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30 Best Family Vacation Spots in the World

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You’ve earned that family vacation! Much more to the point, you need that family vacation. What better way to regroup, reforge family bonds, and create precious shared memories? So maximize it by visiting one of these best family vacation spots.

It would help if you ensured the longed-for vacation was delivered to every family member. You want genuine quality time that’s more than just a weary cliché. It’s vital to pick a spot that’s the right fit.

To help you make that all-important choice, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite places for some of the best family vacations. So whether you’re after an adrenaline rush or need a break from the busy world, check out these family vacation ideas.


United States Hawaii
Europe London
Asia Bangkok
Africa Cape Town

Best Family Vacations in the World

1. Dune du Pilat, France

Bay of Dune due Pilat, France
Source: Adobe Stock

At more than 360 feet above sea level, Dune du Pilat is Europe’s tallest sand dune. Located on France‘s Atlantic coast, the majestic Dune attracts about 2 million visitors annually. That’s no surprise, though.

After all, beach vacations are the best spots to bond with nature. This impressive natural wonder is perfect for kindling children’s awareness of the world around them — kids will enjoy the guided story-time walks on the Dune. Dune du Pilat is also famous for moving up to 15 feet eastward yearly due to prevailing winds and tides.

The Dune has no shade, so come prepared with plenty of sunscreen and water. Even better, arrive for sunrise or sunset, when the sun casts a magical light over the pristine sand. There’s quite a climb to the top, but it’s worth it for the fabulous views and family photo opportunities.

One great activity available on the Dune is Oyster Tasting. And for more attractions, such as mini golf and horseback riding, you can drive or take the train to Bordeaux, about 50 miles away.

2. Honolulu, Oahu

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii
RightFramePhotoVideo / Shutterstock

Another beautiful beach destination is the world-famous Waikiki Beach, with its pristine sands and turquoise seas. There’s plenty for the family to do here, from renting out bodyboards or paddle boards to taking a family surfing lesson. Waikiki Beach can sometimes get crowded, but you should be able to find a quiet spot. And smaller family members will love the wave-free Hilton Hawaiian Village lagoon.

In fact, because of the importance of family – Ohana, in Hawaiian culture – you’ll surely find plenty of kid-friendly activities. Lots of resorts will have a kids club, or offer lei-making, snorkeling, or scuba lessons. And the beauty of the city makes it a gorgeous spot for family vacations. Check out the view from its historic Aloha Tower, a short walk from the Children’s Discovery Centre.

A trip to nearby Pearl Harbor will help you get close to the poignant events of December 7, 1941. Here, you’ll find the USS Arizona Memorial, submarine and aviation museums, and the Battleship Missouri. Kids, especially, will enjoy the Pearl Harbour Virtual Reality Center.

There’s also the excitement of a day trip to the world’s largest dormant volcano, Haleakalā National Park, on the island of Maui. You could even camp overnight to maximize the fantastic stargazing opportunities in this unique national park.

See Related: Where To Stay In Hawaii

3. San Francisco, California

Aerial View of San Francisco Skyline
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Known for its cable cars, hilly streets, and row homes featured in the hit series Full House, San Francisco is unlike anywhere else in Northern California. The city is also packed with a wonderful range of activities, making it one of the best family vacation destinations.

Does your family love Disney? Check out the Walt Disney Family Museum, where you can explore the life of Walt Disney with hands-on exhibits and original artwork. Another great museum for kids is the Exploratorium, full of interactive games and exhibits. Or you could rent bikes and cruise around Golden Gate Park, San Francisco’s 1000-acre oasis.

Fancy a ride on a ferry or a boat tour? Visit San Francisco’s island prison, Alcatraz, once home to notorious mobster Al Capone. There’ll be plenty of great views of San Francisco Bay along the way. Then, there’s the fleet of historic vessels at San Francisco Maritime National Park, a must-see for boating enthusiasts.

Union Square, downtown San Francisco, and Ghirardelli Square—famous for its chocolate treats—are other great San Francisco attractions. The Presidio of San Francisco is a good outdoor recreation place with woods, a golf course, and hiking trails.

