Family Travel Planning

How It Works

Flytographer

Engage Our Expert Family Travel Advisors

We work with families who could plan their vacation by themselves, but would rather not. Our clients realize that pulling experts into the process saves time and money, and most importantly, ensures that their vacation is designed around their unique needs and preferences.

Step 1

Getting Acquainted

Fill out our contact form and one of our highly qualified Family Travel Advisors will set up an introductory call with you. We will discuss your family’s travel style, vacation preferences, specific needs, and interests so that we can begin to craft the perfect family vacation.

  • Every itinerary we plan is 100% customizable.
  • We handle all the details, allowing you to get back to your busy life.
Boy balancing between doorway
Laurel Perry

Frequently Asked Questions

We are a highly trained group of travel professionals who are passionate about the value of exploring the world with children of all ages. When our Advisors aren’t busy designing memorable vacations for CB! clients, they’re on the road, often with their children. They are scouring the globe throughout the year, vetting new destinations, accommodations, suppliers and activities in order to share their firsthand experiences and tips with our clients. As a whole, CB! staff members have traveled to all seven continents with kids!

Our service is geared toward families who would rather not spend hours reading hotel and activity reviews, and instead want to key into the guidance and inside knowledge of a trip planner. Some clients come to us with loads of ideas and information, while others just have a few destinations or experiences in mind. We are equally at ease in both situations and we pride ourselves on our ability to listen, understand what you’re after and then design a vacation itinerary that knocks it out of the park. In terms of budget, we’re a great fit for clients who prefer 4- and 5-star quality accommodations and are willing to spend a bit more for high-quality, kid-friendly private activities and tours.

Traveling without the kids? We can help with adult vacations also! Some of our clients’ children have grown before our very eyes, and are now in college or starting careers of their own. Yet we’re still planning their parents’ travel and we love doing it! We can also help with babymoons, honeymoons, girlfriend trips, guys’ getaways and couples-only or solo travel.

Our complete trip planning service starts at $450 per family for a weeklong trip. Pricing for longer trips and multiple families/large groups is quoted on request. The trip planning fee compensates us for the time and research involved in the planning process. This fee includes destination advice; a complete, customized itinerary; recommending and reserving all accommodations; booking private tours, guides and classes; activity and sightseeing suggestions; and arranging car rental and private transfers. There are some routes where we can book flights and trains.

Ciao Bambino partners with the top family travel brands and a robust list of vetted suppliers, most of whom we know by name and who know and value our relationship. Our Advisors have access to insider information and exclusive experiences only available to our agency. Ciao Bambino is also a Virtuoso member, giving us incredible value and perks to pass on to families who book through us. For families who don’t want a full itinerary, we can help book standalone accommodations for free or at a reduced rate. Similarly, we can often book cruises and group tours and help clients compare options for a reduced fee.

Some of the more fluid details of a trip are not included in order to give families more flexibility while on vacation. For example, we can advise about public transport options but don’t handle bookings. And while we don’t specialize in restaurant recommendations, we will make suggestions when we have firsthand knowledge. We’re happy to make a personal introduction to your hotel concierge in advance of your stay in order for them to arrange any dining reservations or entrance tickets.

Step 2

Reviewing Initial Plans

Your CB! Travel Advisor will present options for the flow of the trip and top accommodation recommendations to get the major details in place, all based on your stated preferences for time of year, destination, budget, ages and interests.

  • We filter through all noise for you and only present what suits your family best.
  • We have access to exclusive travel resources and we know what works for families.
Three siblings running in street
Loren Braunohler

Frequently Asked Questions

Because every itinerary we design is tailored specifically for each client, and because there are so many variables with regard to destinations and time of year, the timeline can vary. We work as efficiently as possible to source accommodations, craft the itinerary and handle all necessary bookings. At the start of the planning process, your trip planner will go over the expected timeline with you.

In general, the average planning process takes 4 to 8 weeks from initial call to final itinerary. It’s important that clients make decisions quickly, however, as availability at hotels and for popular activities goes quickly, especially in peak travel periods.

We are very transparent that commissions earned via accommodation bookings are a big part of our financial model. However, if you let us know upfront that your hotels are already booked and that you don’t need assistance with this piece of the planning process, we can create activity-only itineraries in certain markets. Your trip planner will discuss a custom planning fee with you in more detail based on your needs.

