Villa too, just remember their travel-friendly night light so they can sleep without fear or take bathroom trips in the middle of the night if they need to. Not to mention the activities happening at the resort that you get access to: luaus, scuba, sailing, dive in movies, beach parties, spa, golf, beach … I need to stop writing and get packing.

MOUNTAIN RESORT VACATION

There is something so serene and lovely about being in the mountains during the summer. The crisp air, the outdoor activities the cool nights roasting s’mores by the fire pits. I really can’t say enough about this type of a family vacation, only because this is the kind of vacation my family and I took this year.

The St. Regis Deer Valley

I know what you’re thinking, but this resort is more affordable in the summer months. My family and I went when my daughter was three and my son was 8 months and had the time of our lives. The St. Regis backs up to the mountains so you can enjoy breakfast with a breathtaking view, and then take your family on a leisurely hike within steps of your room.

We hung out at the pool (the kids loved it because it’s a salt water, infinity pool) and then had a picnic at the base of the mountain. Every night you could find us at the fire pits enjoying s’mores. We also took a day trip into Park City (just down the road) where we shopped, ate lunch and let the kids explore. We stayed in a suite with a kitchen, which made for some fun nights cooking with the kids. Oh, and the best part is you have to ride a Funicular to get to the hotel. Your kids will love that.

SUBURAN-AREA FAMILY VACATIONS

The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

You can’t go to Scottsdale, Arizona with your family and avoid this resort. It’s renowned for family activities, and they do it better than any resort I’ve seen. They have a FUN committee for goodness sake whose entire job is to make your stay memorable for you and your kids. Sure, it’s hot in Arizona but when you’re floating down the resort’s lazy river, riding waves at their wave simulator FlowRider® or splashing around poolside (with a cocktail for you!) you will hardly notice the temp.

The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort

Here me out. You can take your kids to Vegas and have a good time. Here’s a resort that’s far enough away from the Strip but still close enough to enjoy the family-friendly entertainment options in the city. With over 3,600 acres of space there is plenty of land to explore at the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort. Kids will enjoy beach parties every Friday night, “dive in movies” that you can watch from the pool, and live music (check with the hotel for schedules). Enjoy!

All photos are courtesy of spg.com. If you’re looking for a family hotel package, check out the SPG Resorts Love Your Family promotion for room discounts and up to $100 in daily resort credits.