This review is dedicated to Turkey Travel Advice for families with kids planning a Turkish Vacation to any of the wonderful regions of this vast and diverse country located on the cusp of Europe.
VIDEO: Family Adventures in Istanbul and Cappadocia, Turkey with Kids!!
Food: Before you head out on your journey you are likely going to want to have a bit of an idea of the food choices, as you will want to make the most of the opportunity to try exciting new creations. Get familiar with some of the more common Turkish choices and street foods before you leave to help make your daily routines a little more predictable. Here is a list of popular Turkish dishes you can get acquainted with. In the video below the host cruises the streets of Istanbul and gives us some background on these dishes and treats.
As a family we usually like to find out what the local fermented foods are as these are essential for family nutrition and health. This video will show you some of these which will help keep the family vibrant and healthy for travels, especially if you eat a little too much Turkish delight.
Meals are made really easy for families as well and it's the local custom to bring the kids along to restaurants. Try a Meze of dozens of little dishes to give kids the opportunity to try different things local. Kids tend to love the array of dips and things that come with Turkish meals.
American Kids Try Turkish Food.
Turkeys location by the edge of Europe makes it not that hard to get to as international destinations go. Flights in and out of the capital are frequent from many cities in Europe and the country is home to modern facilities and airports. Many of the discount airlines that operate in Europe will also have special offers here as well. Turkish Airlines, American Airlines, KLM, British Airlines ans Lufthansa all operate flights to Turkey. Convenient Taxis are usually a reasonable option for the 20 minute journeys from cities to town and cost about twice as much as buses.
Pick up a 90 day visa at he visa office at the airport you land in BEFORE you go through customs. Although you can also get this from a Turkish consulate at hoe before you leave it will often cost more that way.
An odd law in Turkey is also that you have to carry ID around with you. For you and your family this means you need to have your passport and visa ready to show officials while you are in the country. Keep it safe but handy in a photocopied form. There are also laws about taking pictures of military facilities.
Once you are in Turkey hiring a car is often an option many families opt for to get around this relatively huge (by nearby European standards) country. While Turkey has a really high accident rate the majority of these occur in the chaos of Istanbul and some of the other larger cities. Than in these places it's definitely a time to opt for public transport. Otherwise the roads are likely similar to the standard in your own country.
Busing is also a reasonable option to transit between inter city, airport, and village bus stations where all the major companies have depots. The services are comparable to what you would find at home and provide the opportunity for everyone in the family to relax between destinations and to soak up a little more of the local culture. Buses n Turkey
Dolmus mini buses are what the locals use and are cheaper again. These have routes and you can hop on an off along the way. But there is limited time for hauling all your family, and baggage on an off. Then if this is a restraint you have, perhaps give these a miss.
Trains generally are not a preferred mode of transport in Turkey. Parts of the country have a lot of mountains and are not serviced by rail at all. Other parts of the country where trains do run there are few direct links and many stops between stations. Rail Europe however includes Turkey in their Eurail Global Pass and as an option in their Eurail Select Pass. You make your reservations locally though. (at the time of writing)
While credit cards can get used throughout the country your obviously not going to pull out the plastic after you finished bartering at the Bazaar or if purchasing street food for example. Keep a record of all your purchases of Turkish Lira either in Turkey or before you leave because you may at some stage have to prove you didn't get the money on the black market. Most major currencies are available to trade at exchanges at the airport.
I've generally found travelers checks a bit of a hassle to cash and tend not to use them too often, but am aware that you can cash them at banks in Turkey if you have ID. I find it easier to use the teller machines with visa, These have an English display option and are easy enough to use.
Remember to tell your credit card provider you are going to Turkey and have an emergency contact.
Also keep in mind that Turkey is NOT a member of EU and don't assume the same rules exist about buying expensive items between borders. Especially don't purchase antiques which are not permitted to leave the country and ease up on any drug trafficking you may have been planning.
Always carry enough medical insurance for your family and keep also enough cash in your accounts to cover upfront payments for unforeseen medical expenses. Then keep all the receipts for your insurance provider should something occur.
Family vacation options range the Winter can get cold and snowy in the inland areas with their spectacular natural rock formations and civilizations carved into rock foundations. At this time and in the extremely hot mid summer months tourists tend to head to the beaches. The Black Sea beach towns are greener and enjoy more rainfall while calm waters of the Augean or Mediterranean and have their own fancy all included Turkish beach resorts .
While Terrorism is a threat especially around Istanbul and the south, at the time of writing thousands of families were also enjoying family vacations around Turkey. However in this modern world events can change quickly and with countries like Syria and Iraq nearby it's always worth checking the latest government tourist advice.
A little unsavory eye opening video of what thenomadicfamily encountered in Istanbul:
Likely the biggest threat you will encounter is from sunburn. Then make sure you take lot's of cool clothes that allow you to cover up against the sun in Summer. Full length pants and a colored shirt for men and boys will also come in handy for when you visit religious monuments .
Around the cultural centerpiece of Istanbul the climate is reasonable year round which makes it a good hub for explorations into the regions.
Your going to need a good Turkish Travel guide for a more in depth choice of options than many of the travel books that are out there. Try https://goturkey.com/ to compliment our Turkey travel advice.
Travel around Istanbul with families with kids is extremely possible and enjoyable as this video gives testament to:
Istanbul can seem more than overwhelming and it's hard to know where to start planning your travels. But successful family travels and navigation of this large cosmopolitan city are not difficult if you organize your sorties out into the tree recognized districts like The Bazar Quarter or The Sultanahmat.
Catching a ferry to Istanbul is an option sometimes overlooked. This can work well especially with your plans if you are in a religion of Greece or Italy which has a direct ferry link. See Turkish Ferries
The Augean sea sure conjures up images of perfect family vacations, on clear water, blue flag beaches. This is where you will find a good many family resorts which attract holidaymakers from all over Europe in places like Bodrum and Marmaris.
For more of an idea of what the regions of Turkey offer check out out Turkey Travel Pics.