This family vacation planning post has been brought to you by The Motherhood and MiniTime….
Search online, ask Facebook friends for suggestions, tweet for recommendations… does this sound familiar when you are planning your vacation or a trip?
Then after you’ve made a decision on where you are going, you research for reviews on places to stay, where the reviews may or may not take into consideration on whether you have kids and the ages of your children.
Next, you go to the hotel/condo/resort site to book it. Then you look for activities and events that may be going on near where you will be staying and look for kid-friendly restaurants in the area.
Shew. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired already, and we still have to pack, have mail delivery stopped, line up a pet or house sitter if you can’t take your pet(s), clean out the fridge…
Who has time for all that? Not me.
I recently heard about this great site called MiniTime that allows you to plan kid-friendly vacations. Planning a trip is just unnecessarily difficult but MiniTime takes the hassle out of trip planning. Especially for families. It would be nice to plan a vacation that you know wll be a perfect fit for your family.
You can with MiniTime. You don’t have to wade through reviews after reviews trying to find if a place is good for families… you can actually get recommendations from parents just like you, with kids the same age as yours. And you can even book your hotel right there on the MiniTime site. A one-shop stop.
I love that I can find destinations solely based on my son’s age. He is 10-years-old so I know that I can find accommodations and activities, etc., that will be appropriate for a 10-year-old.
You do not need to sign up to MiniTime to search for reviews, etc., but you can get much more out of MiniTime if you do. I signed up using my email, but you can sign up using Facebook. And even share your trips with your friends on Facebook.
I have been checking the site out over the last few days and I’ve found it to be user-friendly. Easy to navigate.
MiniTime’s algorithm sorts results by age and destination. This means I can find destinations, activities, etc., that will be appropriate for my son’s age. I can read reviews from other parents just like me, with kids in my son’s age range. I know I would much rather have reviews and opinions from a community of like-minded parents.
MiniTime is a relatively new site, but the more travel planners use it, the more expanded the site will get. Currently there are over 1,000 hand-picked destinations, accommodations, and attractions on the site… but I was able to participate in a webinar recently with CEO John Smelzer, of MiniTime, and he says that they are working hard to ensure that they include all locations.
We will be going on vacation in a couple of weeks (I already booked our condo before hearing about MiniTime) to North Myrtle Beach and I am planning sites to see, and activities to do on MiniTime right now. We will be staying at Ocean Creek Resorts, this will be the fourth time staying there, so I can already give a review, however, I’m waiting till I get back, so I can give a more accurate review regarding staying there with a 10 year old.
Since Ocean Creek wasn’t reviewed yet on MiniTime, I put it on my Wish List… I’ll add my rating for the resort and a review, so when other parents are planning a trip to N. Myrtle, they can see if Ocean Creek Resorts would be right for them.
Although I am trying to count calories and watch what I eat, I pretty much throw that out the window while on vacation. So I’m excited to try some new restaurants that I found with good reviews and kid-friendly.
MiniTime conducted a survey on family travel and found:
- In 90% of households, moms are the key decision makers for vacations
- One in three parents consult more than nine online resources
- More than half of parents are spending nine or more hours planning a vacation
- 63% of parents would like to save time by researching and booking on the same website
- 88% of parents trust recommendations from parents with kids the same ages
- 65% trust sites offering comparative pricing from multiple online travel agents
In our home it really is more 50-50. We do consult at least nine online resources before finally deciding on our destination, accommodations, etc. I would say we spend a considerable amount of time on planning a vacation, too. I would love a one stop site, where I can find all the info I need on making our vacation plans and be able to book our hotel/condo stay. I’m definitely in the 88% of parents who trust recommendations from other parents will children the same age as mine. I also like sites that offer comparative pricing of online travel agents.
Check out these MiniTime features…
- Over 1000 hand-picked destinations, accommodations and attractions, recommended for your family based on the ages of your kids
- Detailed kid friendly amenity lists
- Maps showing proximity of kid-friendly accommodations and attractions
- Reviews from parents with kids the same age as yours
- Tools to help you plan, book and share
What makes MiniTime different from other travel sites?
- MiniTime is the only site 100% dedicated to family travel, with recommendations based on the ages of your kids.
- Only MiniTime combines:
- travel recommendations based on the ages of your children
- expert travel advice
- a community of like-minded parents
- powerful user tools to help parents plan, book, and share their family travel experiences
I am really liking what MiniTime has to offer me when it comes to trip planning and I’m looking forward to adding my own reviews along with photos and tips of our trip in a couple of weeks. MiniTime is perfect for me, since I’m a ‘planner’. Besides, traveling with kids isn’t always an easy task and having a site like MiniTime will make vacation planning so much easier.
I think you will find MiniTime to be helpful to you, too.
If you would like to learn more about MiniTime, please join me at the MiniTime Twitter party:
When: Thursday, June 6, at 1 p.m. ET (the party will last one hour)
Where: We’ll be on Twitter – follow the #MiniTime hashtag to track the conversation. You can see the details and RSVP via this Twtvite: http://twtvite.com/MiniTime
Prizes: We will be giving away five awesome prizes to random participants who answer the trivia questions correctly. Four winners will receive a $75 VISA gift card and a MiniTime hoodie. And one grand prize winner will receive a $100 VISA gift card and a MiniTime hoodie.
Hosts: @theMotherhood, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann
TweetGrid for the party: http://bit.ly/11j7vQP
Your fellow co-hosts:
Melissa, Sippy Cup Mom – @SippyCupMom
Mickey, A Helicopter Mom – @ahelicoptermom
Penelope, Penelope’s Oasis – @_PenelopeNYC
Caryn, Rockin’ Mama – @rockinmama
Crystal, Simply Being Mommy – @simplybeingmom
Donna, Blog by Donna – @DonnaChaffins
Shannon, The Mommy-Files – @themommyfiles
Judy, Veggie Mom – @judy511
I hope to see you there!
Where are you and your family going on vacation this summer?
Disclosure: This is a partnered post with The Motherhood and MiniTime. All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from yours. I will only endorse companies, products and services that I believe, based on my own experiences, are worthy of endorsement.