See Related: Best Road Trips in California

4. Lake Champlain Islands, Vermont

Breakwater on Lake Champlain in Autumn
Matt / Adobe Stock

From the ski slopes of Mount Snow to the natural beauty of Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont provides wonderful opportunities for outdoor fun. Its most-visited place, though, is Lake Champlain – a great destination for family vacations.

A haven for wildlife, Lake Champlain is a natural freshwater lake, and perfect for bird-watching. You can also go canoeing and kayaking, not to mention snowshoeing in winter. Kids also enjoy looking out for Champ, the underwater monster reputed to live here.

Lake Champlain contains roughly 80 islands, lighthouses, and parks, and there are tons of trails and picnic spots to explore. There are also less energetic pursuits. Check out the museums in Plattsburgh on the New York side of the lake and the Echo Center at Burlington on the Vermont shore.

5. Gurnee, Illinois

Six Flags Amusement Park, Gurnee, Illinois
Lyubov Timofeyeva /

The best family trip locations provide options to suit various interests. Gurnee has to be one of those destinations and is one of Illinois’s best family vacation spots.

Gurnee is a lively village, known for its outstanding tourist attractions. These include a theme park with exhilarating roller coasters, an indoor water park, beer tasting, and endless shopping.

For example, you can scream at the top of your lungs at Six Flags Great America amusement park or float down the lazy river at Great Wolf Lodge. Get your bounce at Launch Trampoline Park for a workout and a way to burn energy.

For the older family members, Gurnee Mills shopping mall’s Midwestern-themed architecture is worth exploring. You may also want to time your visit to catch the annual September “Legions of Beer” festival.

See Related: Cheapest Shopping Destinations in the World

 6. Panama

Aerial view of the modern skyline of Panama City , Panama with modern Highrise buildings
Gualberto Becerra / Shutterstock

Linking Central and South America, Panama is a beautiful country with plenty to offer active families. There are tons of exhilarating things to do for older kids and adults, such as deep-sea fishing, kayaking, and diving. You could also visit the top-rated beaches, Red Frog Beach and Starfish Beach.

You’ll also find a wide assortment of attractions in Panama City. Sample the historical delights of the Casco Antiguo, with its seafood restaurants, high-end shopping, and great museums. These include the stunningly designed Biomuseo and the little Museo Panama Viejo with its cathedral ruins.

The must-see Panama Canal, one of the seven wonders of the modern world, is a fifteen-minute drive from Panama City. The country also boasts waterfalls, abandoned castles, stunning rivers, and hiking trails.

And don’t miss World Heritage Site Coiba Marine Park, where you can see rainforests with some of the world’s greatest biological diversity. You can even go whale-watching!

7. Quebec, Canada

Cityscape view of Old Quebec City with buildings, green grass against St Lawrence river and blue sky
Ketsarin / Adobe Stock

If you prefer a trip based in a city location, Québec City in Canada is one of the best family vacation spots. The history, culture, vibe, and attractions make it a family vacation destination. Not only that but thanks to its continental climate, it offers a wide range of activities throughout the year.

Summer activities include the panorama hiking circuit around Montmorency Falls Park, a few miles from the city center. Here, you’ll take a thrilling walk over a waterfall 90+ feet above Niagara.

For the more adventurous, there are also zip lines across stunning scenery. You could even try the via ferrata routes (a cross between hiking and climbing), taking you right up to the waterfall.

In winter, check out the many tobogganing areas or snow slides. For example, at the Dufferin Terrace in Old Québec, you can reach up to 40mph sliding down one of its toboggan lanes.

Québec City has plenty to offer all year round. There’s the Observatoire de la Capitale—fantastic city views from its observation deck—Village Vacances Valcartier, the 19th-century Château Frontenac, and Domaine de Maizerets. Children will love the small but packed Aquarium du Québec, with indoor and outdoor exhibits.

See Related: Budget-Friendly Family Vacations

 8. Central North Island, New Zealand

Central North Island, New Zealand

Have you ever dreamed of visiting New Zealand? Family vacations don’t get much more exciting than this. For first-time visitors, it’s good to start with the Central North Island area, sometimes considered the heart and soul of New Zealand. You’ll find stunning volcanic landscapes, forests, and New Zealand’s largest lake, Taupo.

Taupo is famous for its awe-inspiring Maori rock carvings, breathtaking scenery, and geothermal springs. It’s also a great destination for kid-friendly outdoor fun, with a mini golf course, boat cruises, farm parks, and playgrounds.

