Luxury Travel As A Family
Being a family doesn’t mean luxury travel, elegant hotels and jet set living have to be put to one side. Although some of the top boutique hotels in the world do cater more to couples than kids, there are plenty of family friendly crash pads in both town and country that will make your holiday experience superbly lavish! After all, who deserves a little luxury more than a stressed out parent?
First of all, luxury hotels have an excellent reputation for personal service – and this can translate into family facilities, too. Many top hotels have a concierge who can arrange child minding or babysitting whilst the grownups enjoy a Michelin starred dinner, or an extra cot or bed to be added to the room to turn it into a family suite.
Moreover, the recreation and leisure activities available can be perfect for kids. What youngster doesn’t love splashing around in the infinity pool or swimming in the hot tub on the balcony? The tennis courts, golf courses and beaches will also keep them happily entertained.
Best Destinations for Luxury Travel with Children
1. Although the long flights might be a trial with very young kids, luxury hotels in the Caribbean top the list because many offer a private villa instead of a room. With all the comforts of a five star hotel (and none of the inconveniences of the self-catering apartments usually ear-marked for families) but also the privacy and space you’d find at home, these kinds of set-ups are ideal for travelers with children.
Shop around for the resorts with private pools and barbecue areas (which should come with a complimentary chef from the hotel, too) to keep your family in splendidly luxurious isolation.
2. Europe can be a daunting prospect as a family (what three year old wants to spend the afternoon at an art gallery?) but it’s also a good place to find old-fashioned hotels that treat every guest like royalty – even those little monsters.
Avoid the stuffy, minimalist places and plump for the city hotels with long reputations or self-contained resorts on the coast. Small, manageable and picturesque enough for all the family, Santorini and Malta are the best places to consider.
3. Whilst you’re best to steer clear of trendy metropolitan joints in Canada and the USA, countryside retreats can be a great alternative – and they don’t have to mean skimping on luxury, either. The kids can go wild in the great outdoors as parents pamper themselves at the spa, or perhaps enjoy a spot of wine tasting in the Napa Valley.
Don’t just think about summer vacations, too – a snowy winter holiday filled with sledging and snowball fights (and brandy by the fire of course) certainly offer family-style fun.
China Vacations – Luxury Travel To Beijing And Beyond
China vacations involve more than just travel to Beijing – the country has opened up over the past few years, and many of China’s secrets are now open to the west, even those on a Chinese vacation.
Vacations to China are becoming increasingly popular and a growing number of travel operators are offering China vacations at cut prices to those wanting to find out the secrets of the Orient that have been hidden from western eyes for so long. However, cheap vacations come at a price, if not in hard cash.
First, it is a long flight to China, and can be very uncomfortable if you are packed into a chartered plane seated to pack as many people in as possible so as to keep the costs low. There is nothing wrong with that if it is what you want, and most people are able to withstand the discomfort of little room to stretch out on a long haul flight.
For others, however, it is a problem. Then there is the transport once your vacation has started. If you are sharing your holiday with 49 others, the needs of the average are catered for, and these might not be your needs.
The same is true of hotels that are chosen because they can offer the number of rooms needed to meet the needs of a large party, and the menu for many of the meals will be set to be easily cooked for a large number of people at the lowest possible cost. If these arrangements don’t appeal to you, what are your alternatives?
Some people try to arrange and book their own China vacations, but find it too difficult, considering all the arrangements needed, airport taxes, hotel bookings, entrance fees, local travel and so on.
The best way by far is to deal with a travel company that can offer you the luxury and personal attention that China vacations need if you are to enjoy your travel to Beijing and everywhere else in China you want to visit.
Your flights should at least be business class to allow you the leg room and cabin staff attentiveness that you need on a longer flight. Travel should be personal, and not as part of a crowd. You and your partner should have a car to yourselves, driven by your own guide, not share a 52 seater bus. Your hotels should be individually booked, and chosen for their excellence, not their cheap price, and you should be able to choose your own menus.
You might think that such travel companies are difficult to find, or if you did find one, your travel would be severely restricted to allow such a high level of personal service. If so, you would be wrong on both counts. However, for now, let’s consider what good China vacations should involve, apart from the personal service and luxury travel.
Travel to Beijing is a must, with a visit to the Forbidden City, the ancient seat of the Chinese emperors that sits right in front of the famous (or infamous) Tiananmen Square. Not as part of a large group, but privately, just you and your partner. With 9,999 buildings, it was forbidden for a non-aristocrat or royal to enter it prior to 1911. A visit to the Peking Opera is also a must, as is a delicious meal of Peking duck!
