Six Things to Consider when Planning a Family Vacation to Chicago
It’s true that success requires a tremendous amount of work. But you’ve been working so hard that you and your family deserve a rest, and what better way to rest than going on a family vacation? Family vacations, not least international ones, are like food for your soul. They reduce your stress, restore the glow of your spirit, and improve your family’s relationship.
Besides, vacations have proven to give year-round strength, which results in better job performance. Therefore, don’t delay your vacation and take full advantage of your time off. There are so many world-renowned destinations that you can nominate for your next vacation, but one of these destinations is undoubtedly Chicago.
The things that Chicago has to offer are high-toned and go beyond anyone’s imagination. And since planning a family trip to a country or city you haven’t visited before, can sometimes be challenging, we’ve prepared a list of the six things you need to consider when planning a family vacation to Chicago.
Use the “L” Rapid Transit System
The moment you land in Chicago, you might start worrying and wondering about the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to get to downtown and your apartment that you booked for the trip. Consider the And that “L” Rapid Transit System. The “L” trains can get you and your family from the airport to downtown and vice versa for as little as $2.50 or $5 depending on whether you’ve landed on O’Hare or The Midway International airport.
These trains belong to the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority). They work 24/7, and they have lots of stations, which means you can use them as a way of transport to explore the city as well, so you don’t need to rent a vehicle for the trip at all. And, yes, before hopping on, you can always consult the train (CTA) system map to make sure that you’ll arrive at your desired destination.
Get a CTA Pass for unlimited rides
Renting a car or cabbing whenever you need a ride is not always the perfect or best solution. The CTA trains offer a one-day, three-day, a seven-day, and thirty-day pass for unlimited rides. You can get the CTA pass from a Ventra Vending Machine or a Ventra Retailer. You can even do the order online or by phone before you leave on your trip and not worry about organizing this once you’ve arrived in Chicago.
One-day pass = $10
Three-day pass = $20
Seven-day pass = 28
Thirty-day pass = $105
There are also Ventra Vending Machines at O’Hare and Midway International airport. The prices are the same as the ones listed above.
Benefit from all the helpful apps
No matter what the time is or where you are, you can always get a ride by using the Uber application on your smartphone. Besides, hardly any taxi isn’t connected to this service in the Windy City.
But if you decide to drive your own car rather than paying for a ride, downloading the ParkChicago application is almost inevitable. This application shows you every free (on-street) parking spot from more than 36,000 parking places available.
If you use the CTA trains, the Transit application is something you definitely need, especially if you don’t know the city very well. This application notifies you whenever the train approaches your destination.
And last but not least, you can always use Airbnb to book an apartment that suits your needs best.
Tipping is a standard in Chicago
Perhaps you are not accustomed to tipping every time you use a taxi, drink in a bar, or dine in a regular restaurant in your domicile country, but life in Chicago is expensive and the employees here, by all means, deserve your tip for the blue-ribbon service they provide.
So, don’t be a Scrooge. Open your wallet and reward their service.
Here is a list of the standard tips in Chicago:
Eating in a restaurant – 15 to 20 percent of the total amount of the bill
Using a taxi – 15 to 20 percent of the total amount of the fare
Drinking in a bar – one dollar per drink for the bartender
Item delivery in an apartment or a hotel room – two dollars per item
Get used to being thoroughly searched
Chicago is a city where many famous and important events take place, including concerts, sports games, theater plays, and much more. Therefore, the search procedure is an inevitable process that gives an assurance that the people attending the event would be safe and sound.
It is always preferable to get familiar with the venue’s list of prohibited and permitted items beforehand in order to avoid finding yourself in an awkward situation where the gatekeepers and security won’t allow you to get in. Furthermore, there isn’t a place where you can leave any prohibited items. That means that you’ll have to go back to your apartment or car (if you have any) and leave them there.
You might need physical cash in certain cases
The Windy City is one of the most advanced and modern cities in the world. Every renowned shop, restaurant, fashion outlet, and food market has a card payment option, but there are also some smaller shops, vendors, and small street festivals where the card payment option won’t be available.
Moreover, the tip jars, mostly found in coffee shops, can only get filled with cash money. For that reason, always keep a certain amount of cash in your wallet. You don’t know when you might need it.
We hope that our list of six things to consider when planning a family vacation to Chicago has been helpful to you. And, yes, one more thing. Since the Chicago’s streets are long, and since miles separate one CTA train station from another, don’t forget to bring a comfortable pair of shoes with you. This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to walk for hours on end, of course. But there will be some walking involved every once in a while.