If you know when and where you are going and only want help with accommodation recommendations and booking, we’ll ask you to provide us with all the relevant details, like dates, room configuration requirements, amenity preferences, etc. An initial proposal of options from within the CB! Hotel Collection is free; for more time-intensive requests that require sourcing options from a more robust list of vetted suppliers, a research fee will be quoted on request.

All of our accommodation suppliers are vetted, both those on and off our website. We try to experience much of what we recommend firsthand. At many properties, we can secure great perks only available to families who book their stay through us. These are just some of the many reasons working with us is invaluable!

The simple answer is no, we do not use mass booking websites for home and apartment rentals that do not vet their inventory. We’ve simply heard too many horror stories of these properties not living up to their promise, or last-minute cancellations that leave families with no place to go and very little recourse to compensate them.

However, we do have a well-developed network of property rental management companies in many popular markets around the world. Let us know upfront if a home or apartment rental is your preferred lodging choice, and we’ll do our best to fulfill that through our favorite partners who stand by the quality of their product and take excellent care of our clients.

We can book rooms on behalf of our clients via the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program. If you plan on using points via American Express or any other brand to book rooms, please let us know this at the beginning of the process. We are unable to book these on your behalf.

Step 3

Enhancing Your Experience

Once your itinerary structure is in place, we recommend activities, classes and experiences from our exclusive list of kid-friendly suppliers, developed over the last decade, to make your trip incredible. We want you to maximize every moment of your vacation, but also understand that often this means allocating free time to relax. We deliver lasting memories for every member of the family.

  • You get one-on-one advice from our experts.
  • You can feel confident knowing your vacation will be full of age-appropriate activities that are lots of fun for everyone.
Father and daughter skiing

Frequently Asked Questions

The reason we customize every single trip we plan, instead of using off-the-shelf itineraries, is because we know each family has a different style and pace of travel. Some of our clients want to be busy from morning until night. If that’s the case, we’ll keep you moving and pack your itinerary with great activities. But most families want free time incorporated into a trip in order to make it truly feel like a vacation and not a sightseeing grind.

We’re happy to combine your top must-do activities along with dedicated blocks of time to experience a destination in an unplanned, more serendipitous way. We can make suggestions for how you might fill this allocated downtime. Or we can simply book you at the resort with the best pool for afternoon lounging, if that’s more your speed.

Our service truly shines when it comes to the unique needs of multigenerational or multi-family trips. Let us handle all the complicated details that often arise when groups travel together. The general rule, though, is that the more people who join the trip, the more planning hours are required for customized itineraries. For example, finding kid-friendly accommodations that have enough space plus availability is more time-consuming than booking a single room for a family of four. A larger group also means a greater volume of questions and requests, whether those come from various people or are funneled through a single person.

We are more than happy to handle all of this and we love doing it, but we consistently find that the amount of time needed for bigger groups justifies a higher planning fee. Reach out to us and we’ll quote a custom rate for your particular group.

For general sightseeing and non-guided activity experiences, we let families book their own entrance tickets in order to maximize flexibility. We’re also happy to connect clients with their hotel concierge to make these arrangements in advance of a trip.

Most of our vetted activity providers arrange entrance tickets in advance of private guided tours or experiences, in which case we will help with those arrangements. If you need assistance with hard-to-get tickets, like sporting events or concerts, we’re happy to make those arrangements through our ticket broker partners.

Step 4

Finalizing Your Itinerary

Review and approve your fully custom itinerary, and then sit back and enjoy the vacation of a lifetime! Keep in touch, let us know how it went and share your vacation photos. We value your feedback and reward our loyal CB! Travelers.

  • We deliver a comprehensive itinerary; all you need to handle is the travel itself!
  • We take all the headaches out of planning a trip, saving our clients time, money and stress.
Silhouettes on the beach at sunset

Frequently Asked Questions

Please be aware that if you change the number of people traveling, dates, accommodation options, etc., this requires us to start the planning process almost from scratch. While we are happy to do this, please note we charge an additional fee for the revision and we cannot be held accountable for any cancellation fees associated with these changes. At the end of the planning process, we will ask you to sign off on the final itinerary. Please review all of the information very carefully against your confirmation documents and correspondence.

Any changes or updates after you sign off on the itinerary must be made directly with the hotel or service provider. Ciao Bambino cannot be held liable for any cancellation or no-show charges. We recommend that you confirm the meeting place and time with private guides or other service providers 48 hours in advance.

