Family vacations can be a great way to bond and create unforgettable memories. Moreover, vacation time is a much-awaited time for kids and adults alike. It’s when you can unwind in a stress-free environment, indulge in fun activities, and pamper yourself and your family.
However, deciding on a destination catering to everyone’s interests and preferences can be challenging. Popular family vacation destinations include beach resorts, theme parks, national parks, cruises, and ski resorts.
There’s no need to be overwhelmed; here’s all the information you’ll need for a fantastic family vacation.
Ultimate Family Vacation Ideas
These family vacation ideas will have you covered for many upcoming vacation ideas. Prepare yourself and your family for some memorable times.
Beaches make for a classic vacation idea that never goes out of style. You can look for a lively beach with abundant activities or a more secluded spot to relax and unwind.
Beach vacations offer endless opportunities for fun, relaxation, and adventure. You can lounge on the beach, build sandcastles, or swim in the ocean. If you’re the adventurous kind, try water sports like surfing, jet skiing, or paddle boarding.
Top Pick: Maui, Hawaii
Maui is a natural paradise with its stunning beaches, turquoise waters, and endless outdoor activities.
While you can rent a private beach house or condo, there’s nothing like the convenience of staying in a resort. Consider staying at Grand Wailea for a memorable family vacation. It has the perfect blend of nature and culture. The resort has an enormous pool complex with slides, a Tarzan swing, and a lazy river. Other fun activities include:
- Hula dancing lessons
- Beach games
If you’ve longed to try out water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, boating, or surfing, Maui is a treasure trove of outdoor and water adventures. The little ones will enjoy visiting several crescent-shaped beaches with calm waters in Wailea.
The Makena Beach State Park, just south of Wailea, is one of Maui’s signature beaches. It’s among Maui’s largest undeveloped beaches and has picnic areas, lifeguards, and restrooms, making for the perfect area to visit with your family.
And if you visit Maui between January and early April, your family will enjoy whale watching in the surrounding waters. It’s a sight to behold.
Theme Park Vacation
Any family with young kids must absolutely not miss theme park vacations. There’s no shortage of theme parks or amusement parks across the United States.
Go on thrilling roller coasters, meet and greet your favorite characters, play carnival games, or enjoy the various shows and attractions.
Top Pick: Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
“Come and experience the magic” is what Disney says, and it’s no lie. It is, undoubtedly, a must-visit at least once for you and your family. Everybody has an inner child – there’s nothing like Walt Disney World to bring it out.
They have four theme parks, two water parks, many hotels, restaurants, shops, and loads of entertainment.
You can stay at any of the Disney Resort Hotels. With over 20 Disney hotels, you’ll find the perfect hotel for your family’s taste and budget. For example, Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort will make for a delightful stay for families on a stricter budget.
Disney also offers stroller rentals, changing areas, and babysitting services if you’re traveling with small children.
Another park highlight is Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Pandora, the world of Avatar, with the Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey, is one of the main attractions here.
The mountains are calling, and you must go with your family. Summer or winter, mountains make a great family vacation idea. With all that stunning scenery and opportunities for outdoor activities, you’ll feel rejuvenated and one with nature.
Go hiking, skiing, shopping in nearby towns, and exploring Mother Nature’s bounty. Even the mountain air is invigorating.
Top Pick: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Jackson Hole is full of stunning views, unique wildlife, and opportunities for family fun.
There’s no better place to stay in Jackson Hole than at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences. Its proximity to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park makes it the perfect choice for families to explore some of the country’s most beautiful national parks during their mountain vacation.
During the winter, your mountain retreat doubles as a ski vacation; you can hit the slopes and head to a soothing spa afterward.
Visiting Jackson Hole in the summer opens up opportunities for fun family activities like fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and other adrenaline-pumping, fun water sports.
Did you know that you could view some of the darkest skies in North America at Jackson Hole? This makes it the perfect setup to indulge in stargazing, which adults and kids will find fascinating. Put your astronomical knowledge to the test, and locate the Orion Nebula and the Andromeda Galaxy.
