Few places in the USA are as fit for a family holiday as the Grand Canyon. In this article, we’ll take you through what makes this place so special for families. We’ll also provide handy tips for those looking to make the trip themselves, such as flight information, accommodation and getting an ESTA visa.
When travelling to the Grand Canyon, the closest airport is Flagstaff Pulliam Airport. The distance from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon is about 70 miles, or around 113 kilometres. However, Flagstaff is a very small airport, generally only used for domestic flights. International flights have to deal with multiple stopovers. If you’re travelling from Ireland, a better option is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, about 3 to four hours from the Canyon. The only stop is at London Heathrow. You can easily rent a car at the airports and drive to the Canyon yourself, but there are also shuttles that can take you there if you’d rather not get behind the wheel.
Before buying your flight tickets, you’ll first want to apply for an ESTA visa. Irish travellers don’t need an embassy visa to travel to the USA, and this also applies to children. Irish nationals of any age are eligible for the much easier to get (and much cheaper) ESTA visa, which you can apply for online. All that is required to acquire this permit is filling out an online form and paying the fee. You’ll receive the ESTA confirmation via e-mail.
As for as accommodation for your trip to the Grand Canyon is concerned, you have multiple options. You can stay in a hotel in one of the nearby towns, such as Tusayan, or at one of the hotels and lodges closer to the Canyon itself. Examples of the latter include El Tovar Hotel or Maswik Lodge. These do tend to be more expensive, however.
While the Grand Canyon is one of the most popular family activities to do in the USA, make sure you keep a close eye on your children. This is especially the case when taking pictures. Some of the rocky cliffs and ledges are surprisingly treacherous as people go off-path for the best picture. However, if you simply stick to the designated paths, you’re perfectly safe.
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