Travel Insight: How to Have Luxury, Education, and Fun In Your Travels with Kids

October 25, 2012 Leigh Powell Hines

How to Have Luxury, Education, and Fun in Travels with Kids

I talk a lot about luxury vacations here on Skimbaco. It’s my travel beat. Yes, I love posh hotels, spas that pamper, traditional afternoon tea, and farm-fresh foods that delight the foodie gourmet. But, please … I’m not dripping in diamonds and dropping $100 bills everywhere I go.

Far from it.

Sometimes, I think people don’t pursue a luxury experience because they think it is unobtainable or not affordable.

I live a very simple lifestyle in Raleigh, North Carolina. I have two children, and, truthfully, life can be kind of chaotic on most days and very far from luxurious. But I try to put a little luxury in our outings as well as education and fun. Why? Because it makes me happy.

Fun

As Katja mentioned, now is the time for outdoor outings before it gets too cold. Fall is the perfect time for pumpkins, outdoor concerts, and the N.C. State Fair.

The NC State Fair

Education

OK. A State Fair may not be a luxurious destination by a textbook definition, but by the time one pays for rides, games, and treats, the outing will rival a luxury price tag. And, of course, the fair has lots of educational components, which I think are extremely important for children.

My kids loved seeing craftsmen at work. North Carolina is known for its pottery. A little town called Seagrove in the eastern Piedmont is known as the pottery capital. These potters create true treasures.

Seagrove Pottery in North Carolina

And, well, the fun just comes naturally at the State Fair. Ride after ride.

Luxury

I recently completed a 10-day detox/cleanse, and I simply decided not to partake in fried Oreos or roasted turkey legs on this outing. Instead, I indulged on a freshly made, homemade mini white chocolate baguette from a local French bakery for our late afternoon snack. Yes, anything French adds a little “ooh la la” luxury to an agricultural event. It was worth the calories, too.

So, this mama fought crowds, stood in line, and smelled stinky farm animals. It was time to end this affair and add some more indulgence and luxury to our experience.

NC State Fair and Busy Bee Cafe in Raleigh, NC

We walked straight past the food midway and went for the charm of a local eatery in downtown Raleigh. The Busy Bee café does not have a children’s menu, and we did not care. We didn’t go there for a children’s menu. We went there for the atmosphere, experience, and delicious homemade food. My children are learning that there is an eating world outside of children’s chicken tenders, even though neither one of them tried my Mediterranean Cous Cous. They are learning to soak up the atmosphere, enjoy their surroundings, and seek new experiences.

My son even ordered a salad with his burger. OK. I admit that my daughter only ate hand-cut potato fries, but my children were still happy. We were happy, and they loved the fact that my husband and I were taking them to places that we used to go to only when we had a sitter, and left them at home.

Well, not any more. I’ve finally decided that it is possible to experience luxury, education, and fun in my outings with my kids right now, instead of waiting until they are grown to really start living. We’re living life to the fullest together as a family, and I love exposing them to some of the finer things in life at a young age.

 

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Leigh Powell Hines

Leigh Powell Hines, a former TV Journalist/Communications Executive, combined motherhood and her journalism experience and started The Hines-Sight Blog to inspire parents to pack their bags for family travels in and around North Carolina, where she resides. Leigh knows the best in family travel, but as a parent in her mid-forties, she seeks out restaurants and hotels that adults can enjoy, too. Luxury hotels are Leigh’s passion, and she is ready to travel the world, one luxury hotel at a time. Connect with Leigh on Twitter @Hinessightblog, Facebook and check out Hines-Sight Blog on Pinterest.

Comments (5)

  1. Chantal

    Great article Leigh! Its true, there are a lot of ways to enjoy local attractions that are educational and fun. I love the idea of trying to add in a little grown up luxury now and then too even WITH the kids in tow. I will confess though that I sent my husband to the Utah State Fair with the kids when I was out of town…So Brava, my friend, brava, for facing the fair!

  2. Satu Vänskä-Westgarth

    I love this post Leigh! We’ve been doing kind of the same thing with our little one from the start, combining travel, outdoors, fun and sometimes bit of luxury (not as often as you do!). I’d like to add the education part too, but at 11 months she’s so small that I suppose the lessons learned are small too. But for sure she has already learned to be comfortable with new people, she doesn’t seems to be thrown off by new places and yeah, she does travel like a pro! :)

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