10 ideal destinations for a family vacation
Travelling with family is almost always a challenge. You have to carry many suitcases, lose several hours of sleep and deal with the tiredness and boredom of the little ones. However, it can also be an unforgettable experience for the whole family.
It is advisable to travel with the little ones since the simple fact of knowing new places will help them become more creative and flexible-minded people. For this reason, this time, we present some of the best destinations to go on family vacations.
The 10 best destinations in the world to spend holidays with family
Are you planning your next family vacation and don’t even know where to start? Looking for some family travel inspiration?
Then you have come to the right place. Because in this list, you will find the best family vacation destinations in the world. Many vacation destinations are worth going to, without a doubt. But to enjoy our precious and sometimes scarce family vacations, we must choose the best ones knowing that we will get it right.
Here, we list the best family vacation destinations globally, chosen by those who travel as a family. Deciding between one or the other will depend on your tastes, budget, available time, or your children’s age. But, of course, this list is a good starting point to get an idea of what you can expect from each destination.
Are any of these best family vacation destinations on your list?
It is a chaotic city. There’s no doubt about it. However, it is also one of the favourite destinations for travelling with children, as it is home to zoos, museums and countless places of interest for the little ones at home. The Prospect Park Zoo, home to some 630 animals, is a must-see, as the Children’s Museum of Manhattan offers children’s activities, including a sensory room.
Little ones will also love visiting FAO Schwarz, the famous toy store from the movie “Home Alone 2”. To round it off, don’t forget to stop by M&M’s World, where the little ones can personalize their chocolates.
This city dazzles not only adults but also children. It is a true children’s oasis. After the obligatory visits to the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral, the next stop will be Disneyland, where fun is 100% guaranteed. The Playmobil Park is also worth visiting, where the little ones will find pirates, medieval knights and dollhouses.
In addition, you can visit the Asterix Park, inspired by the famous cartoons, and go to the Children’s City, some 1,700 square meters designed to stimulate children’s cognitive development with games and fun activities.
Walt Disney World is the best-known park in Orlando, but it is not the only one. This city has many other attractions with which to conquer the little ones. For example, you can visit the Universal Orlando Resort, a theme park complex in which Islands of Adventure stands out, a space where children can find different islands that recreate from the world of Jurassic Park to the Harry Potter universe.
Also worth a visit is Skeletons, the largest skeleton museum in America, with more than 400 real animal skeletons.
We usually think that Rome is a destination for adults, but this capital has many cards up its sleeve to conquer the little ones at home. You can spend a day in Villa Borghese, a large green park that houses a small artificial lake that can be explored by boat and a zoological garden with more than 1,200 animals and picnic areas. Also worth a visit is the Rainbow MagicLand, an amusement park with roller coasters, water games, shows and all kinds of attractions.
To round it off, Zoomarine awaits you, an oceanographic park with a 4D cinema, swimming pools and water attractions.
This island is a paradise where the sun almost always shines. In addition to its beaches, you can plan an excursion to Teide, the highest mountain in Spain, accessible to children via cable car. Two castles also await you, reminiscent of the constant threat of pirates in centuries past. Another must-see site is Pueblo Chico, a tour of the most notable monuments of the archipelago through models. And if you want an extra dose of fun, amusement parks are not lacking: you can visit Loro Parque, Jungle Park, Siam Park or Aqualand Costa Adeje.
Cancun knows how to satisfy all travellers’ tastes, including the little ones. Paradisiacal beaches are not lacking, as well as water parks. In the Wet’n Wild, the little ones can swim with dolphins while the parents spend a relaxing day, although it is also worth going to Xel-Ha, a magical place where you can swim in a turquoise lagoon, snorkel to see hundreds of colourful fish and touch the rays.
Finally, don’t forget to go to Xcaret, another park where exotic animals abound, and you can enjoy shows that revive Mayan customs.
