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Family travel is a huge part of the miles & points world. Lots of folks get into this hobby because they want to visit family, or they want to vacation with their family.
David, author of Wise Flys, is a family travel expert. So I asked him to share with you his top tips for traveling with a family each week!
After traveling to 10+ countries with a young daughter, I know spending time in airports can be stressful. But there are a few ways you can make your pre-flight experience more enjoyable. For my family, having complimentary airport lounge access puts us at ease and helps us save money!
Airport lounges are terrific for families because they have free Wi-Fi, snacks, less crowded restrooms, entertainment for kids, and comfortable seats.
To access lounges you typically need elite status with an airline or a Business Class or First Class ticket. Some lounges give you access if you purchase a day pass. But it’s possible to get entry just by having a certain travel rewards credit card.
Getting a credit card with complimentary lounge access can actually save you money!
Airport Lounges Are Excellent for Family Travel!
Most airport lounges offer amenities targeted toward frequent flyers. But many perks are great for families too, like:
- Beverages, like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate
- Snacks (and sometimes full meals)
- Showers to refresh before or after a long flight
- Sometimes beds for sleeping
- Entertainment rooms for kids
From experience, I know that hanging in lounges has really helped my daughter rest and relax during long layovers. And it’s helped my wife and I save money because we don’t have to pay for overpriced airport food. In certain lounges, we have enjoyed buffet meals, which can even satisfy a toddler’s picky eating habits.
Some lounges even offer a kid’s entertainment room. My daughter was having so much fun in the Number 1 Lounge in London, that she didn’t want to leave for a connecting flight to Portugal. She still asks if we can go back to the lounge!
As a tip, if you’re planning on spending time in lounges with your young ones, be sure they are respectful of others. Think of the lounge as a nice restaurant. Other lounge guests will definitely appreciate if your kids don’t run around and make lots of noise.
Airport Lounges and the Cards That Can Get You In
Even casual family travelers might consider a travel rewards credit card to get complimentary lounge access. My family enjoys getting access to Priority Pass lounges. This is an independent lounge network with over 1,000 locations around the world.
The benefit of Priority Pass lounges is that you can fly on any airline and access them on the day you fly. But not all Priority Pass memberships are the same. Each one has slightly different rules. Here are popular travel credit cards that come with a Priority Pass membership:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN (personal or small business) – free for the cardholder and up to 2 guests
- Chase Sapphire Reserve – free for the cardholder, and no limit on the number of guests
- Citi Prestige – free for the cardholder, and immediate family or up to 2 guests
- Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express – 10 free airport lounge visits each year
- Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card – free for the cardholder, and no limit on the number of guests
- U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card – 4 entries per year for cardholder and 1 guest, then $27 per person per visit
It’s a good idea to organize your Priority Pass cards if you have multiple memberships. You don’t want to accidentally use the wrong card and end up having to pay for bringing guests!
Keep in mind, your location is important too! You’ll want to check if there’s a lounge at your home airport. And if it’s located close to the airline you normally fly.
When traveling with your family, having airport lounge access is an excellent perk. You can relax in a quiet environment away from the hectic departure gate. And you’ll enjoy amenities like snacks and drinks and Wi-Fi. Some lounges even have dedicated areas for kids.
When traveling with my wife and daughter, I like to use my complimentary Priority Pass membership. There are more than 1,000 lounges that are part of the Priority Pass network. And you can get a free membership just by having a certain credit card!
Do you have a favorite airport lounge that’s ideal for family travelers? Feel free to share in the comments!