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If you’re looking for a dose of family travel inspiration, make Kid & Coe’s website your first click. Their private homes, vacation rentals, family resorts and hotels are perfect for families who don’t want to sacrifice style and design when they travel – even with the kids in tow. On the site, well-traveled families list their homes for a nightly rate, offering an easy place to stay that already has a kid-sized seal of approval, along with a neat way to make money to pay for their own family travels. We quizzed Kid & Coe’s expert family travelers to find out how they avoid tantrums, plan trips and create memories together.

Amanda Blakley: “Exploring together is like an illicit drug”

Amanda Blakley documents the unknown, unseen, and untouched for readers of the National Post, the CBC, Globe & Mail and more. You can also catch up with her, and her chief adventurers at: www.adventuresofatticus.com

What do you love about family travel?

The magic and excitement of exploring a new frontier together can provide at least a temporary euphoria. I chase it like an illicit drug.

What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?

Of all the places we’ve visited, Nicaragua is one of my fondest memories. Despite the horrible flight (got barfed on by my youngest on the first leg of the trip and neither of us had a change of clothes), the volcanic terrain, warm hospitality, beautiful rugged beaches, fresh and delicious food made it worth the full travel days on either end.

Any advice for newbie family travelers?

The more you can plan ahead, the better. Try and enjoy your main meal at lunchtime instead of dinner – kids are usually in better spirits plus lunch menus are often less expensive than dinner. Keep your itineraries light and loose: one activity or attraction a day is more than enough – and it’s even ok to keep some days completely free to just relax by a pool, local park or for wandering aimlessly.”

Rent her house: The Clarendon Avenue Residence, Toronto

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Zoie Kingsbery Coe: “Going off-grid with kids makes all the difference”

Zoie Kingsbery Coe lives in Ibiza, Spain, and is the founder of Kid & Coe. With three children in tow ranging from pre-teen to baby, she knows everything there is to know about family travel, global parenting and managing a thriving international business.

Tell us about your best ever family trip

We celebrated my son’s 8th birthday at the lovely Palmeras Residence residence in Playa Las Tortugas, Mexico, where the lovely staff made his favorite meal of fish and chips and chocolate cake. There was no WiFi, which was extremely refreshing, and the kids roamed the beautiful grounds. We released freshly-hatched baby turtles to the sea and enjoyed the simple connection with nature and being off the grid!

What’s the worst thing that has happened while you were away (and how did you deal with it)?

We’ve been very lucky and thanks to the travel gods, we haven’t had any serious mishaps. We’ve had our fair share of flights with unruly toddlers and lost luggage, but in reality with travel (and childhood in general I think!) we tend to remember the good times.

Where next?

I’m ready take my family to Sri Lanka for an intense dose of a completely different culture; a foreign mix of food, smells, and people speaks to my constant craving for new experiences!

Rent her house: The Marina Residence, Ibiza

 

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Leslie Winston: “Guadeloupe, Antigua, India: nowhere needs to be off-limits with kids

Leslie Winston runs family management service Mother Brooklyn with plenty of services to help time-poor families make the most of their lives in the city.

What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?

When our son was 10 months old we went to the island of Antigua. We chose the off season (June) because it was cheaper and quieter. One day we took a sailboat to a tiny island to snorkel. There was one tree on the island and we wrapped our towels and made a canopy to put our son under. We waded in the water with him and at nap time I nursed him and put him down in the shade. There he slept soundly while we snorkeled. When it was time to go we were able to load everything into the boat while he was still sleeping. He was the only thing left on the tiny island!

How do you prepare for things going wrong?

The worst thing that can happen is that someone needs medical attention. When our kids were younger and we took them to India, we visited the doctor before we left, made sure the kids had the vaccinations they needed and brought extra meds, just in case.

Where next?

Sunday we leave for Guadeloupe! I’ll spend Saturday packing and getting the house in order for the guests who will be renting our house while we are gone.

Rent her home: The Willoughby Avenue Residence, Brooklyn

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Marre Smit: “Being highly organized makes for relaxed travel – really!”

Marre Smit is a travel blogger and web designer based in Amsterdam, documenting her family trips on www.instagram.com/marrigje.

How do you prep for a trip?

I gather all my preparation in a folder before we leave – transport details, playgrounds, nice shops etc – so we can be in a relaxed travel mode when we get there. We are very flexible when we arrive – most of the time we end up doing other things or going other places that we run into while traveling. But having a back-up plan makes for good, relaxed and spontaneous travel for us.

Where would you like to travel?

We are dreaming of  – and saving for – a round-the-world trip somewhere next year. We want to homeschool the kids for several months and travel the world. We would love to visit Sri Lanka and Japan – all other plans are still in the making.

What’s the best moment so far?

My most memorable family travel moment was while watching a sunset on the beach. It was in the middle of the summer and the sunset was so pretty we took the kids out of bed to see it. We were all cuddled up together as it was a little chilly, when one of my daughters said: “I will take a picture in my brain to never forget this moment!”. You can imagine how I melted when hearing this. Her saying that made sure I will never forget that moment either!

Rent her home: The Helmersstraat Residence, Amsterdam

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