Travel

5 Fabulous Tips From Gay Dads for Vacationing with Kids

A family vacation with young kids is harder a vacation at all... unless you head this advice from our seasoned gay dads travelers!

It's the summer holidays, and that means family vacation! Now, vacations with kids under 8 might make you break out in a cold sweat, but we've got some tips for you from fellow gay dads to help make family trips easier. From road travel to flying, to helpful planning hints while away, these dads have got you covered.


Tip #1. Skip Morning Flights! 

Christian and Brad with their 2 year old son, on vacation at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

As frequent flyers before having a kid, Christian and Brad had to get used to the added time everything took at the airport. From checking bags - they rarely did this before becoming dads - TSA screening, boarding... it all took much longer. Here's their tips to avoid the long waiting times:

  • Avoid early mornings flights to skip the rush
  • Get to the airport early, and find the amenities for families. At SFO there are nurseries by the gates with comfy chairs and changing tables and most airports have playgrounds.

"Joe turns 3 in October and has been on 24 flights—we are finally getting the hang of it!"

Tip #2. Pick a Hotel with a Pool

Derek and Asher with their 3 year old son on vacation in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

These dads recently went on a road trip from NYC to Tennessee to visit family. "The highlight of our trip was getting to see our family and spending some important quality time with our son's Grammy, uncle, aunt and cousins. We love getting to take our son to new places, visit family and even some of our favorite places to visit from our childhood!"

Some of their tips for the long road trip:

  • Pick a hotel with a pool. For road trips requiring a hotel stay, always pick one with a pool. An early riser gets to swim before getting in the car.
  • Seemingly spontaneous gifts. We like to pack little wrapped "gifts" that will help keep our son entertained during the traveling. As we notice him getting more antsy we pull out a mini gift.
  • Plan activities. I would also recommend planning activities ahead of time that you know will motivate and excite your little one. Even simple things like stopping for ice cream or pizza can totally be an icing on the cake of a fantastic day!
  • Pack the comforts. Pack your child's favorite stuffed lovelies, blanket and even a pillow to make their travel bed feel as close to home as possible.

Tip #3. Involve Your Kids in the Planning

James and Owen with their three sons on a Disney Fantasy Cruise.

These London dads love to travel and take there three adopted sons to Disney World, on a Disney Cruise or to the Caribbean. With three kids, they definitely have some great tips!

  • Be prepared for waiting time. Have activities for the kids to do from coloring in little travel toys and I hate to say it electronics. Trust me this is when they can keep everyone calm and in the holiday spirit
  • Get the kids to help with the planning. Having the children involved in the holiday planning makes them feel a part of it, and when it's not going to plan they are more with supporting it instead of throwing a wobbly.
  • Schedule in YOU time. Find places where you get a least an hour of your time. We love a Disney vacation or a cruise because we get Daddies time, usually to talk about our boys. Finding a hotel that give you a couple moment is so important for everyone sake.

Tip #4. Bring LOTS of snacks

Duane and DeVere on the recent trip to explore Portugal with their son Reed.

This DC family that love to travel! Their favorite vacation with their son was to Uruguay, and the love to experience new cultures, meeting people whose experiences are different from their own. "We also love to show our son how magical the world is beyond just his day to day experience." Here are some great tips that have worked for them:

  • Bring lots of snacks for flight. You never know when the next meal might be!
  • Build in some good outdoor/ playground/ running-around time each day.
  • Don't overload the itinerary and stay flexible. Don't try to do marathon sightseeing. Intersperse activities with down-time throughout the day.
  • Expose your kids to new sights, smells, tastes and sounds. Reed learned to identify church bells and developed a taste for fresh grilled fish.

Tip #5. Do a test run

Erik and Adam recently went on our first trip with our two baby girls

These dads learned a lot from their first trip with their 19-month-old twins - a road trip to Los Angeles from Phoenix, Arizona.

  • If you're trying anything new during your travels, as in a different sleep set up or different foods, do a test run before you leave so your child can start to adjust before the trip. For example, our girls have slept in their cribs since birth, but we couldn't pack them for our recent trip due to space. So we bought a couple of portable pack-n-plays and had our girls nap in them a couple of days before we left so they could get used to them.
  • Pack a variety of things (like toys, books, etc.) for your little ones and throw in a couple of new items that they haven't seen/played with before. Especially for long road trips, if the kids don't want to nap, you'll need something to keep their attention!

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Photo Essays

Seas the Day! Pics of Gay Dads and Their Kids Beachin' it Up

Our Instagram is FLOODED with cute pics of gay dads at the beach with their kids... Here's some of our favs!

'Tis the sea-sun for some splashy summer pic of queer dads and their kids!

It's hot and that means tons of dads rush to the shores with their kids, resulting in the best Instagram shell-fie pics of the summer. Enjoy these great family photos of fathers enjoying the waves with their kids in the Mediterranean sea, the beaches of Hawaii and along the California coastline.

Seas the day!

Keep reading... Show less
Travel

The Golden Age of Vacationing With Kids

WARNING: BUCKLE UP, YOU'RE ABOUT TO READ WAY TOO MANY GOLDEN GIRLS REFERENCES.

Ever feel like you need a vacation from your family vacation? For years, we did too. But I'm happy to report that we don't anymore. So what caused the big shift? I'll get to that. First, a little background.

