Everyone loves great family vacations. And for the past two and a half years, we’ve had to stay closer to home, take road trips and explore the destinations around us and primarily in the United States.
If you’re ready to start exploring our big beautiful world with your kids or start flying with a baby in 2023 but are not sure where to travel next, here’s 14 ideas to consider.
1. Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
Taking kids to Hawaii is popular for a reason. They’ll experience the warm Aloha spirit of the Hawaiian people, plus experience the place where East and West cultures combine. It’s one of the most family friendly destinations you’ll find.
Surrounded by a majestic coastline, the sandy beaches are full of family fun that will delight all ages, from toddlers to pensioners. Try snorkeling in Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve or head to Duke’s Lagoon, where even little kids can paddle safely in the manmade beachfront lagoon.
Here are some things to do in Honolulu:
- Swim with dolphins
- Hike Diamond
- Learn to Surf at Waikiki Beach
- Free Friday Fireworks at The Hilton Hawaiian Village beachfront
2. London UK
The capital city of the UK, London, is many things to many people.
London is home to Buckingham Palace and the royal family. It’s an ancient Roman settlement and the town of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre.
There’s no shortage of things to do to delight everyone in the family while in London. Visit the world’s oldest and largest toy store, Hamleys, on Regent’s Street or visit the world-class British Museum. When you feel hungry, head to Chinatown for some authentic Chinese food.
Visit platform Nine and a Three-Quarters while at King’s Cross station, and you might find a surprise there! There are lots more attractions you will want to take advantage of:
- Harry Potter Tour of Warner Bros. Studio
- Legoland Windsor
- The London Eye
3. The Bahamas
A fab Caribbean vacation, The Bahamas has sunshine, beautiful beaches, and tons of fun activities everyone will enjoy for a family travel idea.
If you’re looking for lodging off the beaten track, visit Small Hope Bay Lodge for fishing and diving and enjoy its rustic charm. Or, if you’d prefer a world-class all-inclusive resort, head to Melia Nassau Beach Resort. It is situated on the beach, and they even have a kid’s club and babysitting service.
Here are three more reasons you need a laid-back dream vacation in the Caribbean:
- Aquaventure Water Park
- Pirates of Nassau Museum
- The Dig at Atlantis, or purchase a day pass to their iconic Water Park.
4. Rome, Italy
Rome truly has something for everyone. What child hasn’t been fascinated by the ancient Romans, and what adult hasn’t wished they could ride a scooter through the old alleyways of Rome?
When you’ve had enough of exploring Roman ruins, Rome will satisfy even the pickiest of tweens with the best pizza you will ever eat. Beautiful Pizzarias dot the city among bakeries and other restaurants offering a taste of Italy you’ll find nowhere else.
Rome might not be as family-friendly if you have little ones, but there’s much to do and see if your kids are a little older:
- Vatican City
- Explora Children Museum
5. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is a vibrant city where African, European, and Malay cultures mix on the tip of southern Africa. Located between the seaside and the ever-present Table Mountain, Cape Town is full of kid-friendly outdoor activities, which they’ll be willing to put their phone down for.
Head to Surfer’s Corner to learn to surf or visit Boulder’s Beach penguin colony. Then try your hand at tobogganing at Cool Runnings; their slide is almost a mile long! Here are additional things to do in Cape Town:
- Table Mountain
- Two Oceans Aquarium
- Cape Town Ziplines
6. Phuket, Thailand
Phuket is a great destination for a family beach holiday. You’ll find pristine white sand beaches there with an ocean that’s never cold. Everything is set up for international tourists here, with top-class restaurants, hotels, and resorts with all the amenities you’d expect back home.
Immerse yourself in Thai culture and enjoy Phuket cuisine, which is priced a little higher than most places in Thailand but still well below North America’s or Western Europe’s prices.
The children will enjoy playing on the beach and in the water while mom and dad sip on fresh coconut water.
Things to do on Phuket island include:
- Elephant Sanctuary
- Flying Hanuman Ziplines
- Take a Muay Thai class
7. Serengeti Safari, Tanzania
Tanzania is a magical place. Although you may not typically find it on lists of vacation destinations, the breathtaking sights will make it the best family adventure ever.
In the Maasai language, “Serengeti” means “endless plains,” and when you’re here, you can see why. The landscape of natural wonders stretches on forever.
The big five are what people come to see, and you won’t be disappointed: Lions, rhinos, leopards, elephants, and buffalo roam freely here.
