The Best Family Travel Tips + Destinations from Kid & Coe

Part of the excitement of a vacation is the anticipation that comes with planning it. Researching where to eat, where to stay, and what to do is almost as fun as actually doing it. We love searching for cool, hidden gems when we travel, which is why we love Kid & Coe. Dubbed the "go-to site for jet-setting parents" by Travel & Leisure, Kid & Coe curates beautifully designed, family-friendly vacation rentals across the globe. From private family homes and vacation rentals to agency partners and hotels, all of their properties are kid-tested and parent-approved. Listings include things like toys, books, bunk beds, cribs, stair gates, scooters etc., so you have less to stress about when you travel and more time for fun. 

We chatted with Zoie Kingsbery Coe, Kid & Coe founder, and got the scoop on her travel tips, tricks, and the best destinations for your next family vacay. Read our Q&A below! 

Fawn Design Blog: Kid & Coe Family Travel Tips

What inspired you to launch Kid & Coe?

I used to travel a lot with my husband, a DJ, and we traveled extensively with our kids when they were younger. We were on tour in Sydney as a family and were fortunate enough to be checking into a nice hotel, planning to base there for an extended period. But within two days we realized it wasn’t going to work for us as a family. When my son, Luca, was asleep at night, we would tiptoe around him in the dark, whispering so we wouldn’t wake him. I think all parents who have stayed in hotel rooms with their kids know this scenario! We realized he wouldn’t be eating any healthy home-cooked meals, and we just needed more space to enjoy our family time together (and alone!).

When I started the process of looking for an apartment to rent, it took days. Most were unsuitable for a young child, so I personally went to check them all out. When we found somewhere that did work, I needed to source a baby equipment rental firm to kit us out with high chairs, stair gates, and the rest. It took a chunk out of our trip just getting to that point.

But then everything opened up. As soon as we were situated, it felt that all of Sydney was our Sydney—we had a base to find local fresh groceries and nearby playgrounds, farmers markets, and cafés.

That’s how it started. From that experience, I realized that staying in a house as a family was a good way to go. Spending too much time going through uninspiring websites looking at uninspiring houses that claimed they were family-friendly made me realize there was a real lack in the market for people who need the space of a home the most. And we try to make Kid & Coe an elegant solution for traveling families.

Fawn Design Blog: Kid & Coe Family Travel Tips

What are some things parents should look for or keep in mind when booking a property for family travel? 

For my family, location is of utmost importance. For a city break, I want to be in close proximity to cafés, museums, and playgrounds, or in a great neighborhood with a farmer's market and local treasures so we can really get into the rhythm of the new destination. For each new property we accept on Kid & Coe, it’s a team question of, “Would we take our own family to visit?”

Fawn Design Blog: Kid & Coe Family Travel Tips

Do you have any tips or tricks for traveling with young children?

My husband teases me, but I start packing about a week prior to the trip. I pull the suitcases out and just start adding things to avoid the last-minute panic of trying to remember everything. I would urge families to try and pack light; I know it’s tough, but you do NOT need a clean pair of jammies for every night you’ll be away.

I always take a baby carrier up to about 2 years old, even if I never use it at home anymore—it's the only thing that has worked for me in the past with an irritable toddler on long-haul flights. I bounce them in the galley with a scarf draped over to block out some of the stimulation when they’re tired.

I pack their backpacks with new, little wrapped toys—small things that will keep their interest (and buy me a little more time until the iPads are handed over). Stacking cups and snacks are your friends for little ones—"hide the raisins" is a great time suck on a long plane ride—and the cups double as sand and bath toys upon arrival. We also bring a fresh pack of markers, sketchbooks, a little watercolor palette, and a deflated soccer ball (with a pump) for my son. I also love the Pack-It cubes to keep their clothes separated and organized within one suitcase.

And the best tip of all—and the EASIEST—when traveling with kids is to just say YES. It’s only a week, so throw the rules out the window and stay up late, do different things, eat lots of ice cream, and have lots of fun. That’s the way it’s meant to be.


Fawn Design Blog: Kid & Coe Family Travel Tips

What are some of your favorite activities to do as a family when you're on vacation? 

I think it’s important to find a place that will keep everyone happy and entertained. For example, we visited Madrid, Spain recently and we were able to mix in a bit of the Prado museum for myself and my artistic daughter, balanced out by a soccer stadium tour for my footy obsessed husband and son. And, of course, we all enjoyed visiting the oldest spot in the city for churros con chocolate caliente (churros with hot chocolate).

I find that a little forward-thinking and planning makes the trip easier with each family member choosing a must-visit or must-do. I am also a firm believer in not over-planning because that can make everybody miserable, most of all mom! Learning to go with the flow is something that I think helps even more when you’re traveling.

Fawn Design Blog: Kid & Coe Family Travel Tips

What's something you always pack in your travel bag for yourself and/or your kiddos? 

Through the years, I have become more minimal with my carry-on packing. I pack a diaper for every two hours plus a few extra. Never underestimate the impact of novelty: think new, little sticker books, Play-Doh, and a lollipop that can be pulled out right when the air pressure changes on the plane. Oh, and we always have Ziploc bags. They come in handy for wet clothes, trash bags, snacks—whatever you need, a Ziploc can help.

Fawn Design Blog: Kid & Coe Family Travel Tips

What are some of your favorite travel destinations for families or travel hot spots for 2019? 

Barcelona provides easy beach life AND culture AND amazing food in spades; it’s a great all-around option that ticks just about every box on the family must-do bucket list. I would stay in in this architect-designed apartment in the vibrant Eixample district—family-friendly and beautifully furnished!

A trip to Cornwall could be combined with a few days sightseeing in London. And in August, London is refreshingly quiet and surprisingly sunny—it’s a great time to visit! I’m always dreaming of simple pleasures these days with my babes, and enjoying a slower pace with salty days spent wading in rockpools sounds dreamy. This charming 3-bedroom, former fisherman’s cottage on the tranquil south coast of Cornwall is a dream for design lovers and it's a 1-minute walk to the beach—and new to the site!

I love Brazil, and South America as a whole is fantastic for travel for Americans.  You’re not too far away, time-zone wise, and the country has such a warm culture that welcomes children.

Australia is also one of my favorite places to go with the kids. It’s a hell of a trip, but once you’re there it’s worth it: amazing fashion, wine, food, and so much to do with kids.

We have loved Portugal recently—it’s a great value, easy to get to, and everybody speaks English!

Additionally, the following properties are featured on the Kid & Coe Summer Edit List, and all would be great options for summer travel: 


Photos: Courtesy of Kid & Coe