Road Trip Adventure
The mother of all family vacations is a road trip. Whether visiting distant family or friends, exploring national parks, or just hitting the open road, you’ll make lasting memories.
Want to know what adds to the excitement? Renting an RV and driving along the most scenic routes, with pit stops for sightseeing or camping at an RV camp. Of course, you’ll have to plan your trip out in detail.
Top Pick: Blue Ridge Parkway
If you’re an outdoorsy family, a Blue Ridge Parkway road trip is meant for you. It’s one of the most popular family road trip destinations across the United States and is situated along the Southern Appalachian Mountains’ highest ridges.
This 469-mile ribbon of road is the perfect stretch – neither too long nor too short – with spectacular mountain views. Home to 19 different national parks, including Shenandoah National Park, this is the ideal route for a spring road trip to see Mother Nature at its best.
Take time out for hiking or exploring the many trails along this route, or stop at the dedicated picnic areas to have a meal. If you bring bikes, you can also go on biking adventures.
For your stay, consider the Cabins of Asheville, North Carolina. Nestled in the Pisgah National Forest, they have log cabins with all the basic amenities, a fireplace, and a jacuzzi. You can go mountain biking, rafting, hiking, and more, and then relax in the hot tub to soothe those tired feet at the end of the day.
The best part? They’re pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry friend on your family vacation.
National Parks Vacation
The United States has an abundance of breathtaking natural wonders within its many national parks. Consider this type of vacation if your family loves nature and the outdoors.
The USA has 63 national parks with unique attractions and landscapes. Take your family hiking, camping, or wildlife-watching at these scenic vacation destinations.
Top Pick: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
This national park sees more annual visitors than any other across the United States, thanks to its ease of access and abundance of beauty. You can also make this a memorable family road trip, especially if you live in the eastern United States.
Did you know there are over 17,000 species of animals and plants in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Nature lovers will have the time of their lives here. Combine this with recreational activities like hiking, camping, bicycling, ziplining, and more, for an adventure you’ll never forget.
If you’re wondering where to stay, try the Lodge at Camp Margaritaville in Pigeon Forge. Their warm mountain cottages make for a comfortable stay for families. The highlight is their deluxe room that can sleep up to six people, with a separate tented room that kids will go crazy for.
They have a pool recreation area with a water slide and a kid’s zone with a palm tree fountain. You’ll also love the hot tub, playground, fire pit, and Barkaritaville Pet Park, which is for your pets accompanying you on vacation.
Other Terrific Family Vacation Ideas
What you’ve seen so far are the more popular vacation ideas. But here are some other ideas that are equally delightful.
Explore multiple destinations without the hassle of packing and unpacking. Cruise lines also offer entertainment and family-friendly activities suitable for all ages.
Pick a Disney Cruise for a family vacation unlike any other you’ve ever experienced. If your kids love superheroes, Disney offers a Marvel cruise.
If your family loves winter sports, a ski trip is a great choice. Ski resorts, winter activities, and ski slopes will cater to family fun.
Park City Mountain Resort, with 330 trails and 7,300 acres of terrain, is one of the best ski mountains for families.
It may sound weird, but a city break helps you and your family explore new cultures and experiences. Landmarks, museums, and other attractions offer entertainment for the entire family.
There is a range of cities you can pick from for a family vacation. Boston, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo are some popular picks.
Rent a cabin or set up a tent amidst nature; there’s nothing quite like a camping vacation to explore nature and bond as a family, especially huddling around a campfire.
Go camping with your family at Mount Desert Island, Maine; the scenic drives, jagged cliffs, and breathtaking views go great with ice cream and sumptuous meals in Bar Harbor.
Create Memories That Will Last a Lifetime
Regardless of your choice of vacation idea, the most important thing is to enjoy your time together as a family. By picking a destination that everyone will enjoy, you can create memories that will last a lifetime.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
Featured image credit: Natalya Zaritskaya
About the author
Jude Uchella is a health and wellness advocate and founder of Health Makes You, a reliable resource for comprehensive answers to health-related questions/challenges. He is supported by a team of professionals (a doctor, an anatomist, and a fitness trainer) who contribute and fact-check content on the website.