The Central North Island boasts many other world-famous attractions. There’s the Hot Water Beach at Coromandel, where thermal water bubbles under the sand, and the impressive Cathedral Cove rock formation. A little further south is the Rotorua area, which is also jam-packed with fun activities.

For nature lovers, there’s Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park or the National Bird of Prey Centre. You could also try bungee jumping at Velocity Valley or visit the scenic Whakarewarewa Forest, where you can hike, cycle, and ride horses.

But what would a trip to New Zealand be without a visit to Hobbiton? Take a guided tour of the Matamata film set featured in The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, and you’ll feel like you’re wandering over the gently rolling pastures of the Shire.

9. Aruba

Eagle Beach aerial and ocean view
Christian Pausch / Adobe Stock

A trip to the sunny Caribbean paradise of Aruba, known for its pristine beaches and surfing, can relax the soul. So its sun-filled surroundings, plus the luxury of waking up beside your private beach, make this island a wonderful vacation spot for anyone.

Aruba is also one of the best family vacation spots because of its reputation as one of the safest places in the Caribbean. Additionally, the island has reliably calm weather, as it is outside the hurricane belt. There’s also lots to do for everyone in the family.

Young children will like Baby Beach’s soft white sand and calm waves. Older kids will enjoy the livelier Palm Beach, where there are snorkeling activities, kayaking, surfing, and windsurfing.

There are also petting zoos where you can meet donkeys and ostriches, as well as a butterfly farm. And history buffs will enjoy visiting the lighthouse and the gold mill ruins – perhaps in one of the All Terrain Vehicle tours available.

See Related: Where To Stay in Aruba

10. Orlando, Florida

Walt Disney World, one of the best family vacation spots in the world
Shawn.ccf –

Packed with theme parks, Orlando is sometimes described as the world’s entertainment capital. And just as no list of best family vacations is complete without mention of a Disney destination, no family vacation to Orlando is complete without a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort.

In Orlando, home of ‘The Most Magical Place on Earth’, you’ll find the superlative Disney experience. This is Walt Disney World – perhaps the ultimate family vacation destination.

There are 47 square miles of Disney theme parks, including Magic Kingdom Park, Disney Studios, Epcot, and 2 water parks. If you stay at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, you’ll get early theme park entry and extended evening hours.

But there’s more to Orlando for great family vacations than the classic Walt Disney World Resort experiences. For example – have you ever wanted to stay in your spaceship?

Enjoy a 2-night, immersive space adventure at Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. In this Star Wars-themed hotel, you’re in one of the movies.

Try Universal Orlando Resort and enjoy movie-themed amusement park rides, tours, and adventures. Get arty with the creative hands-on activities at the Crayola Experience Orlando.

Or cool off at Aquatica Water Park, ranked as one of the best water parks in the world, with its 42 slides and vast sandy beaches. Fans of the Harry Potter books and film series must visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is filled with all things magical.

11. Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles Cityscape
Tierney / Adobe Stock

Los Angeles has to be one of the best family vacation spots. Here, you’ll find many exciting things to explore: neighborhoods, luxury restaurants, beaches, museums, and amusement parks.

Consider visiting Disneyland, Joshua Tree National Park, Venice Beach, the Santa Monica Pier, or Kidscape Children’s Museum. Or why not take the Catalina Express ferry for a day trip to the lovely island of Catalina? There are plenty of things to see and do within walking distance of the harbor. There are even zip-line and rock-climbing activities for the more adventurous.

But no trip to Los Angeles would be complete without strolling on Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, and Rodeo Drive. If you’re a movie fan, you can hike and see the world-famous landmark on a Hollywood Sign tour.

Or take the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, and then search for your favorite stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – although do be aware that it can get very busy. You might want to sign up for one of the many Los Angeles highlights tours available.

See Related: The Ultimate Weekend in Los Angeles Itinerary

 12. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago skyline from Lincoln Park with tranquil pond
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Chicago is another great choice for a city-based family vacation. Last year, Chicago hosted 30.7 million domestic and international visitors.

And with such a diverse range of things to get into, it’s no surprise. There are many parks, tours, incredible shopping districts, and world-class museums to explore.

