Traveling with kids can be exhausting to even think about, especially if they are young. The sooner you start traveling with your kids, however, they will grow up used to it and with a memory bank full of family experiences. Some of my favorite childhood memories are from family vacations that I’m certain weren’t easy for my parents to pull off, but I am so glad they put the work into doing so.
One huge deterrent to travel for many families is the cost. When you are traveling with kids, your costs immediately multiply. There is no reason you can’t plan family travel with points, however! It may take a little longer to earn enough points to travel with your entire family instead of solo or with your partner, but traveling as a family on points is a great way to make memories without spending a fortune.
Tips for Family Points Travel
Everyone Needs Their Own Frequent Flyer Account
Frequent flyer accounts aren’t just for adults – make sure that as soon as you start buying seats for your children, they are earning miles in their own frequent flyer account. If you don’t sign your kids up for their own accounts right away, you’re missing out on miles you could be earning, which is essentially leaving free money on the table.
Set Travel Goals Early
Since it will take a little longer to earn enough points for your entire family to travel, you will need to start planning ahead early. Talk to your kids and plan your next family trip together, then start strategically earning and saving points to make it happen.
Pool Your Family’s Miles
Unfortunately, it can be a bit of a challenge to find an airline that will allow you family to pool the miles you are each earning individually. If you can find an airline that will let you, however, do it!
Family pooling is a little more common among international airlines than US-based ones, so you should especially look for an airline that allows this if your family frequently travels internationally.
Strive for a Southwest Companion Pass
If you travel domestically quite a bit, and have easy access to Southwest Airlines flights, work on earning a Companion Pass, which allows you to bring someone along on flights for free. If you and your partner each earn a Companion Pass, you could fly with two children for free. This is an especially great option if grandma’s house is accessible by flying Southwest!
Southwest is a favorite airline of many families, as they offer family-friendly perks that make traveling with kids a little easier. Free checked bags, strollers and car seats always fly free, family boarding allows you to get seated (together) a bit early, and free in-flight movies on the Southwest app are just some of those noteworthy perks.
Family Points Travel Destinations
Inspired and ready to start planning a family vacation on points? Here are a few unique destinations to consider packing your family’s bags for.
Families with Elementary Aged Children: London
Sure, the Magic Kingdom is great and all, but imagine your kids’ excitement when you’re standing outside Buckingham Palace and tell them that a REAL queen lives inside?
London is a relatively painless hop across the ocean, especially if your kids are already used to flying. With plenty of options for very reasonable rewards travel to London, your family will be making memories from the top of the London Eye in no time.
Families with Pre-Teens: African Safari
Your animal lovers will lose their minds over a real-life family safari in Africa. Book your flights with points to an African city like Nairobi or Johannesburg, and prepare for a vacation of a lifetime that the entire family won’t ever forget.
While it’s hard to find a branded hotel in the middle of the jungle, consider redeeming your rewards credit card’s flex points to cover your family’s safari lodging if you want to get the full safari experience.
Families with Teenagers: Costa Rica
Costa Rica has it all. From stunning beaches to unique adventure trips, Costa Rica is a great vacation spot for your active teenagers who enjoy an adrenaline rush.
Go zip lining, waterfall chasing, snorkeling, hiking, horseback riding, and more. The main challenge will be trying to keep up with your teens!