How to Win at Family Vacations


How to Win at Family Vacations


Say adieu to screaming toddlers, bored teenagers, and worn-out grownups. Five parents share their road-tested advice on traveling with kids.

There’s an art to traveling as a family. Done right, it can be an unforgettable experience, with lifelong bonds and cherished memories as rewards. But left to chance, a family trip might be unforgettable in a not-so-good way. We tapped a handful of globetrotting parents for their hard-won wisdom on surviving long flights, satisfying picky eaters, and other kid-travel challenges.

Bring Your Home on the Road, says Lauren Makk

Designer Lauren Makk takes the inverse approach. The co-host of OWN’s Home Made Simple and home editor for Yelp believes it’s “important for children to be able to see the world and recognize how big it is—and also how connected we all are.” But when she preps her two-year-old son, Christon Cruz, for a long-haul flight, she brings along familiar items. “I have one blanket that he really loves. So to get him excited about going on a plane, I use that blanket solely for trips.” She also packs a favorite sippy cup for hotel stays. “Being surrounded by special things from home helps a child adjust and feel comfortable while they’re away.”



Bring Your Travels Home, says Nate Berkus

Interior designer Nate Berkus loves to explore with his husband, Jeremiah Brent, and their kids, Oskar, 1, and Poppy, 4. Most of his design inspiration comes from these trips, and now he’s passing the lesson on to his kids. “I’ve always believed our homes should tell our stories, especially where we’ve been and what we’ve seen in the world,” he says. “Our children’s rooms are filled with objects from our travels, and we talk about the places and the people we met when the kids ask about the items.” Berkus also believes that exposing children to different cultures is vitally important. “Travel ultimately makes you a more interesting person.”

Sketch It Out, says Temple St. Clair


As soon as her sons Archer, 19, and Alexander, 22, could draw, jewelry designer Temple St. Clair started buying them sketchbooks from her favorite paper shop in Florence, Il Torchio. “I would encourage them to keep the sketchbooks with them while we were traveling,” says the designer, who got the idea from her own mother, who had little Temple create scrapbooks and travel journals. These visual creations are a great way to disconnect from technology, she says. “It’s so important for children to leave all the digital accessories behind and to go out into the world and be aware of the language, the food, the colors,” she says. “It makes you come home and understand your own environment all the more.”

Skip the Kids’ Menu, says Gail Simmons


“I believe that travel has made my kids more open and adaptable,” says Gail Simmons, who juggles multiple roles as a judge on Top Chef, special projects director at Food & Wine, author of cookbook Bringing It Home, and mom to Dahlia, 5, and Kole, 13 months. Dahlia was eating exotic ingredients like bone marrow by age 1, but suddenly became “far more picky.” Simmons’ gambit: “Just take one bite. It’s never going to bite back,” she tells the kids. Another rule: banish the kids’ menu. “That has taught our children that there’s always something they can find. Even if it means just simplifying a dish on the adults’ menu.” Ultimately, Simmons wants her kids to learn that “Food is a great window into a culture, and teaches the bigger lesson that all cultures are different,” she says.

Give Back, says Rachel Roy

As a UN Ambassador for Innovation and Change, it’s no surprise that fashion designer Rachel Roy believes in giving back on every trip she takes with her two girls, Tallulah, 11, and Ava, 19. “We live in a world where so many have so little, so it’s mandatory for me to teach my children compassion,” says Roy. This can be as simple as asking a hotel in Mexico about nearby hospitals and orphanages to visit, donating clothes to local kids, or helping pick up plastic at the beach. Teenage Ava has even traveled to Thailand by herself, working with rescued elephants. On far-flung trips, Roy reaches out to World of Children, which connects travelers to the rock stars of the charity world in each country. “Travel is the best teacher, the best classroom of all,” she says. “And meeting the children that actually live in the places we’re visiting creates the best citizens of the world.”

Ready to Inspire Your Young Travelers?

Around the world Rosewood properties are inviting travelers to embrace the ultimate luxury: family time. Discover unique experiences, designed to appeal to families of all interests and ages, allowing you and your loved ones to discover a destination together.

Discover Rosewood Family Time

Share this article:

Join The Conversation

Your email address will not be published.

Input comment
Input name Input email

Written By: Laura Begley Bloom


Thank you for signing up!

Calling all discerning travelers

Sign up for the Rosewood Conversations Newsletter to uncover our musings on travel, art, fashion and culture from the legendary personalities who embody the spirit of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.

Close Menu
Thank you for signing up!

Calling all discerning travelers

Uncover our musings on travel, art, fashion, and culture from the legendary personalities who embody the spirit of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.