To see the city from a different angle, try a riverboat excursion. There’s also a unique experience in The Magnificent Mile, one of the world’s top dining and retail destinations. And sports fans will love visiting Wrigley Field – home of the Chicago Cubs – where you can take a selfie in front of the famous ivy-covered wall.

Some of the best sights in Chicago are Adler Planetarium, Lincoln Park, and the Chicago Children’s Theatre. Well worth a visit is the thrilling Skydeck at Willis Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the Western Hemisphere.

Kids will love Chicago’s hands-on museums, such as the Color Factory, the Harry Potter: Magic at Play museum, and Sloomoo, which are dedicated to the world of slime. If you’re traveling with older kids, why not book a Chicago Mob and Crime Bus Tour?

See Related: Tropical Vacation Spots

 13. Sydney, Australia

Aerial view of Sydney Opera house near Sydney business center around the harbour
ingusk / Adobe Stock

Sydney is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Australia, and one of its most popular vacation destinations. With its plethora of family-friendly beaches and attractions, it’s also a contender for the best family vacation destination.

Sydney’s most popular attractions include the Sydney Opera House, The Rocks, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Queen Victoria Building, and the Sydney Tower Eye. For animal lovers, there’s Taronga Zoo and Featherdale Wildlife Park.

Sydney is also a very cycle-friendly city. A great way to get close to some sights, including crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, is by renting bikes. Check out the Sydney Harbour National Park, Malabar Headland National Park, and Lane Cove National Park for outdoor activities.

And we can’t forget the fabulous Sydney beaches. For example, world-famous Bondi Beach’s big, glassy swells are great for confident teen swimmers and learner surfers.

Smaller beach babies might prefer the North Bondi area, while Clontarf Reserve beach is great for sandcastle-building. But with over 100 beautiful beaches, a Sydney beach will suit you.

See Related: Best Beaches on the East Coast of Australia

 14. London, England

Aerial View of The Shard in London at Sunset
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

London is a fabulous choice for a family vacation. It offers hundreds of iconic spots and is brimming with family-friendly attractions and activities. With its seemingly endless supply of museums, parks, and historic sites, you won’t run out of things to do in the United Kingdom’s capital city.

Fun places to go are the Tower of London, Madame Tussauds Waxworks Museum, London Zoo, and, of course, the London Eye, which gives stunning views of the city. All these attractions are incredibly popular, so you must book in advance. And don’t forget to look at Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and Tower Bridge on your travels around London.

Another must-see place is the museum quarter in South Kensington. The world-famous museums here are mostly free to visit, and all contain tons of engaging interactive exhibits.

Just down the road is the celebrated Harrods department store. And for more great London shopping, there’s Oxford Street, Covent Garden, and Camden Market.

You can let off steam in the lovely open spaces at Hyde Park and Regent’s Park. And for thrill-seekers, there are two theme parks only an hour’s drive from London – Chessington World of Adventures and Thorpe Lakes Aqua Park.

15. Cape Town, South Africa

The beautiful city of Cape Town, with its gorgeous mountains white sand beaches and clear blue water
derejeb / Adobe Stock

With its majestic mountain backdrop, Cape Town is a stunningly beautiful city on South Africa’s southwest coast. Cape Town offers plenty to do, including adventure activities, museums, parks, and pocket-friendly luxury restaurants. All this makes it one of Africa’s top family holiday destinations.

Cape Town is not short of beautiful beaches if you’re looking for a beach vacation. For example, Bakoven Beach is a secluded spot where you can avoid crowds.

If you want a more buzzy atmosphere, try Clifton 4th Beach, which is great for beach games and barbecues and is close to the city center. For bigger waves, there’s Clifton 1st beach.

Try riding the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, which is high above the city – the views are fantastic. You can snack at the top of Table Mountain or take one of the hiking trails available. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers wonderful vegetation and dasies (a type of cute mammal). You can also get the very best views by paragliding.

Another key trip for history buffs is the ferry ride to Robben Island to see where Nelson Mandela was held. You can only access the island through an organized tour, where your guide will be a former detainee.

Even if you’ve booked in advance, you may still have to queue. Also, have travel sickness medication to hand—the water can sometimes be choppy.

