vacation ideas — The Bump
Pre-School

vacation ideas

ambrvanambrvan member
edited January 2014 in Pre-School
DS is 4 and SD is 7. We are trying to come up with a family vacation idea for this year. We have never taken the kids on vacation. And even DH and I have only been camping together twice.

Anyway, my main ideas are Chattanooga, TN (we live in TN) or a cruise. I don't really want to spend a while lot of money. $2-3000 in a cruise is as high as I'll go. We can spend a week in Chat for $1000 or less.

So my question is what do y'all think of cruising with children this age? Would you pass it up for something else like Chattanooga?

Re: vacation ideas

  • I think cruising w kids that age is fine and lots of ppl do it. I have never been on a cruise though so I'm not totally sure about activities for younger kids.
    I feel like there are a lot of things between Chattanooga or a cruise...what about going down to the Destin FL area, Myrtle Beach, western NC (asheville).... Unless you really love cruising, then I would do that, since Chattanooga sounds like it is pretty close to home, could you do that for a weekend sometime instead of making it a weeklong family vacation? (or maybe there is more to do in Chattanooga than I think?)
  • Ditto Atlanta- my parents took DD and my nephew last summer and they had blast. They did the aquarium (blew my DD's mind with the huge whale shark), children's museum, zoo, and played in Centennial Park. They were considering the Coca Cola factory tour but decided the kids were too young.
    We go to the FL/AL gulf coast every summer with DH's family. Destin and Ft Walton are nice and have a lot to do besides the beach, but Navarre is my favorite b/c it's less crowded, less condos and more family-friendly. Perdido, Orange Beach and Gulf Shores in AL are nice and a little cheaper, but I find the FL beaches prettier.
    Another fun idea for kids your age is DC, the Smithsonian museums are free and the Natural History, Aerospace, American History and Zoo are great for kids!
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  • fredalina said:
    St Louis is pretty nice for a "city" vacation; the City Museum is pretty awesome.
    Ditto. Lots of free & cheap museums in St. Louis, mostly in the Forest Park area. The Zoo is free, too. We haven't been to City Museum yet, but your kids are the perfect ages for Magic House.
  • I won't cruise with my kids yet, because I am too neurotic. I don't think I could relax
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  • We loved cruising before we had kids and we're going on our 1st with the kids this spring.  DD will have just turned 4 and DS will be almost 2.  At their ages I know it might be a little rough, but I think you'd have a great time with your kids.  There is so much to do at the kids clubs.  It's not just daycare or free play, they have all sorts of activities, games, crafts, ect.  There are plenty of family activities, plus family dinners, pool time, beach days, ect.  We're doing Carnival which is pretty reasonable.  You should be able to get a decent deal, especially if you're willing to do an inside cabin. 
  • Since you are from TN, have you taken them to Dollywood?  DH and I honeymooned in Sieverville and we are going back this April and bringing DS this time.  He will be 4 by then.
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  • Thanks for all the ideas. I think I will make DH sit down with me and talk about this. He says he doesn't really care. I plan, he'll drive.

    I ready am leaning more toward Chattanooga. Maybe that is because I am just IN LOVE with that place and would love to just uproot us and move there right now with a look back. I would accrual like to make that a yearly family tradition, if the while family ends up liking it.

    I am not a beach person. I like the mountains. When the kids are a little older, we might make the horrible drive to the beach, but I don't think we dare yet. Yes, I know a cruise would be just as long as a drive, but I thought it might be worth it.

    After taking with some coworkers, though, I just don't think I want to travel too far from home while the kids are young.

    Especially not if we're also trying to buy a house right now too. Don't want to overload our plate.
  • groovygrlgroovygrl member
    edited January 2014
    What about Asheville/Boone NC if you really like the mountains? Just for a change of scene, new place...

