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We are parents, too. We think traveling well and traveling with children shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. We have limited vacation time, and we’re not spending our few days of freedom in lousy hotels eating bad food. We know the world is full of wonderful resorts, cool urban escapes and far-flung lodges that can make our time with our kids count. We want it all, and we don’t think it should be so hard to find. So we’re going to share it with you.


5 Reasons We Love the Family City Break

Travel Journal

Travel Journal

Dispatches from around the world

5 Reasons We Love the Family City Break

Henley Vazquez

Our answer to the “where shall we go for our first family vacation” question is invariably Miami. If your babe loves the sand, the sea and doesn’t complain about being doused in sunscreen then you have an easy access beach vacation with excellent restaurants and hotels to boot. But if your kiddo eats sand, freaks out in the ocean and refuses to keep a hat on their head, then Miami is a win-win for all of the culture centers, green spaces and stellar restaurants—all classic elements of a successful city break. Read on for our ode to the family city break and all the reasons you should consider it for your first family travel adventure.

Babies Eat Sand Finding out your kid is not a beach person on day one of a weeklong break at an all-inclusive beach resort in Mexico is a shaky start to your family travel adventures. Whether the offending element is the sunscreen, the giant UV hat, the heat or the sand itself, even the weeniest travelers will share their thoughts on beach time loud and clear. But if you chose a beach vacation for the ease of parking yourself in one spot for the day—and being walking distance to your hotel room at all times—then consider a city break with good park life and a hotel with a rooftop pool. 

Trip-Making Meals Out All-inclusive beach resorts excel in a brain-off brand of relaxation, but rarely do they shine in the kitchen. For foodies, or foodies in training, a city break unlocks an urban eatathon that can shape your itinerary. Plus, since you’re guaranteed to make the early bird specials at every meal time, you can snag seats at some of the best restaurants in town without risking a long line or too much side-eye from your fellow diners. 

Preschoolers Don’t Know Museums Are “Boring” Using normal family travel smarts like avoiding a museum’s peak visiting times, checking for stroller access and never relying on the museum restaurant to have a table available and kid-friendly eats as you approach a sugar low, museums can be huge hits with the under-5 set. With a bit of prep you can direct a toddler’s endless energy into a treasure hunt for their favorite colors or shapes in each painting, but for slightly older kids, Context Travel’s expert docents are Passported’s go-to for helping kids (and you!) get the most out of a museum trip. 

Kids Are the Ultimate Ice Breaker Staring, pointing, sleeping on tables, helping yourself to the pastry display etc. might all be verboten at home, but on the road, kids’ “antisocial” behavior can lead to some of the best connections and conversations of your trip. Of course, you will have all these encounters at a beach destination or resort, but the breadth of places you’ll cover on a city break just means a much wider group of people to interact with and, hopefully, charm into a free pastry.

Zero Weather Worries If the weather turns on your beach vacation when the sun, sea and sand is the main event, then you have the task of entertaining the most energetic of species on the planet with one resort playroom and ping pong table. A city break under sunny skies is easier, of course, but rain doesn’t have to stop play. You hit the culture centers, the restaurants, the shops, and even a cinema to fill your trip and tire out little legs.

Tempted by a city break en famille? Contact our bookings team to start planning. 

Family City Breaks We Love

San Francisco For its waterfront attractions, strollable ‘hoods, and reliableclimate, SF makes for an easy city break with young kids. Stay in the fun Embarcadero enclave at Hotel Vitale, or be next door to SFMoma at the St. Regis San Francisco in the city’s cultural corner.

Washington D.C. Yes, the significance of a stroll on the Mall or tour of the spectacular new National Museum of African American History & Culture will be lost on the littles, but for its wide open green spaces, top hotels, and ever-expanding dining scene, D.C. has something for the whole family. Stay in high style at the Park Hyatt Washington and don’t miss dinner at Penn Quarter’s Zaytina.

Mexico City The key to getting the most out of Mexico City is tackling one neighborhood a day and avoiding the endless traffic getting across the city. Once you’re inside your chosen ‘hood, the day is yours to explore on foot whether you get lost in Chapultepec Park, among the boho boutiques in Roma, or along the cobblestone streets in the Historic District. Retreat to the Four Seasons Mexico City for its outdoor pool and excellent courtyard restaurant.