For the best weather, fewer crowds, and the lowest prices, the right time for a trip to Cape Town is March to May and September to November. And when planning, remember that Cape Town is in the Southern Hemisphere. This means that spring starts in September, summer in December, fall in March, and winter in June.

See Related: Best Sabbatical Destinations

16. San Diego, California

Downtown San Diego, California Cityscape
Dancestrokes / Shutterstock

San Diego is one of the best locations for family trips in California. This southern California city is the complete package from Mission Beach to San Diego Air and Space Museum at Balboa Park.

San Diego is sometimes known as “Navy Town, USA,” which is shown at local attractions. USS Midway Museum is a fascinating spot, and not only for history buffs.

You get to see all over this floating city, and kids and adults alike love the flight simulators. There’s also the Maritime Museum, plus the chance to experience maritime San Diego in an amphibious vehicle tour.

If you enjoy interacting with wildlife, you’ll find plenty here. There’s the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, open all year round.

And at La Jolla Cove, you can see seals, cormorants, and pelicans and even swim with sea lions and sea cucumbers. For less experienced swimmers, taking one of the snorkeling tours is best.

See Related: Must-Know Vacation Tips to Maximize Your Trip Experience

17. Mexico City, Mexico

Panoramic view of downtown Mexico City buildings
Suriel Ramzal /

Mexico City is becoming increasingly popular with travelers from across the globe. Visitors love its endless sunshine, stunning scenery, breathtaking architecture, and extraordinary Aztec ruins. Mexico City is a perfect spot for families exploring Mexico’s rich cultural heritage.

A top attraction is the National Museum of Anthropology, a treasure house of Mayan and Aztec objects. There’s also the Museo del Templo Mayor and Aztec ruins, next to the Cathedral in the Centro Histórico. And don’t miss the quirky Blue House, Frida Kahlo’s former home and now a museum of her life and work.

The Bosque de Chapultepec, a large park with many attractions for the whole family, is also worth a visit. There is a zoo, museums, a hilltop castle, orchid hothouses, and a beautiful lake.

And there’s plenty of family fun at another popular attraction – masked Lucha Libre wrestling at the Arena Coliseo. Taking one of the Lucha Libre tours will get you a ringside seat and your mask.

See Related: Travel Tips for Visiting Mexico on a Budget

18. Banff, Canada

Banff National Park Scenery
aiisha / Adobe Stock

Banff is a small yet fully loaded mountain town within Banff National Park in Canada. It’s on the edge of pristine wilderness and has endless breathtaking views. Banff is a great choice for active family vacations with its countless outdoor activities.

There are boat tours of nearby Lake Minnewanka, or you can do it yourself by renting a canoe. Nature lovers can boost their chances of seeing the local elk, bears, and foxes by taking a guided tour of key wildlife spots.

Check out Banff’s famous thermal spring at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site. Not too far away is the majestic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Constructed in 1888 to take advantage of the hot springs, this is a great place to stay for family vacations.

See Related: Most Romantic Cities in the World

19. Toronto, Canada

Skyline of Toronto in Canada
anderm / Adobe Stock

Toronto, Canada’s largest city and the capital of Ontario, is the country’s most visited destination. It’s a buzzy and exciting place with fantastic attractions, making it a great family vacation destination. I’d recommend at least a 3-day trip to ensure you have enough time to check out the major highlights.

A must-see Toronto attraction is the CN Tower, where a glass-fronted elevator takes you to the summit in less than a minute. You’ll find the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the mind-blowing Museum of Illusions in the city’s heart, which are great for selfies.

Sports fans will love the hockey memorabilia and interactive games at the Hockey Hall of Fame. One great way to understand this city is to take a helicopter tour.

Another good way to see Toronto is on a harborfront boat cruise. Or get a taste of the old days by setting sail on a tall shipboat cruise.

20. Martina Franca, Italy

Scenic sight in Martina Franca on a sunny summer morning, province of Taranto, Apulia, southern Italy
essevu / Shutterstock

Martina Franca—or simply Martina—is a small city in the heart of Italy’s Puglia region. It has a mild Mediterranean climate and is famous for sparkling wine, delicious cuisine, and an annual opera festival.

This stunning little historic town is also a great place to base yourself if you and your family want to discover more of this glorious location.

