Travelling with family can be one of the most fulfilling experiences. The bond of friendship that develops between family members as they embark on a journey together makes it more beautiful. And for those planning family trips, there is one question: Where are we goin'? To answer this question, we chat with Kathryn Romeyn, seasoned journalist, editor, and copywriter with expertise in travel, design, wellness, and other lifestyle topics. We can see her contributions in Travel+ Leisure, Architectural Digest and Hollywood Reporter and more. She also launched and co-hosts Conscious Traveler, a podcast devoted to travel tales and interviews with change-makers who focus on sustainability, community, and culture. Here, Romeyn shares with us her top five family-friendly destinations.
Kathryn Romeyn's Top 5 Family Destinations:
1) Bali, Indonesia
I’m biased since we now live in Bali full-time, having moved from Los Angeles earlier this year, but I’m convinced there is no better place to bring little ones. It’s like a signature trait in the Balinese to love children. At every hotel we visit, the staff all ask and remember our daughter’s name, play peekaboo with her, and go out of their way to make our stay seamless. I’ve never seen someone so enthusiastic to hang out with a toddler than the staff at Jumeirah Bali’s kid's club. At Amankila, one staff member dug our daughter a giant hole on the beach for a “swimming pool,” while another built sandcastles with her. And at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, they gifted her with a tiny Balinese sarong-style skirt and batik stuffed fish that she’s obsessed with. The island’s natural beauty is like a playground for kids and all the critters are so intriguing.
2) Healdsburg, California
It might sound surprising to recommend visiting wine country with kids, but this Sonoma County town is actually incredible for families. There are beautiful places to stay with kids' amenities such as Montage Healdsburg, a sweet walkable town, fun outside pursuits, and also wineries – Bricoleur especially – that have farm animals and other cute distractions. We went when our daughter was still an infant, but after such a positive experience are excited to return.
In our daughter’s first year we visited Hawaii twice since we found it to be such a positive and beautiful environment for babies and children. The island of Hawaii is our favourite since it’s slower, less busy, and has super-diverse landscapes thanks to the volcanoes. The aunties and uncles were so sweet to our baby, playing the ukulele and singing her songs in Hawaiian. Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection, is the most epic resort for families, with enriching and beautiful kids club experiences that tap into local culture. I still dream about the food, too.
4) South Africa
There is so much to do in South Africa – world-class safaris and wildlife, incredible cuisine and markets, spectacular hiking, stunning beaches, breathtaking road trips, surfing – that it captivates the entire family. We visited penguins on the beach, played in lagoons at Pringle Bay, explored the dreamy farm Babylonstoren, and hiked through botanical gardens. The country is truly heavenly, and we all slept so well at night, exhausted from all the fresh air and fun. The highlight of our recent trip was letting our daughter sit amongst a mob of habituated lemurs at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, where The Motse camp also boasts the most marvellous full-time childminder who would steal her to the spa for cookies and pampering from the staff.
5) Punta Mita, Mexico
There is so much to love about Mexico as a country, but the Riviera Nayarit in particular is a really wonderful place to be with little kids. Punta Mita is super safe, the beaches are friendly, and at the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita they’re so tuned into making things easy for parents with little touches like setting up a Pack ’n Play for our daughter at the pool, so we could relax without worrying she’d fall in.
Images provided by Kathryn Romeyn.