Many of us plan to travel when we’re young and single. But, it’s difficult to follow through with those plans when you’re drowning in student loans or starting a new career. So, you might have to wait a few years. By then, you may already have a few kids and you’re wondering if you’ll ever have the chance to take a vacation. Well, let us assure you that it is possible to travel with kids and still have a good time. It’s also good for your children to learn about different cultures around the world and see historic places. When kids are involved, it’s a completely different ballgame, though. You’ve got to consider the costs for traveling with multiple people, the safety of the location, whether or not there will be enough attractions to keep your kids interested and how well the cuisine caters to your child’s picky taste buds. You’ll also need to choose somewhere that won’t bore you! After all, it’s a family vacation, not just your children’s vacation.
So, what are the best family vacation destinations for 2018? We’ve got the rundown and all the details right here. You might want to start saving up because the Thanksgiving long weekend and Christmas holidays are both fast approaching! These are perfect times to unwind and bond with your family in a new place.
20 Bali (Nope, it's not only perfect for couples)
Bali seems like the perfect romantic getaway for couples. But, it's also a perfect destination for families with children. There are lots of family resorts, western-style eateries and fun activities for kids in Bali.
If your child loves swimming, they'll love Waterbom Bali. It was voted the best waterpark in Asia! If your family loves animals, you can visit the Ubud Monkey Forest—home to Balinese long-tailed monkeys.
Your family will take pleasure in exploring this attraction, as it contains moss-covered temples which give the forest an ancient vibe. If you want to see more animals, you can always visit the Bali Safari and Marine Park, which is home to over 60 species. There’s something for every type of family in Bali!
19 Maldives (It's Not Only A Honeymoon Destination!)
The Maldives are often thought of as solely a honeymoon destination. But, it has recently transformed into an ideal location to visit with kids, as well. The Maldives consist of 80 islands with tourist resorts, so if you really want to make the most of your vacation, we’d advise you to wait until your kids are a little older. That way, island hopping won’t be as stressful. That being said, the best islands to visit with kids are: Kurumba, Sun Island and Haleveli Island. These islands all have kids’ clubs to keep your little ones busy, so you can still experience the privacy and seclusion that comes with a Maldives trip. The kids’ clubs have dolphin swims, painting classes, organized treasure hunts and more! Your kids are sure to have a blast!
18 Ireland (Your Kids Would Love To Stay In A Castle, Too)
Ireland is a welcoming and magical country. If your family has a member that loves knights, castles and Vikings, then this is the place to visit. In Lough Gur, you’ll find archeological sites, castle ruins and the entrance to Faerie Land. You can spend an entire day just exploring this small area. We’d also recommend taking in some of the natural beauty of Ireland. You can do so by hiking up the Cliffs of Moher or driving along the Sky Road for spectacular views of the ocean. As for accommodations, Ireland is one of the few places where you can stay in a castle for a few nights! We wouldn’t mind experiencing a day in the life of royalty!
17 Florida (Did anyone say, Disney World?)
Every kid wants to go to the place where dreams come true. We're talking about Disney World, of course! There's something for every child here, from princesses to pirates and cars. Sure, there are rides and roller coasters, too. But, if your child is too young (or you'd rather watch than join them), there are amazing shows, colorful parades and cool eateries around the parks to keep the whole family entertained, as well. And
while Disney World is the main attraction in Florida, there are also lots of other family-friendly attractions,
such as numerous beaches, LEGOLAND, SeaWorld and Universal Studios.
16 Hawaii (Kids love Coconut-Flavored Everything, Right?)
Hawaii is a great destination for families with children. It’s surrounded by water, so there are endless opportunities to swim, surf, kayak and snorkel. There are also marine parks, such as Sea Life Park, where your kids can feed and pet dolphins. Can you imagine how excited they would be?
The resorts on the island have a lot to offer, too. In the evenings, there may be a traditional luau, which includes fun activities such as making a fire with sticks, getting a temporary tattoo, throwing a spear and dancing. Of course, your entire family will also enjoy learning about Polynesian culture and eating delicious food! Speaking of food, your kids will love the treats that Hawaii has to offer. There’s coconut-flavored shaved ice, açai bowls and lots of pineapples. What more can you ask for?