It is a charming city that can enjoy perfectly with the family. You can start the tour at the Wax Museum, which has an area called Children’s Fantasy World, where the little ones can see Harry Potter and the fairy tales or even the famous Simpsons. Then you can visit Phoenix Park, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland and one of the oldest zoos in Europe. Dublinia is also worth a visit, where you will find an interactive exhibition that will allow you to learn first-hand what life was like for the Vikings.
This Austrian city holds many secrets that children will love to discover. Little ones will love the Water Games at Hellbrunn Palace, the characters at the Wax Museum, and the boat rides on the Salzach River. It is also worth visiting the Puppet Theatre, which will envelop young and old with its magic and the Toy Museum, where you will be received by a family of Fidis, some gnomes who have lived in the museum’s warehouse for decades.
Lastly, don’t forget to stop at the Fürst Confectionery, where the Mozartkugeln, the city’s traditional sweets, a pistachio and nougat marzipan delicacy are made by hand.
It is a quiet city, with many attractions and services that facilitate the stay of families with children. One of the essential activities is to rent a cargo bike and tour the city with the kids while the main monuments of the city parade before your eyes. Then Tivoli awaits you, one of the oldest amusement parks in Europe, with lots of playgrounds and picnic areas. You can also visit the Zoo, whose main attraction is the House of Elephants, built by Norman Foster.
This Mediterranean island has a lot to offer the little ones. A must-see is the Playmobil Amusement Park, since the second-largest factory in the world is located here. Not only will you discover how these toys are made, but children will be able to have fun to their heart’s content. Little ones will also love Popeye Village, where Popeye’s movie musical was filmed. And if you want to cool off, the Parque Marítimo del Mediterráneo or the Splash & Fun Water Park await you.
THE BEST DESTINATIONS FOR YOUR FAMILY HOLIDAYS: ASIA
If there is one place that stands out as a great vacation destination for families, Singapore. This small country is packed with family attractions, great food and is a straightforward place to visit. All this with the advantage of experiencing different cultures in the same region: Malay, Chinese and Indian.
From Universal Studios on family-friendly Sentosa Island to futuristic Gardens by the Bay to sampling local food at a street vendor, there’s plenty to do to keep the kids entertained in this family vacation destination.
The metro is efficient, so it is straightforward to get around. English is the common language on signs everywhere to make things even more accessible. Although Singapore is often treated as a quick stopover destination on the way to somewhere else, it is nonetheless one of the best family vacation destinations in its own right.
No matter the age or size of your family, few travel destinations compare to Japan. It is a safe, clean country rich in unique activities. In Kyoto, besides visiting one of the 17 places declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, you can also practice activities such as hiking, rafting or traditional craft classes.
For its part, in Tokyo, you will find modernity and tradition shaking hands in every corner. There are museums and public events for children throughout the city, many of them cheap (or free) for children. Japan’s transportation system is perfect, and trains connect cities to other places of outstanding natural beauty: pristine beaches, snow-capped peaks, and lush, green valleys.
Public street and subway maps may not face north but rather the direction you face when looking at the map. A “north” indicator is usually in the corner of the map.
Southeast Asia is a vast and diverse place. If you don’t know the region, an excellent place to start in Malaysia.
Again we are in a country of mixes and contrasts, Malaysian, Chinese and Indian, to name. It makes it an ideal place to see the world. Malaysia’s multiculturalism and mix of ethnicities, religions and cultures present a fantastic opportunity to observe their coexistence.
In Kuala Lumpur, you will find a city full of life, parks and museums. If what you prefer are spectacular and wild beaches, Langkawi and other islands await you. For a taste of the country’s history, the colonial origins of Penang and Malacca are fascinating. And for the more adventurous families, Malaysian rainforests offer orangutans, tropical birds and countless other animals, and lush vegetation.
In most places, you will be able to communicate in English. Don’t forget to put jackets in your suitcase. Although Malaysia is tropical, the buildings and shopping malls are often cold. Malaysia is a majority Muslim country but quite tolerant of other beliefs. Here, you do wear a bikini on the beach, but you must maintain the forms in other places.
This tiny island seems to have it all and is one of the best vacation destinations for families. You will find palm-fringed beaches, turquoise waters, and sleepy seaside towns here. You can also visit the charming historic Galle Fort, a delight to walk around. Away from the coast, Sri Lanka also boasts stunning scenery. It is also where you’ll discover the incredible fortress of Sigiriya and the sacred mountain Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak).
Sri Lanka is one of the best places in Asia to see wildlife, with more than 100 protected areas home to leopards, wild elephants, sloth bears and much more. Blue whales can even be seen off the south coast of the island. Some of the best activities for kids include releasing baby turtles into the ocean or helping to bathe an orphaned elephant at the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage.
For active families, Sri Lanka also offers water sports and hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and rafting. It would help if you kept in mind that Sri Lanka experiences two monsoons: the Yala and the Maha. The Yala monsoon season (May to August) affects the mountainous areas and the southern and western coasts. The Maha monsoon season (October to January) brings rain to the east and north of the country.
Thailand stands out for its friendly character to travel as a family, especially in the north and among children.
In addition to this, in Thailand, the diversity is enormous. You can snorkel in the ocean, see fire shows on the beach at night, trek in the northern hills, visit temples, chat with Buddhist monks, volunteer to work with elephants, delight in one of its many festivities such as Yi peng and Songkran or enjoy one delicious meal after another.
Travelling by train or bus throughout Thailand can allow you to see its beautiful landscapes and connect with the local people.
THE BEST DESTINATIONS FOR YOUR FAMILY HOLIDAYS: AFRICA
With excellent infrastructure and world-class national parks, South Africa is the obvious choice for a family’s first trip to Africa. There are destinations for all budgets, from exclusive private reserves like Shamwari and Ulusaba to national parks like Kruger and Addo. The latter is an excellent option for families on a budget. They allow you to drive your vehicle and offer affordable accommodation in self-catering campsites and chalets.
Renting a car and driving is an excellent option for families, as it gives you the flexibility to stop whenever you want or shorten the routes if your children get tired. South Africa is made for independent exploration, with good roads and car rental services in big cities. Many South African parks are malaria-free, and there are no other tropical diseases like yellow fever or Zika virus to worry about.
Finally, South Africa is much more than its fantastic nature reserves. You can go on tours of the townships of Joburg, the stunning beaches of Cape Town, whale watching in Hermanus or ostrich and caving tours near Oudtshoorn.
Namibia offers many of the same benefits as South Africa. With the Namibian dollar pegged to the South African rand, you can expect not-too-high prices for accommodation, park fees, fuel, and daily living. Although often gravel rather than tarmac, the roads are well-maintained, and many travellers say they feel safer in Namibia than anywhere else on the continent. Much of the country is malaria-free.
Namibia’s most famous national park, Etosha, is one of southern Africa’s best wildlife viewing destinations, with rhino sightings almost guaranteed. There are plenty of other attractions to keep the youngsters interested, from dune surfing in the Namib Desert to visiting traditional Himba villages in Damaraland and exploring otherworldly landscapes in Sossusvlei.
Namibia is a country with vast extensions, so you will have to be prepared for long trips.
Botswana is another excellent option for a family trip. It offers the perfect balance between safety and adventure, with good infrastructure and some of the most rewarding game parks on the continent. The need to take malaria medication is one of the reasons Botswana is suitable for slightly older children. They can also enjoy walking safaris and canoe or mokoro rides, which are two of the best experiences in the country.
Game parks like Chobe, Moremi, Kgalagadi and Savuti are better for wildlife viewing than those in Namibia or South Africa, but keep in mind that there are fewer alternative activities for children who get bored quickly. Unlike the other two countries, time cannot be divided between the mountains and the beach.
THE BEST DESTINATIONS FOR YOUR FAMILY HOLIDAYS: OCEANIA
Australia is a vast country with lots of beautiful places to enjoy. From beaches, art, culture, unique flora and fauna, there is something for every member of the family.
These are just some of the activities that will captivate you
- Spend the day on any of its incredible beaches
- Visit a zoo meeting unique animals in the world
- Walkthrough some of the most beautiful landscapes
- Visit museums, art galleries and theatres
- Please get to know some of its beautiful and modern cities with the genuine Australian touch
The biggest problem you will face is time. Don’t make the mistake of wanting to see everything. Sorry, Australia has a lot to know, so you will have to choose what you want most for this trip and leave the rest for the next one.
New Zealand is a country that, whoever knows it, says that it is one of the most beautiful and magical. Nobody who visits New Zealand leaves without finding something that excites them. Those more interested in culture can look at the six stories of the national museum, Te Papa, in Wellington. Plus, it’s free.
If yours is a family addicted to adrenaline, visit the Agroventures Adventure Park in Rotorua, where everyone in one place can compete for a world record on the Schwab (the world’s first human-powered racecourse), try bungee jumping or experience free fall.
If you’re a movie lover, visit the Lord of the Rings filming locations, from Mordor to Hobbiton (where you can be a Hobbit for a day). There is whale and dolphin watching, snorkelling, and seals at Kaikoura’s phenomenal beach for animal lovers.
For adventurous families, nothing can compare to renting an RV and camping in beautiful, comfortable, safe, and friendly locations all over the country.
Christchurch, known for its heritage, is well worth a visit. Flat-bottomed barges glide down the River Avon, which meanders through the centre of town. On its banks, there are cycle paths; there is also the great extension of Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens.
We recommend taking the Christchurch cable car up Mount Cavendish, giving you panoramic views of the city, the Canterbury Plains and the Southern Alps. Christchurch is also a gateway for dolphin-watching in the Banks Peninsula’s Akaroa Harbour, skiing on Mount Hutt and tours on the TranzAlpine tourist train through the Southern Alps.
THE BEST DESTINATIONS FOR YOUR FAMILY VACATIONS: AMERICA
It is challenging to know all of Canada. As the second-largest country globally, its size (5.5 time zones) makes it challenging to travel and visit all of its different regions in one trip.
But this is a great opportunity. No matter which you choose to visit, Canada will surprise and delight you with its astonishing natural beauty and warm welcome that few countries can match.
From the friendly east coast of the Atlantic provinces, the tremendous multi-ethnic urban centres of Toronto and Montreal, the golden ranches of Saskatchewan and Alberta, the vast expanse of the North and the Arctic, or the wild west coast of Vancouver and British Columbia, Canada offers adventure travel opportunities for every family.
Costa Rica is another country that has it all: wildlife, mountains, volcanoes, lush forests, excellent beaches in both the Caribbean and Pacific and friendly people.
Although Costa Rica is ideal for families looking for relaxing vacation destinations, it is undoubtedly the best destination for families looking to live a great adventure.
There are many fun activities like climbing volcanoes, hiking to waterfalls, bathing in hot springs, canopy through the forest, horseback riding, and surfing.
Panama has something to offer travellers of all ages. Here you will find jungle and deserted beaches with turquoise waters. You can start by getting to know Panama City. Visit the Panama Canal, the cafes of Casco Viejo and the Museum of Diversity. From there, you can visit the Guna Yala (before the island of San Blas).
If you like outdoor adventures, stay in the jungle on top of a tree in Bocas del Toro, where you can wake up with the birds and watch the monkeys swing at sunset. Cross through the cloud forest of the Chiriquí province. This mountainous area is known for its delicious shade-grown coffee, but it is also an adventure destination that offers activities such as rafting or canopy.
Undoubtedly, it is the country that stands out to me as one of the best family vacation destinations. It is a country full of top family destinations and attractions. Most cities seem to have children’s museums, aquariums, zoos, beaches, and other family attractions.
The people are also beneficial and friendly, and it is an accessible destination to visit if you are not fluent in English.