For years, taking our son Max on road trips had its fair share of, shall I say, challenges. From New York City to London to San Francisco to Vegas… we traveled down the road and back again. And while we made wonderful memories along the way… these trips weren't entirely wonderful. Whether it was Max's inflexible sleep schedule, his limited food palate, potty training, his disinterest in walking or his inability to fully express himself, it never quite felt like a real vacation because we never got to actually relax. But now that Max is almost nine years old, we decided to give it another go… and so we booked a much-needed respite in Florida with one goal in mind — cheesecake — okay, two goals: we wanted to catch our breath!

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Photo Essays

Sun-sational Pics of Gay Dads Soaking Up Summer Vacation

These gay dad families are soaking every last day of summer. Check out our photo essay of gay dads on family vacation!

Yes, it's already August, and yes, summer will be winding down in the months to come. But don't tell that to these gay dad families, who, at least according to their Instagram accounts, are taking advantage of these long summer days. Take a look at our photo essay of gay dads on summer vacation with their families, and try not to get too jealous like we did. ;)

If you didn't already know, summer is here. But ignore the mosquitos, muggy temperatures, and uncomfortable amounts of dripping sweat, and focus on the best months of family time! Summer means having tremendous fun outdoors with the kids, preferably near a body of water, and these dads are sharing us how it's down.

Check out this sun-drenched album, and if you're not already there, start daydreaming that you're poolside, fruity cocktail in hand, with happy kids playing (with minimal observation required).

Next Page
Coming Out

My Gay Shame Is Officially Cancelled

After years of feeling ashamed of being gay, David Blacker has finally overcome it. And his son had a lot to do with it.

Scrolling through my social media feeds, reading all the posts about National Coming Out Day reminds me just how valuable it is for us to share our stories and be as open, vulnerable and authentic as possible. Warning: this article is about to get real AF, so now might be a good time to switch back to the Face-Aging app that gives Russia all your personal data.

Oh good, you stayed. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Keep reading... Show less

Today is National Coming Out Day, and as we celebrate, we're sharing six coming out stories from dads in our community. Their personal stories are heartwarming, relatable, and empowering. Happy Coming Out Day, and remember, live your truth!

Keep reading... Show less
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Growing a Thicker Skin

Experiencing hateful and hurtful comments, Erik Alexander had to learn an important lesson: how to ignore the trolls.

Photo credit: BSA Photography

Twenty years ago when I came out, it was unbearably hard. As I have written before, I am from the Deep South. Anyone who dared to deviate from social norms was sure to be ostracized. It's not that these people were born hateful or mean; rather, it probably had more to do with them not being subjected to other lifestyles. Anything different from their own experiences sparked fear and confusion. Homosexuality, interracial relationships, religious differences – these were all unfamiliar territories to the average person I grew up around. Thus, growing up was particularly difficult.

I remember lying in bed at night when I was a little boy. I would pray and beg God to not let me be gay. Every single night I would end my prayers with "... and God, please don't let me have nightmares and please don't let me be gay." I remember crying myself to sleep many nights. I was embarrassed and ashamed. And I wanted God to cure me.

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

10 Inspiring Coming Out Stories From Gay Dads

Happy National Coming Out Day! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of our recent stories about gay men with kids coming out to live their most authentic lives.

Happy National Coming Out Day! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of our best articles of gay dads coming out to live their authentic lives.

#1. Former NFL Player Jeff Rohrer, and Father of Two, Comes Out as Gay and Marries Longterm Partner


Jeff Rohrer, a father of two teenage boys via a previous relationship with a woman, is the first NFL player to marry another man. Read the article here.

#2. Coming Out to His Wife Was Painful, Says This Salt Lake-Based Dad of Four. But it Started Him on a Path of Authenticity

After Kyle came out to his wife, with whom he has four children, "she listened, she mourned and she loved," he said. Read the article here.

#3. Gay Dads Share Their Coming Out Stories for National Coming Out Day

We asked several gay dads to share their coming out stories in honor of National Coming Out Day, whose stories are heartwarming, instructive, and everything in between. Read the article here.

#4. Gay Muslim Single Dad Writes Op Ed on His Path to Self Acceptance

Maivon Wahid writes about the challenges of reconciling three separate, but equally important, identities in an opinion piece for Gay Star News. Read the article here.

#5. One Gay Dad's Path Towards Realizing Being Gay and Christian are Not Mutually Exclusive

Gay dads Matt and David Clark-Sally talk about coming out, parenting as gay men, and reconciling faith and sexuality. Read the article here.

#6. Republican Utah Lawmaker, and Dad of Two, Comes Out as Gay in Moving Video

Nathan Ivie has many important identities he's proud of: Mormon, Republican, Utahn, father of two... and gay. Read the article here.

#7. How Coming Out Helped This Gay Man Find the Strength to Be a Dad

Steven Kerr shares the moment he came out to his ex-girlfriend. "From that moment on," he writes, "my strength and purpose have grown." Read the article here.

#8. Ed Smart, Father of Kidnapping Victim Elizabeth Smart, Comes Out as Gay

In coming his coming out letter, Ed Smart, a Mormon, condemned the church for their "ridicule, shunning, rejection and outright humiliation" of LGBTQ individuals. Read the article here.

#9. The Best Part of Coming Out, Says This Gay Dad, Is Being an Out and Proud Role Model for His Daughter

"I couldn't face myself in the mirror and think that I could be a good dad and role model for my child when I was lying to myself every moment of every day," said Nate Wormington of his decision to come out. Read the article here.

#10. These Gay Dads Via Previous Marriages Have Adopted a Motto Since Coming Out and Finding Each Other: "United We Stand"

Vincent and Richard both had children in previous marriages with women; together, with their ex-wives, they are helping raise seven beautiful kids. Read the article here.

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse