MiniTime – A New Tool for Planning Family Vacations and Travel

A recent Disney Parks survey found American families feel time-crunched and disconnected.  Big surprise, right?  These same families look to their precious vacation time to rediscover each other, and relish the quality time spent together while traveling.  However, there’s a catch… where do these busy families find time to vacation plan?  Enter MiniTime – a new travel site designed specifically for families by other families.  Think TripAdvisor, but focused solely on family travel – no business travelers, honeymooners, backpackers, etc., just families with kids.  Continue reading for more details on MiniTime – including how you could get some cool prizes.

MiniTime logo

MiniTimeMiniTime has a large database of destination, accommodation, and attraction ratings and reviews all submitted by other families.  That part is similar to TripAdvisor, but what makes MiniTime unique are these recommendations are filtered based on the ages of your children.  Parents know the needs of toddlers are different from the needs of teenagers, and you can select reviews from parents with similar aged kids as your own.  You can also browse destination photos submitted by real families, not marketing photos selected by a PR rep for the hotel.  Once you decide where you want to go, you can check hotel rates through multiple sites, and book your stay instantly right through MiniTime.

I’ve posted a number of reviews on MiniTime because, as a Dad, I know how much I’ve relied on other parent’s opinions when planning our trips.  When we visited Niagara Falls’ Fallsview Waterpark, I wanted other families to know our hotel was a good bargain but needed better directions to the waterpark.  With so many hotel options at Walt Disney World, I thought parents would appreciate reading that even though the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resorts aren’t official Disney resorts, they are within walking distance of two theme parks and you can get deluxe rooms for less than the price of a Disney hotel.

You can see those reviews in the links below.

 

MiniTime Review: Clean Hotel in Walking Distance of Clifton Hill and Free Parking

MiniTime Review: Can’t Go Wrong with the WDW Dolphin or Swan Resorts

However, MiniTime is more than just hotel and attraction reviews; the site is creating a community of like-minded family travelers.  In addition to the reviews, MiniTime has in-depth travel articles specifically geared for family travel.  I’m a contributor to MiniTime, and have written some of these “Trip Tips” articles such as:

MiniTime Article: 5 Easy Ways to Give Back on Vacation with Kids

MiniTime Article: 7 Amazing Aquariums for Families

I gained so many good ideas reading these articles, from baseball roadtrips to Los Angeles beaches, there’s great advice shared by these family travel experts.

MiniTime

Finally, MiniTime knows how to have a good time and reward its contributors with fun prizes.  To kick-start review submissions, MiniTime gave away Target gift cards to everyone contributing to the site.  During MiniTime’s first “twitter party” on March 27 they awarded a stay at a Hyatt hotel, a Looxcie Cam wearable HD video camera, and a Beacon Audio portable Bluetooth speaker.  One lucky family won a Disneyland vacation package by submitting a review on the site, and MiniTime’s currently giving away a 2 night stay at Great Wolf Lodge – just by submitting a review before April 30, 2013.

Great Wolf Lodge

As the Disney Parks survey has shown, American families know that vacations are a key way to cultivate family bonding.  And nearly all parents want to take family vacations together on a regular basis.  We’re realizing more and more that those moments of quality family time are fleeting, and MiniTime is another a resource parents can use to help make the most of your vacation.

Disclosure: this post is sponsored by MiniTime, and I was compensated for writing it.  However, all opinions expressed are my own.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.