As with all great countries, it isn’t easy to choose just a few destinations to visit or activities, but Las Vegas can be some of the most spectacular. The Grand Canyon of Colorado, San Francisco, New York, Orlando and Disney World New Orleans. Chicago. Well, the options are endless.
THE BEST DESTINATIONS FOR YOUR FAMILY HOLIDAYS: EUROPE
Austria has some of the most impressive outdoor scenery in the world and a rich historical heritage worth seeing and learning about. You can witness the opulence of the Habsburg Royal Family, who ruled the world for centuries and made Austria one of the best countries in the world for palace tours.
The country is full of other options for children. There are countless creative and artistic spaces and exciting children’s museums that can discover in the Schönbrunn Palace or inside the modern Museumsquartier in the centre of Vienna.
There are also family-friendly options for hiking and skiing in the mountains. Austria is home to some of the best music in the world and a great place to expose your children to classical music and music history.
It is also famous for chocolate cake, and the older ones should not miss their beer. A good time to discover Austria is when the crowds have already left at the beginning of winter, the Christmas markets fill the Austrian streets with magic, and there is snow on the mountains.
Croatia is a country that will surprise you. With a rich artistic heritage and several places included in the UNESCO World Heritage list, it is one of the nearby destinations worth travelling to as a family.
With its quiet capital of Zagreb, Dubrovnik and its great historic centre (scene for many “Game of Thrones” episodes), Diocletian’s Palace in the city of Split, Plitvice Lakes National Park, St. James Cathedral in the beautiful medieval town of Sibenik, the fields of Stari Grad on the island of Hvar, the medieval “Stecci” tombs or the primitive beech forests.
In Croatia, there is something for every taste. Especially the children. It is a safe and relaxed destination to travel with children. Here you can enjoy activities for children such as swimming under waterfalls, horseback jeep safaris, building sandcastles and spending the day in fun museums such as the Museum of Optical Illusions in Zadar and Zagreb.
And, of course, there are hundreds of safe beaches to choose from. If you want to visit Dubrovnik with children, it is best to do it after 4 pm; it is more relaxed, and the cruise ship crowds have already left the city.
When one thinks of France, one may immediately think of Paris, but this country has more to offer than the City of Lights.
Paris is a lovely city for families with the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre Dame. Still, you can also get away from the town and explore the palaces and caves of the Dordogne or the beautiful beaches of the Côte d’Azur.
The family will also love visiting the beautiful lavender fields and Roman ruins of Provence or enjoying history lessons along the Normandy coast. On a family trip to France, you will find warm hospitality, great history and fabulous cuisine.
The hardest decision you have to make is knowing which region of the country to explore first, as they are all unique in their way.
Germany is another ideal destination for family trips. The German way of life, and the focus on leisure activity, means that it has the necessary infrastructure to make everything easier for visitors—especially those with children.
Throughout the country, there are options for all members of the family. Germany has one of the highest per capita proportions of zoos globally. Children’s museums are filled with everything from interactive science activities to supercars. Imagination comes to life in the castles that dot the country. And for fairy tale lovers, there’s even a route to follow some of the world’s most popular stories: the Brothers Grimm fairy tales.
Even the meals will please the little ones with sausages of all kinds, pretzels, and sweets everywhere.
Iceland, a land of fire and ice, is one of the favourite vacation destinations for families. The unique landscape of erupting volcanoes, waterfalls, geysers, glaciers and black sand beaches make this a fantastic place to visit.
There’s no shortage of activities, including glacier hikes, horseback riding, waterfall hikes, canyon rafting, lava field ATV rides, and wildlife viewing. After all these activities, you can immerse yourself in one of the natural hot springs or the famous Laguna Azul.
The little ones (and the older ones too) will like the exciting culture of Vikings, trolls and dwarfs.
Ireland is an easy and close option for families in Europe. It is a land of magic and mystery, history and spells, fairies and friendly people. It gives the impression that Ireland was tailor-made for a family trip. No matter what your family likes because in Ireland you will find it.