Many Chinese vacations stop at Beijing, or perhaps include a brief visit to the Wall, and if you want more you have to look around and make sure that the vacation you book involves more than just travel to Beijing and the Forbidden City that seems to satisfy many people.
You must at least visit the Summer Palace with its marble boat built by the Empress Cixi with funds embezzled from the navy, and the Temple of Heaven, larger than the Forbidden City. You must also visit the Great Wall and enjoy a traditional Chinese banquet of several different course.
Everybody has heard of the terracotta warriors in Xian: thousands of them, life-size with horses and chariots, and you must also pay a visit to Chengdu to see a real live panda. Also, don’t forget that China is close to Tibet, and you could pay a visit to Lhasa and see Mount Everest and the palaces of the Dalai Lama. Visitors are allowed to visit the chambers and to look out on Lhasa from the seven storey White Palace. However, back to China.
All China vacations should allow you to spend some time on one o China’s many rivers and watch the cormorants that are trained to dive for fish: their necks are slightly constricted to prevent them from swallowing the fish. It might sound cruel, but it seems to do them no harm.
A visit to Shanghai should also be included on your itinerary, along with a cruise down the Huangpu River. In fact there are many rivers in this part of China that you should visit by boat, but you have to get all this organized in advance.
The main problem with Chinese vacations is that if you want anything more than just to travel to Beijing, you can’t just head off anywhere you want when you feel like it. China is not France or the UK. Tourism is allowed, but only if organized in advance and all permissions are granted.
That’s why it is so important to seek out the type of Chinese vacation you want prior to setting off. You can’t change midway.
Chinese vacations can be magnificent and awe-inspiring, and they can also be pretty boring if you have already visited Beijing. Which you get is your choice, but remember that you are generally stuck with what you book, although there might be some tours you can book when in Beijing.
Generally, however, vacations to China are best organized in advance with a good travel company experienced in providing you with luxury travel and comprehensive travel to make sure that you visit as many places as possible in the time available to you.
Traveling With Kids On Private Luxury Jets
Traveling with kids has its own inherent challenges. It is up to the parents to handle the logistics, entertainment and personal needs for each child. Luckily, when families travel on Stratos private luxury jets, they get the same VIP treatment as our corporate travelers. With a bit of forethought, you can turn your family getaway into a memorable, stress-free travel adventure!\
Here are a few tips for traveling with kids.
Infants And Toddlers
Children under the age of two qualify as lap passengers. This means they can be held by their parents or travel in an approved baby-carrier during the flight. One of the advantages of traveling by private luxury jet is that the seats are generally wider and softer than on a commercial airline. Parent and baby can be quite comfortable together in one seat.
If you have toddlers under two, you can choose to share a seat, or book a seat for each of you. There are pros and cons to both, depending on the duration of the flight and your child’s temperament. Be sure to let our expert Stratos Charter Agents know if you need additional room for extra gear such as strollers, baby carriers, and carry-on bags.
School-age kids are thankfully more self-sufficient than toddlers. Each child over age two will need their own seat. Luckily, when you charter a private luxury jet, it’s your jet – you can sit together as a family, or spread out if space allows. The Stratos Trip Support team can help you arrange inflight meals and entertainment. Savvy parents will pack some extra snacks and amusements for each child.\
Though they may not acknowledge it, our teen travelers love that most of the private luxury jets in our network are designed for corporate travelers. That means ample power outlets for mobile devices, extra-comfortable seats, on-board entertainment, and even wi-fi connectivity. The teens will be fine.
Privacy And Safety
Some parents traveling with children might be concerned about breastfeeding or changing a child while airborne. As noted, when you charter a private luxury jet, your family’s safety and comfort are paramount. Charter flights tend to be smaller groups that know each other. You can relax, and look after your child’s needs as if you were at home. The only safety rule to be aware of that everyone must remain seatbelted if the aircraft encounters turbulence.
Each family is unique, and if you need something extra, don’t hesitate to ask. We can accommodate wheelchair travelers, special diets, ground transportation, hotel bookings, and many other special requests. One topic we haven’t mentioned in this blog article is traveling with pets. If you plan to bring an animal on your private luxury jet, we recommend reading our FAQ article on Traveling With Pets.
Traveling with children requires some planning, but it is ultimately so rewarding. Traveling by private jet means you can access smaller airports, and relax on a more luxurious, quieter aircraft. Get ready for an exciting family adventure. It’s a big planet…let’s go explore it!
Take your family on a luxury jet charter flight anywhere in the world. Call Stratos Jet Charters at 888-593-9066.
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