Beth Flowers, Brownell’s Vice President of Leisure Sales, and two of her children went on a big ol’ family adventure to the Galapagos with International Expeditions. Get the scoop on this bucket-list destination and her tips for family travel to the Galapagos Islands below.
Why a family trip to the Galapagos?
There are very few destinations where you can see the world as it was before technology that are both kid-friendly and accessible, and the Galapagos is one of them.
How do you get to the Galapagos?
From the United States, you can fly from Atlanta (around 6 hours) or Miami (around 4 hours) to Guayaquil. From Guayaquil, the flight to the Galapagos Islands is about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Trip Planning Tips:
Explore by Water
The Galapagos needs to be done from the water. The whole point is to jump from island to island and be on the water. Every island is different and you want to see as much as possible in the time frame and you can’t do that based in one spot.
All about the Guides
Guides are critical; ratio of guides to guest is high with International Expeditions…8-10 people per guide. The guides know how to make this interesting for children
You can pair the Galapagos Islands with another destination like Ecuador or Peru, but I recommend letting this trip stand alone when you’re traveling with children.
Packing Tips for the Galapagos
- A trip to the Galapagos Islands is like a safari on the water – you want to be covered because to the sun.
- Plenty of sunscreen
- No jewelry, no nice outfits – totally casual
- Bring laptops with movies for nights when you weren’t playing cards or games.
Iguana in the Galapagos
Billy and Jenna in the Galapagos
Jenna with a Seal
Bill with Bird in Galapagos
Typical Day in the galapagos:
- Wake up and enjoy a light breakfast
- Go out in the morning to explore
- Come back for lunch on the boat
- Downtime after lunch to avoid the hottest part of the day (about 2 hours)
- Snorkel or visit another island in the afternoon
- Time for games or a movie in the room
- If you can book a suite, it is well worth it. The boat is smaller so you do spend time in the room, and it helps to have extra space. Our suite on the Evolution, a newly restored and renovated vessel, could hold three people (one adult and two children).
- Dining: The food was very good and reflective of region with fresh vegetables, fish, fruit. There was always ample food!
Children in the Galapagos
- Children should be strong swimmers — there is a lot of snorkeling.
- I recommend a minimum age of 10. The trip can be exhausting, so children need to have a good bit of stamina. Plus, older children will have a better knowledge base and can pay attention to the guides – and learn!
Know Before You Go:
- Read the fine print on gratuities as you would like to overcompensate because they are so good. — bring a little extra for the outstanding stewards on board. (once you’re there there is no ATM)
My children read this book before the trip – it not only got them excited about the trip but they also arrived with a good knowledge base of the Galapagos.