Because we are a small boutique agency that caters to independent travelers, we are not set up to handle 24/7, real-time support while on vacation. Our itinerary is typically the final deliverable for our service. However, for clients who want added support during their trip, we are happy to partner with our favorite suppliers who have local offices and staff available around the clock to assist with last-minute changes or emergencies.

We have an exceptional return rate of repeat customers who come to us again and again for their travel planning needs. We see our Advisor-to-client relationship as a long-term investment in helping you create phenomenal travel memories with your children, from infancy to college. Many of our vendors allocate special perks and incentives for our repeat clients.

Once we know your family’s travel preferences, style and dream destinations, we can keep you in mind for special promotions, sales and availability that suppliers share with us. The savings in time, money and planning stress multiplies each time you utilize our expertise. Many of our clients say they’ll never travel without our help again!

Meet Our Happy Travelers

Wendy's family vacation in Rome

Wendy's Family Vacation in Rome

“We have loved using Ciao Bambino. Megan is so knowledgeable and has great recommendations. Her travel experience gives great insight on family-friendly activities. We will definitely be contacting Megan again.”

  • Destination

    Rome

  • Children’s Ages

    12, 9

  • Memorable Moment

    Private Vatican tour

  • Duration

    9 days, 8 nights

Itinerary Highlights

  • Pizza and gelato making class
  • Gladiator experience
  • Golf cart tour of Rome
  • Private Vatican tour
  • Treasure hunt around the Colosseum
Stephanie's family vacation in Costa Rica

Stephanie's Family Vacation in Costa Rica

“Overall, loved, loved, loved our trip to Costa Rica planned with Laurel Perry! The planning help and words of wisdom made all the difference. We are so excited to plan Iceland for next June!”

  • Destination

    Arenal, Manuel Antonio

  • Children’s Ages

    14, 12

  • Memorable Moment

    Volcano sky walk tour

  • Duration

    8 days, 7 nights

Itinerary Highlights

  • Ziplining
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Tortilla making lesson
  • Volcano sky walk tour
  • Boogie boarding
  • Pre-arranged private transfers
Sally's family vacation in Iceland

Sally's Family Vacation in Iceland

“The trip was amazing! And so well planned. We couldn't be happier with our vacation. Overall, the trip exceeded our expectations.”

  • Destination

    South Coast, Golden Circle

  • Children’s Ages

    4, 6, 8

  • Memorable Moment

    Geothermal baths

  • Duration

    5 days, 4 nights

Itinerary Highlights

  • Lava cave tour
  • Amphibian boat ride
  • Glacier tour
  • Geothermal baths
  • Waterfall hike
Shanan's family vacation in Italy

Shanan's Family Vacation in Italy

“Katy made our travel dreams come true! We planned a 20-day trip to Italy. She was beyond on top of it. Our trip was perfectly tailored to our interests and needs. It was amazing, smooth and easy!”

  • Destination

    Tuscany, Italian Riviera, Rome

  • Children’s Ages

    5, 7

  • Memorable Moment

    Family pasta-making class

  • Duration

    20 days, 19 nights

Itinerary Highlights

  • Boat tour of Cinque Terre
  • Kid-friendly winery tour
  • Golf cart tour of Rome
  • Family pasta-making class
  • Pre-arranged train tickets
  • Well-located villa and apartment rentals
Holly and Jon's family vacation in New Zealand

Holly and Jon's Family Vacation in New Zealand

“Thank you for planning such a wonderful trip. It was perfectly laid out with gorgeous hotel options and doable driving times, and we loved all of the activities and experiences you planned for us.”

  • Destination

    Christchurch, Franz Josef Glacier, Queenstown, Te Anau, Dunedin, Lake Tekapo

  • Children’s Ages

    13, 10

  • Memorable Moment

    Catamaran cruise through a fjord

  • Duration

    19 days, 18 nights

Itinerary Highlights

  • Helicopter tour of a glacier
  • River jet boat ride
  • Glowworm cave tour
  • Swimming with New Zealand-specific species of dolphins in open ocean
  • Stayed in a luxury forest retreat
  • Guided forest hike
  • Catamaran cruise through a fjord
  • Wildlife tour of sea lions, albatross, and penguins
Jennifer's family vacation in Germany

Jennifer's Family Vacation in Germany

“The trip was awesome! We had such a great time in all locations. All the tours were fabulous. Thank you so much for everything you did to create an incredible trip for us!”

  • Destination

    Berlin, Munich, Rothenburg, Garmisch

  • Children’s Ages

    13, 10

  • Memorable Moment

    Hotel stay in an ancient German fortress

  • Duration

    11 days, 10 nights

Itinerary Highlights

  • Bavarian chocolate making lesson and tasting with a master chocolatier
  • Private guided tour of Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Walking tour of Berlin's arts district
  • Hotel stay in an ancient German fortress
  • Resort stay in the Bavarian mountains
Kunal's family vacation in Cuba

Kunal's Family Vacation in Cuba

“Overall, the trip was amazing. The on-the-ground partners were top-notch. The villa Mandy booked was the highlight of our trip. It blew our minds — location was perfect, very spacious.”

  • Destination

    Havana

  • Children’s Ages

    14, 18

  • Memorable Moment

    Musical drumming lesson

  • Duration

    5 days, 4 nights

Itinerary Highlights

  • Salsa lessons
  • Private tour of Ernest Hemingway-related locations
  • Ride in a classic car
  • Airport assistance through immigration and customs
  • Musical drumming lesson
  • Shopping in local market with a guide
Renata's family vacation in France

Renata's Family Vacation in France

“I couldn't have been happier with Natalie. There is no way I could have pulled everything together like she did. We had a once-in-a-lifetime, memorable experience that we will never forget!”

  • Destination

    Paris, Normandy, Provence, St. Tropez

  • Children’s Ages

    10, 12

  • Memorable Moment

    Day trip to Mont-Saint-Michel

  • Duration

    16 days, 15 nights

Itinerary Highlights

  • Guided bike tour through Paris
  • Tour of D-Day sites in Normandy
  • Portrait painting in Montmartre
  • Eiffel Tower tour
  • Day trip to Mont-Saint-Michel
Ryan's multigenerational family trip to the Netherlands and Italy

Ryan's Multigenerational Family Trip to The Netherlands and Italy

“You helped us create so many family memories that will be talked about, laughed about and remembered for years to come. Thank you for listening to us, advising us and creating such a great itinerary.”

  • Destination

    Venice, Rome, Tuscany, Rotterdam, Amsterdam

  • Children’s Ages

    1, 4

  • Memorable Moment

    Tour of the tulip fields in the Netherlands

  • Duration

    16 days, 15 nights

Itinerary Highlights

  • Seeing the major sites in Italy
  • Private chef cooking dinner at their Tuscan villa
  • Day trip to Cinque Terre for the grandparents
  • Seeing the Vatican before it opens to the public
  • Private tour of the Colosseum
  • Tour of the tulip fields in the Netherlands
Samantha's family vacation to the United Kingdom

Samantha's Family Vacation to the United Kingdom

“We had such a lovely trip! So many good memories and our schedule was perfect for us, just the right balance of downtime and adventure. We won't hesitate to recommend Ciao Bambino's services.”

  • Destination

    Edinburgh, Perthshire, Devon (Scotland and England)

  • Children’s Ages

    3

  • Memorable Moment

    Historic steam train ride

  • Duration

    10 days, 9 nights

Itinerary Highlights

  • Room upgrades at castle hotels
  • Historic steam train ride
  • Sleeper train reservations
  • Countryside exploration advice
  • 4x4 vehicle rental
Jim's family vacation in Norway

Jim's Family Vacation in Norway

“This trip was a perfect way to experience a first time in Norway. Tour guides were personal, helpful and engaging for the entire family.”

  • Destination

    Oslo, Alesund, Balestrand, Bergen

  • Children’s Ages

    9, 12

  • Memorable Moment

    Funicular ride to the top of a mountain

  • Duration

    8 days, 7 nights

Itinerary Highlights

  • Sea safari boat tour of fjords with private dinner
  • Tour of Bergen including lively fish market
  • Tour of Viking ship
  • Visit to Vigeland Sculpture Park
  • Funicular ride to the top of a mountain
  • Pre-loaded GPS with interesting stops along the way programmed in
Renata's family vacation in France

Kim's Multi-Family Vacation in France and Spain

“My family has described our trip as amazing and life changing. Thank you so much for making this journey not only possible but also a memory of a lifetime.”

  • Destination

    Barcelona, Paris

  • Children’s Ages

    21, 17, 13, 2

  • Memorable Moment

    Spacious apartment rental in central Paris

  • Duration

    8 days, 7 nights

Itinerary Highlights

  • Visited highlights of Barcelona by private car
  • Private art museum tours with kid-friendly guide in Paris
  • Prearranged airport transfers for large family group
  • Spacious apartment rental in central Paris
  • Personalized sightseeing recommendations
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