Family vacations are an excellent form of bonding that brings everyone together to relax, explore different cultures, and enjoy each other’s company. However, as families grow and expand their individual interests, it may become increasingly difficult to plan a family trip that will be enjoyable for everyone. If you’re struggling to find a destination that will work for your family, here’s a list of ideal locations based on price, activities, and overall quality of experience.
1.) Orlando, Fl
Orlando is an obvious family get away spot that truly never gets old. Orlando offers a variety of tourist attractions such as Fun Spot, which is full of arcade games, kiddy rides, bumper cars and much more. Ripley's Believe it or Not Museums house a variety of mind twisting attractions that will have the entire family questioning reality. And of course, Orlando is home to the mecca of all amusement attractions, Walt Disney World. All in all Orlando offers everything you could want in a family trip: great weather, great food, and attractions for the whole family to enjoy.
2.) Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon, located 70 miles north of Flagstaff, AZ meeting the Colorado river in a rocky terrain, forms one of the most beautiful sites in the natural world. You can enjoy hiking trips through the South or North Rim of the Canyon, and river trips, riding a personal sized boat down the Colorado river. Your family can enjoy a nice stay in historic log cabins, walk the ‘Trail of Time”, or even ride donkeys to the top of the canyon to see the the monumental view of the desert and bask in the beauty that is the Grand Canyon.
3.) Destin, FL
Destin, Florida is definitely one of the sleepers on this list. Though it is one of the most overlooked cities when it comes to ideal family vacation spots, once you and your family in this city, located in the Northwestern panhandle of Florida, you may not want to leave. Known for its many Gulf of Mexico warm water beaches, in Destin you can enjoy some of the clearest water on the planet. You can hit the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, busting with many bars, restaurants, souvenir shops and other tourist attractions. You and your family can enjoy snorkeling, or learn more about the aquatic life at the Destin History & Fishing Museum. If you’re tired of the ocean scene but still want to dive into the waters of Destin, you can visit the Big Kahuna’s Water & Amusement Park. If your family is more of the fishing type, you can load up the boat and head over to Crab Island, a submerged sandbar that doubles as a boat hang out spot and makes for one of the biggest attractions in all of Florida.
4.) Cape Town, South Africa
Where does one begin when discussing the motherland? South Africa offers a wide variety of culture, and all of this culminates in the melting pot city known as Cape Town. Cape Town has so much to offer, the diversity of the city and people alone are enough to draw you in. A lot of the natives will say you have not experienced biking and hiking until you’ve done it on Table Mountain. If you want to enjoy a nice day out on the sand and water you could visit Boulders Beach, which is made up of inlets between granite boulders, or visit a beautiful Hillside nature and garden reserve at Kristenboscah National Botanical Garden, just to name a few things. There are also a number of shallow tidal pools, where the kids will be able to swim safely while enjoying the beauty of Cape Town’s beaches.
5.) Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is one of the most accessible countries you and your family could venture to. It’s easy to navigate through the “City of Seven Hills” as there are various trams that will transport you all around the historic city. Your stay will be greatly facilitated by the fact that English is widely-spoken. Lisbon makes for an ideal taste of Eurpoean culture, without the overwhelming amount of tourists.
6.) Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture, just one of the many reasons this is an ideal spot for your next family trip. Once you step foot in Florence, you’ll be amazed by historic sites, such as Ponte Vecchio, a medieval stone bridge with various shop built along it, sitting right above and reflecting off of the rivers that cut through the city. Your family can visit various landmarks, including the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, a medieval cathedral with an iconic red dome, or the Pitti Palace, a Renaissance palace and art gallery. If you want a romantic night with your significant other, you can enjoy a boat ride through the rivers of Florence while sipping on either red or white wine, depending on the season. A historic and all around enriching experience, Florence, Italy is definitely a sight to see.
7.) Galapagos Island, Ecuador
If you’re looking to mix island paradise with exotic adventure, the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador are an ideal vacation destination. The chain of 19 islands is a double World Heritage site, where both its land and sea are protected by the United Nations, and its varying wildlife were the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. The year round warm temperatures and crystal clear waters coupled with the ability to hike, kayak, and cruise through the islands’ varying terrain will make for a trip the whole family can enjoy. The lack of natural predators on the island make it the perfect place to enjoy wildlife up close. From snorkeling with fish and docile sharks, to visiting the Charles Darwin Research Center, to surfing through tropical waters, or simply enjoying a relaxing day at the beach, the Galapagos Islands have something for everyone in the family to appreciate.
8.) Quebec City, Canada
Looking for a change from your usual tropical vacation? Quebec City is a popular winter destination where your family can enjoy art, culture, and a variety of fun activities, all while appreciating its snowy terrain and landscapes. The Quebec Winter Carnival, one of the city’s most popular attractions, offers sleigh rides, skating, snow slides, parades, shows, and a snow bath, where you can throw on a swim suit, sweat out in a Zumba class, and then run out it into the snow to cool off and continue dancing. Various art museums and cultural destinations including the Fine Arts Museum, ice sculpture creation workshops, and the city like vibe of Grand Allée, make Quebec City a hub of winter wonderland fun.
9.) Yosemite National Park
If your family is more on the adventurous side, Yosemite National Park is the optimal vacation spot. You get everything you could possibly want in a scenic experience at Yosemite, one of the most stunning being the sights of natural waterfalls curving deeply through steep granite cliffs. You’ll need to wake up early and can set aside a good portion of your day if you want to visit the Mist Trail along Vernal Falls, where you’ll be climbing up 600 granite steps, but the breathtaking sight from the top will definitely be worth the hike.
10.) La Paz, Mexico
If you’re looking for a reasonably priced, authethic Mexican experience, La Paz is the place to be. La Paz, which translates to “the peace” in Spanish, will bring you just that. It is located on the eastern side of the Baja California Sur, right along the serene, turquoise-blue waters of the Sea of Cortez. When you’re not venturing through the city’s charming historic and natural beauty, you can relax on one of their white sand beaches. Its white sand beaches will draw you in, and you will stay to enjoy the various acitivites and wildlife encounters the city has to offer, including swimming with whale sharks, snorkeling with baby sea lions, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and riding horses along the Sea of Cortez. Top this off with authentic Mexican cuisine, a taste of the culture, and its afforadable price, La Paz, Mexico should be at the top of your family travel bucket-list.