You can fly a falcon or kayak in the ocean. Explore the castles from the dungeons to the battlements before sitting down for a medieval feast. Try the Irish sport of hurling or try to keep up with the rhythm of the Irish dancers. The culture, the history, the excellent fresh food and the incredible welcome of the people make Ireland a great country to visit as a family. It is one of the great family destinations in the world.
The best way to see Ireland is to rent a car. Although Ireland is a small country, there is a lot to do. You won’t be able to see everything during a short vacation, so pick your sights and plan around them.
Stunning Italy is the perfect destination for family vacations with your little bambinos. Whether you travel in Italy, this country offers the perfect mix of kid-friendly food, world-class art treasures, iconic landmarks, and old-world charm.
Exploring the ancient city of Rome is a delight for children. Tour the Colosseum, stroll through the lively squares and enrol your children in gladiator school. Visit Florence and show your children Michelangelo’s masterpiece: his David, have a delicious pizza and go up to Piazza Michelangelo to enjoy spectacular views. Oh, and don’t miss his exquisite gelatos From him.
Both you and the whole family will delight in the floating city of Venice, where getting lost in the canals is half the fun. Try a mask-making class and watch expert glassblowers at work on Murano. Children will be impressed and amazed to see the city of Pompeii trapped in time after the eruption of Vesuvius.
You can choose to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa, relive the story of Romeo and Juliet in Verona, or swim in the waters of the Amalfi Coast. Italy will fill your children’s imaginations and satisfy your adult tastes for art, gourmet treats, and gorgeous scenery.
Vikings, trolls, reindeer, polar bears, the Nobel Peace Prize, the midnight sun or the northern lights. What is there in Norway that will not fascinate children? Also there, they are the first.
Norway is incredibly fantastic if you like the outdoors. Nature is around you everywhere in winter, sledging and skiing. In summer, you can go hiking, biking, kayaking or rafting. Even in the big city, nature is only 15 minutes away by public transport.
In Oslo, kids will love climbing the sculptures in Frogner Park, running across the sloping roof of the Opera House, and exploring the ships of polar explorers, rafts, and Viking ships.
At Langedrag’s mountain farm, you’ll find lynxes, foxes, and wolves. If you are there at the right time, you can even play with wolf cubs.
To the west, the peculiar Bergen and the fjords also attract families, whether on a cruise with Hurtigruten or on a trip along spectacular roads such as the Trollstigen (Troll’s ladder) or the famous Atlantic Road.
You can go whale watching in the north, dog sledging, and snowmobiling. The further north, you might see polar bears in the Svalbard archipelago.
And yes, although we have left it for last, our country is, without a doubt, one of the best tourist destinations in the world. Those who visit our country say that the ones who matter here are the children, which is why it is a great place to enjoy a great family vacation.
As well as being a super family vacation destination, Spain is rich in culture and full of energy. From the Costa del Sol beaches to the Pyrenees, there is much to explore. Paradisiacal beaches of the Canary or Balearic Islands, the Arab influence in Andalusia, the fresh seafood of Galicia, the Barcelona of Gaudí or the cosmopolitan capital Madrid with nearby treasures such as Toledo, Ávila and Segovia.
But we won’t delay any longer, and we take note to tell you, another day, which are the best destinations and plans for family vacations in Spain.
When you plan a family vacation, it will likely be challenging to find a suitable destination for all tastes.
Travelling with people of different ages and tastes is not always easy, and that is why, many times, thinking about travelling as a family makes us go back.
However, there are many destinations where travelling as a family is a pleasure as you will find activities for all tastes and ages.
If you want to know more about some of these destinations for your next family vacation, do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to help you.
And now it’s your turn. To which of these destinations have you already travelled as a family? What others do you recommend for the next family vacation? Tell us about your experience; we are delighted to read you.
10 ideal destinations for a family vacation