15 Costa Rica (swimming holes and waterfalls? Yes, please!)
Costa Rica is a naturally beautiful country with an endless list of family-friendly outdoor activities. One thing that everyone must do in Costa Rica is a canopy tour. The country is filled with lush forests, so it’s the perfect place to try zip-lining. Kids can go with a guide, so it’s totally safe for them, too! If you want something closer to the ground, Costa Rica is also filled with picturesque swimming holes and waterfalls, where your family can cool down. On top of that, there are volcanoes you can visit and explore. Where else would you be able to do that?
14 Greece (Honoring The Real Hercules)
A trip to Greece is a unique learning opportunity for your children. Rather than being filled with tacky tourist attractions, Greece is rich with historical monuments and museums. Your kids may have even learned about Greek mythology in school (or seen movies such as Hercules), which will make the trip even more special because
there are statues and temples all over the country honoring Greek gods and goddesses.
Greece is also abundant in naturally beautiful locations where your kids can let loose. For example, there are beaches with pink sand! Can you imagine a pink sand castle? How cool is that? Or, if your kids are into exploring, you can always check out the caves in Crete. There are endless activities to keep them occupied, while you bask in the joy of being in one of the most romantic places in the world.
13 Tokyo (every Hello Kitty product imaginable!)
If there’s any place on earth that’s the epitome of both quirky and cool, it’s Tokyo. Only here will you find vending machines that sell every Hello Kitty product imaginable, noodles, cool earbuds and manga books. Even dining in Tokyo is a unique experience.
Where else can you eat while ninjas or robots serve you meals? Better yet, where else will you find a Barbie-themed restaurant? Your little girl would totally thank you for bringing them to heaven on earth!
Tokyo is also filled with obscure museums, so if anyone in your family has an unusual interest, your best bet is finding it here.
12 Peru (Everyone Loves A Good Adventure... And Llamas)
Everyone loves a good adventure. That’s why Peru is the perfect family vacation destination. You and your kids will have the time of your lives hiking the Inca trail, which leads to Machu Picchu from the Sacred Valley. Not only is Machu Picchu breathtaking and mysterious, but it’s occupied by llamas! Your kids will have fun petting the llamas (and if they’re really small, they may even be able to ride one). In Peru, your entire family can stay entertained by going horseback riding, rafting near Cuzco and visiting traditional markets. You never know what you'll discover!
11 Portugal (There's something for everyone)
Why choose Portugal for your next family vacation? Well, the country is safe, beautiful and inexpensive. There is so much for you and your kids to do! In Lisbon, you can explore medieval castles and towers. If you’ve got a Nemo fan on-board, you may also want to check out the Lisbon Oceanarium. If you’re looking to soak up the sun, we’d suggest heading to Algarve. The coastal region has Pinterest-worthy cliffs and beaches. There are also family-friendly resorts along the coastline, where you can play golf, fish and go swimming. Let’s not forget about the food in Portugal! Your taste buds will be satisfied with Portuguese Chicken Piri Piri and Portuguese cheeses.
10 Denmark (recognized as one of the world’s top family vacation spots)
Denmark is many things. It’s recognized as one of the world’s top family vacation spots.
It’s also the land of firsts—first interactive cinema and first LEGOLAND. The country is historic and features some of the oldest things in the world, too.
If your family is filled with adrenaline junkies, you’ll go crazy over Bakken, the world’s oldest operating amusement park. There are exciting drop towers and tame Ferris wheels, plus admission is free! If you’re not into thrills, you might enjoy The Old Town, where people are dressed in 19th century fashion and old cars are on display in a showroom. It’s really like stepping back in time!
9 Spain (A Chocolate Museum? Yes, Please!)
Spain is diverse and easy to navigate. So, traveling to Spain with kids is no problem at all. On the coastline, you’ll find beautiful beaches with water activities. In inland Spain, you may be surprised to find castles and picturesque villages. Some of these locations have inspired the fairy tales your children read! In Barcelona, you’ll find gorgeous architecture and a chocolate museum. Seriously, how can you resist that? And if your family has soccer (or football) fans, Madrid is the place to be. After all, it’s home to the famous Bernabeu stadium. To top it off, the country is filled with great food. Empanadas, anyone?
8 France (The Iconic Eiffel Tower Is Reason Enough)
France should be on everyone's bucket list. For couples, there are so many romantic things to do, such as kiss at the top of the Eiffel Tower or take a sunset cruise on the Seine. But, there's lots for families with kids to do, too!