    I'm sort of curious about the not traveling far from home when the kids are young, aren't they 4 & 7? What is the concern (assuming no medical issues)? IMO taking them different places starting at young ages will make them more open to travel, experiencing new things & seeing new places, but that is just my .02.
  • ambrvan said:
    Thanks for all the ideas. I think I will make DH sit down with me and talk about this. He says he doesn't really care. I plan, he'll drive. I ready am leaning more toward Chattanooga. Maybe that is because I am just IN LOVE with that place and would love to just uproot us and move there right now with a look back. I would accrual like to make that a yearly family tradition, if the while family ends up liking it. I am not a beach person. I like the mountains. When the kids are a little older, we might make the horrible drive to the beach, but I don't think we dare yet. Yes, I know a cruise would be just as long as a drive, but I thought it might be worth it. After taking with some coworkers, though, I just don't think I want to travel too far from home while the kids are young. Especially not if we're also trying to buy a house right now too. Don't want to overload our plate.
    If you don't like the beach I don't think you'd like a cruise.  The boat stops near beaches.  We used to do fun excursions like bike, hike, and kayak, but with kids we'll just be doing beach days and a day at Disney when we stop at Port Canaveral 
  • rsd12rsd12 member
    edited January 2014
    We love the beach, and we have driven 12+ hours to go to the outer banks and loved every minute of it!

    My kids are pretty easy (4, 6, and 7) and we just traveled to visit family by car 18 hours away ; ).

    I loved cruising before kids, have no desire to do it with kids. I just don't think we would all enjoy it right now.

    This past summer we traveled to New Hampshire about a 2 hour drive and spent the week hiking and the boys loved it! It was the best of both worlds, the place we stayed had a pool (I prefer the sun and water) and the kids were worn out from the hiking.

    Boy 1 2/06 - Boy 2 12/07 - Boy 3 9/09
  • On my itinerary so far is the aquarium, children's discovery museum, rock city, ruby falls, incline railway... We would also make time to play at the river park (kind of an underground waterfall park for the kids to swim and play right on the riverside), walk across the walking bridge to the other side of the river (long walk), and pay at Coolidge park (dancing water fountains) and ride the free carousel. I picked all this with lodging for four days and three nights and 2 adult tickets and 2 children's tickets to ask if the above that require them at less than $700. Add in gas and food (complimentary breakfast at the hotel), and we're looking at a steal. I tried talking to H about vacation last night, and he said whatever I want. So Chattanooga it is.

    There are so many different eating venues, different types of restaurants (vaudeville cafe is a must experience audience interactive dinner theater appropriate for all ages), and the southern belle (romantic or family lunch and dinner cruises).

    The art museum is wonderful. Chicamauga is a really cool civil war battle ground with a neat museum and one of the largest reenactments is held in November with like 10000 soldiers. Then of course you have tons of camping and river rafting experiences available.

    The Huffington Post listed Chattanooga as one of the top family destinations in an article I found a few weeks ago. I dare say it was number one, but don't quote me
    on that.

    Yes, I would love to move there. But unfortunately, my H would never go anywhere. So since I have found a wonderful job here, as long as I can find my perfect secluded home, I can make myself content here (I'm not from here myself).
  • you're convincing me to take my family there for a long weekend if it were a little closer to us...lol!  sounds like a super fun trip.
  • ambrvanambrvan member
    edited January 2014
    Chattanooga Fun is an awesome site to see what all the city has to offer. You can sign up for their newsletter, also, to get the latest on seasonal attractions and festivals and such. They are a very busy city from the sounds of it, but still not so urban. My perfect combo. So interesting, but still quiet. When I went there before I met DH, I spoke with a lot of the people who lived there and asked what they liked and didn't like. I never got a single negative response. We just happened, all coincidentally, to be visiting when they were reopening the driving bridge that spanned the river downtown. So on our last day there, there was a HUGE festival with street vendors, floating bands, awesome restaurant deals and store sales (lots of little independent, small businesses that are locally owned). A couple of locals kind of gave us the run down of all the improvements that Chat has made to the city and area in general. They said it used to be pretty run down, but when they began to campaign to revamp the downtown riverside, it ended up revamping the entire area. Everyone seemed really pleased and was super friendly.

    So I came here for vacation ideas, and ended up going with what I had in my mind already. Thanks for helping me agree with myself. lol
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