It’s a well-known fact that seeing the monuments of Rome is as difficult with a teen (who would rather be with their friends or connected to WiFi) as it is with a toddler (who may be throwing themselves in a fit of rage into the Trevi Fountain). So when is the best time to do that big trip with your kids?

Whilst this may still present it’s challenges, here are a few reasons why you may consider taking your children before they hit their teens:

  • You still pay child airfares at 75% of the normal fare, so you will save more.
  • Under 11 years old is classed as a child for hotels, often hotels will class children over 13 at adult rates.
  • Their eyes are open to the world, they are ready to take in new experiences.
  • They will sit at a restaurant and eat a meal without you having to run out and apologise profusely as they spilt 15 drinks and pulled the table cloth off the table.
  • They will remember the trip for the rest of their lives (because if you’re going to spring for such a trip, you definitely want them remembering it).

So which trips are the best trips to tackle?


Travelling to the USA is one of the most popular trips for this age bracket. Both Qantas and Virgin will fly from Australia via Los Angeles to New York, giving you two stops on your ticket. Staying in New York from 5 nights to 7 nights is a good amount of time with children. You can visit Times Square, Central Park, the New York Zoo, Coney Island and maybe even sneak in a Basketball or Baseball match.

Next stop is Los Angeles, which is home to Universal Studios, Hollywood, The Pier in Santa Monica and of course to Anaheim. Most people choose to spend 3-7 nights exploring Disneyland and California Adventure Park. From your base in Los Angeles, you may then decide to add on a trip to San Francisco, San Diego or Las Vegas (with a side trip to the Grand Canyon).

The kids will love the approachable food, the familiar sights from Movies and YouTube!


Going on a big Europe trip is great with 8-11 year olds as there are so many options. If you’re planning to drive around Europe for more than 21 days, leasing a car is an economical way to see the sights. You will have a brand new car to use, you don’t have to pay one way drop off fees in each country to you travel to and you can easily stop for picnics, toilet breaks or simply if you see something interesting.

Rail is another great way to travel through Europe, the children are old enough to drag along their luggage and get it on and off the trains and they may appreciate the freedom to sit and chat with you, play games or have a snack whilst you travel together watching the sights go by.

If water is more your thing, you will reap the benefits of unpacking once whilst cruising the Mediterranean, Scandinavia or the rivers of Europe. This is a great way to easily budget for your holiday where all transport and meals are included in the price of most cruises, so you will just have to worry about sightseeing and souvenirs.


As the egotistical teenage years loom, it is invaluable for them to experience countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Sri Lanka or India to give them some perspective on how other people on the planet live.

This is probably the cheapest holiday of the three with brilliant value for money when paying for hotels and transport. As the children are older they may be brave enough to try new foods, making this an amazing opportunity to book in a family cooking class, cook with a local family or even organise a home stay (this can be booked by one of our Travel Designers).

This holiday can be a mix of sightseeing, eating and relaxing at a resort for some time out together. The standard of hotel and resort in Asia for the price is much better than what you would experience in Australia, Europe or the USA.


Whether you’re looking to hit the slopes in Canada, the USA, Europe or Japan, the Ski trip is fun for the active family. Ski lessons will ensure the kids are kept busy for part of the day and you will be able to enjoy the slopes and finally have a moment to talk to your partner! You might even getaway with escaping to the pub for a sneaky beer.

The kids will love the excitement of the snow, the various activities from skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing and ice skating. Everyone will eat well and sleep well! For extra value for money, Club Med have some all-inclusive Ski resorts throughout the world, that make budgeting easy and include meals, lift passes, evening entertainment, non-ski activities, premium open bars and kids clubs!

You can then add on a few weeks either side whether it be exploring Tokyo, Vancouver, New York or Switzerland and France.


Whilst you can still take your children for a few extra weeks out of school, the driving holiday around Australia is great on so many levels. Take your own car, pack your own things and then choose from an array of accommodation options from tents through to hotels and resorts. You can take things at your own pace as you head up or down the East Coast, across to Western Australia, down to Tasmania or up to the Northern Territory.

This holiday is about really getting to know your kids, each other and Australia. There will be lots to do and at the age the kids are, they will enjoy the excitement of staying a few nights in each location and moving along to the next.

There are plenty more destinations you can travel to and that really depends on what you have been able to do with your children in the past and how experienced you and they are as travellers. Families who have travelled a lot might try South America, Central America, Africa or Egypt! Or maybe you haven’t travelled and you’re just brave.

There are plenty of family friendly organised tours and cruises, that can assist in taking some of the stress out of travelling and this will allow you to sit back and enjoy your time with the kids whilst the details are being taken care of for you as you travel.

You will never regret taking out a big chunk of your leave or using long service leave to holiday for an extended period of time with your family. Of course you can do these trips with toddlers or with teens, but if you’re looking for advice on when to plan, we recommend this as a great time.

Marie Sulda

Marie Sulda  

Marie Sulda is a Travel Designer and Founder of Kaleidoscopic Travel. She has worked within the travel industry for over 14 years from travel consulting through to sales management. Marie is an entrepreneur at heart who is passionate about enabling people to live the life they choose through inspiring and flexible work! She believes in living a life of purpose and passion // www.kaleidoscopictravel.com.au