Paris is home to a Disneyland park, where your little ones can enjoy newer versions of the classic Walt Disney World rides (with less wait times). It's also home to some of the best museums and galleries in the world, so your family can brush up on some art and history. Of course, there's also the iconic Eiffel Tower, which your kids will be excited to see and climb. The view from the top is breathtaking!
7 Niagara Falls, Canada (Marineland... Need we say more?)
Niagara Falls is filled with plenty of activities and sightseeing opportunities, which both you and your kids will enjoy. Of course, there's the majestic waterfalls which your entire family will adore. Beyond simply looking at the falls, you can zipline alongside it or take a boat to see it up close.
But, the real fun is on Clifton Hill, where there are haunted houses, wax museums, a Guinness World Records Museum, a Mystery Maze and Great Canadian Midway.
Your kids can never be bored here! There's also Marineland, a themed amusement park which has rides, sea lion shows and more. There's literally something for everyone at Niagara Falls!
6 Alberta, Canada (the richest source of dinosaur fossils in the world!)
Everyone’s fascinated by dinosaurs, but kids especially. That’s because they were amazing creatures, with their large size and cool armour. So, what better vacation to take than one during which you can all pretend to be palaeontologists or explorers of Jurassic Park? You’re probably wondering where in the world you can do this. Well, Alberta happens to be the richest source of dinosaur fossils in the world! At Dinosaur Provincial Park, your family can camp for a few nights, take a tour to view and learn about rocks and fossils. You can even get hands-on experience in the fossil prep lab area and watch videos in the theater.
5 Jamaica (Everything for Less)
Jamaica is a great place to take your family if you’d rather not spend your life savings on a vacation to the Maldives.
There are tons of affordable all-inclusive resorts on the Caribbean island—many of which cater to family needs. That means you and your little ones can feast on delicious food all day, watch live shows and take part in water activities.
There are also excursions to different parts of Jamaica. During these trips, your family will learn some history, go shopping, see the locals and visit famous landmarks such as Dunn’s River Falls and The Luminous Lagoon. Of course, you’ll also be able to swim in the crystal clear beaches and walk in the white sand.
4 Grand Canyon (Perfect for little adventurers)
National parks are always a good choice for family vacations. The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most popular parks and for good reason, too. The layers of ancient red rocks are a sight to behold. Your kids will feel like little archeologists exploring the gorges and walking along the trails. If you’re up for an adventure, you may want to take a balloon tour or ride a mule! There are so many gems to observe in the Grand Canyon, too. The Havasupai waterfalls are probably the most dramatic waterfalls in the region, with its blue green waters and 90-foot drop.
3 New York City (Tons Of Free Activities)
There’s always something to do in New York City! There are countless museums, so if your child loves dinosaurs or art, you can take them along as you go museum hopping. If you’re more of an extraverted family, perhaps you’ll enjoy a Broadway show.
We know how pricey it can be to take the whole family out for a few days. The great thing about New York is that there are tons of free activities, too.
We’d recommend the Staten Island Ferry, which allows you to view the Statue of Liberty. Brooklyn’s Coney Island is also a free, fun spot to visit in the summer. Of course, you’ll have to pay for rides, games and food. But, you can stroll the boardwalk or enjoy a seaside concert at no cost. Your kids will also love the snacks at Coney Island (ice cream and churros).
2 Italy (cheesy pizza and spaghetti with meatballs!)
Kids are natural explorers. They're relatively new to the world and want to see what it's all about. So, there's no better place to take them than Italy. The country is steeped in history and ancient monuments. Your kids will have fun in Rome exploring the famous colosseum, walking through the magnificent Roman Forum and hearing stories about battling gladiators. And nothing can beat a gondola ride in the canals of Venice or standing on top of a leaning tower. Best of all, Italy is home to children’s favorite meals: cheesy pizza and spaghetti with meatballs!
1 Tanzania (which kid doesn’t dream of going on a real safari adventure?)
While zoos can be fun, which kid doesn’t dream of going on a real safari adventure?
In Tanzania, there are plenty of opportunities for your family to hop into a Jeep and tour a wildlife park where you can spot some zebras, cheetahs, giraffes and antelopes.
It’s one thing to see animals in cages or behind a fence, but it’s another to see them roaming around freely. And instead of ending the day by heading to a posh hotel like you usually may on vacation, you can try staying in a treehouse hotel! Your entire family would enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.