Come and see:
- The annual migration of the wildebeests
- The big five animals
8. Luang Prabang, Laos
You may have yet to hear of ancient Luang Prabang. But it won’t take long for the whole family to fall in love with this UNESCO-protected ancient capital city.
Laos’ colonial history left a bohemian vibe in this ancient Asian city. You’ll find Palaces and temple buildings down every street, colonial-era post offices, and western bakeries. Many still have their original signage in French.
Traditional Laotian food sits beside French baguettes as you walk down the most colorful street market you’ll ever see.
- The surrounding mountains
- The Temples
- The Mekong River
Scotland may not be the first family vacation destination to cross your mind, but the Scottish highlands has a charm you won’t find anywhere else.
While the kids taste their first deep-fried Mars Bar, you can sample some Scotch Whiskey or Brewdog beer. And although Haggis might not appeal to you and your family, there’s still plenty to look forward to in Scotland:
- Highland Games
- Loch Ness
- Hadrian’s Wall
10. Tokyo, Japan
Ultra-modern and uncompromisingly Japanese, Tokyo sometimes feels like a dream, perhaps even like the inside of a video game. No matter how it feels to you, it’s an experience no family will ever forget.
With more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city, Japan has to be tasted to be believed. However, sushi and sashimi are just the tip of the iceberg. Noodle bars, okonomiyaki pancakes, and Kushiage restaurants are all over Tokyo.
Home of Nintendo and Sega, Sony, and Nikon, Tokyo is a tech lover’s dream.
Visit the following attractions when you’re in Tokyo:
- Disneyland Tokyo
- Pokemon Centre Mega Tokyo
11. Skiing in the Alps
Skiing is a great family hobby; your kids will remember the moment they first stepped onto the pure white snow for the rest of their lives. Even if they’ve skied before (you should learn the basics before arriving), there’s nothing like skiing in the Alps.
You don’t need to spend your entire holiday on the slopes. However, the surrounding area offers lots to do and see. You’ll want your fill of Swiss chocolate, cheese, and fondue!
Make sure to put these things on your to-do list:
- See the Matterhorn from Zermatt village
- Discover alpine wildlife at The Swiss National Park
- Swiss hot chocolate – cozy up to a log fire in an alpine cabin after a day on the slopes
12. Bali, Indonesia
Bali offers so much to a family looking for a fantastic vacation. This Indonesian island has everything you’d expect of a tropical island paradise.
Balinese architecture portrays an exotic vibe as you travel around the island. You will spot shrines and offerings dotting the pavement. Your first time in Ubud is like stepping back in time. Walk the old markets, take in traditional dance, and get massages.
Of course, there’s the other side of the island, too. With the beachfront and focus on water sports, you can easily have two vacations in one in Bali. Visit the following there:
- Surfing in Kuta
- Bali palaces
- Sacred Monkey Forest
13. Orlando, Florida
No family vacation list is complete without Walt Disney World. A trip to Orlando, Florida, is a dream come true for any kid. If you live on the West Coast, you may have been to Disneyland, but Disney World is still worth the cross-country flight. Despite your legs tiring from a ton of walking around the parks, it’s a family holiday you won’t forget.
There’s more than just Disney in Orlando. There are airboat tours to explore the Everglades, Seaworld, and Kennedy Space Center. And when you need a couple of days off from all the theme parks and water slides, head to Clearwater for a beach vacation.
Be sure to visit the following theme parks:
14. Yunnan, China
While you probably want to avoid the large cities in China when traveling with children, Yunnan in the west of China is an idyllic family trip. Home to most of China’s ethnic minorities, many different cultures are represented here, which show up in the food and architecture.
Head to Sichuan if you want to pet baby panda cubs. If your kids want views like in the movie Kung Fu Panda, you’ll find them all over Yunnan. Head toward Shangrila for a taste of Tibetan culture or Xishuangbanna to meet Dai people, who are closely related to Thai people.
Getting around China can be tricky if you don’t speak the language. Luckily though, English-speaking tour guides and translators are inexpensive.
Visit the following in Yunnan:
- Leaping Tiger Gorge
- Lugu Lake
Create Your Dream Vacation List
Whether you’re a seasoned digital slomad or this is your first trip together, these family vacation ideas will make your next family trip unforgettable.
If you’ve made it this far, it’s time to add some destinations to your list of places to visit. Obsidian is excellent for organizing notes and lists, like a vacation bucket list. Copy and paste the places that jumped out at you to plan your dream family vacation!
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