One way to do this is with an electric bike tour, which allows you to get that immersive closeness to your surroundings without the effort. Many e-bike tours can provide infant seats; a local guide will know all the traffic-free routes.

What could be better than a cookery class using top-quality local ingredients in an area famed for mouthwatering food? For example, try this cheesemaking class.

There are also tons of tasting tours available in the Martina area, whether you’re into cheese, wine, or bocconcini, a luxurious pastry filled with cream and jam.

See Related: Things to Do in Italy & Best Places to Visit

21. Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne skyline looking towards Flinders Street Station
Aleksandar Todorovic / Adobe Stock

The capital of the Australian state of Victoria, Melbourne, is one of the country’s most-visited and magnificent cities. This coastal city offers a good climate and plenty of kid-friendly places worth exploring.

One of the must-visit spots in Melbourne is the Eureka Skydeck. If you have a head for heights, you can brave The Edge – a glass cube projecting from the 88th story.

A little over a mile eastward are the Royal Botanic Gardens, with a special children’s garden. And across the Yarra River is the Melbourne Aquarium, where you can ride a glass-bottom boat and see a giant croc.

A great way to enjoy the city is to take the free City Circle Tram. As you travel, you’ll learn about major landmarks en route, including Parliament House, Federation Square, and the Princess Theatre. Trams run every 25-30 minutes, and to catch one, wait at any tram stop along the City Circle Tram route.

22. Shanghai, China

Shanghai skyline with modern urban skyscrapers, China
dibrova / Adobe Stock

Shanghai is China’s wealthiest and most populous city. And while it may not be the first destination that comes to mind for a family vacation, this extraordinary city is a surprisingly good option.

Shanghai is known for both historical landmarks and contemporary, ever-expanding skylines. One modern example is the iconic Oriental Pearl Tower.

It’s beautiful to look at – especially when illuminated at night – and well worth a visit for its sensational views and transparent floor. Or visit the Jin Mao Tower, where you can take a Sky Walk harnessed to the outside of the tower.

A more historical spot is the ancient water town of Zhujiajiao, with its cute shops and wonderful street food. Or try Nanshi Old Town to get a feel for old Shanghai.

If you need more of an adrenaline rush, try the Jinjiang amusement park or maybe Shanghai Disneyland – within walking distance of the Toy Story Hotel.

See Related: Most Beautiful Places in the World

23. Santorini Island, Greece

White architecture of Oia village on Santorini island, Greece
Patryk Kosmider / Adobe Stock

The Greek island of Santorini, known for its cube-shaped white buildings lining the cliffs, is one of the world’s loveliest honeymoon destinations. Along with its jaw-dropping ocean views and sunsets, it also offers plenty of activities for family vacations.

You can spend time on famous black sand beaches like Perissa or Kamari, but remember to bring beach shoes. If you want to sunbathe, the plentiful hotels and restaurants let you use sunbeds for free, as long as you buy something.

Why not try one of the many wineries – tours usually come with a tasting session – or see the ancient ruins at Akrotiri Santorini? And for a great view of the sea and the volcano, try the Santorini cable car, which runs from the town to the Old Harbour. You can take one of the many volcano tours and day trips available to get close enough to the volcano to smell the sulfur. Top tip: Wear comfortable shoes.

24. Argentina

Aerial panorama of the city of Bariloche, Argentina
Dudarev Mikhail / Shutterstock

Argentina is one of the most stunning South American countries, with its amazing glaciers, waterfalls, and lakes. Its unique culture and wonderful local cuisine make it one of the best spots for family vacations.

The Iguazu National Park Waterfalls Area is a great place to start. Its walkways give you grandstand views of over 100 waterfalls, the most impressive being The Devil’s Throat.

If you don’t mind getting wet, take an Iguazu Falls boat trip to get closer. Visit Los Glaciares National Park to see the Perito Moreno Glacier or tour the penguin colony at Punta Tombo.

Argentina’s capital, Bueno Aires, has stunning architecture, parks, and museums. Hire a bike to take in the Obelisco, the beautiful Centro Cultural Kirchner, the Historical Wax Museum, and the lovely Lezama Park. And why not have a coffee at the Sunday market in the historic Plaza Dorrego?

See Related: Best Places to Travel in Your 20s in the US

25. Montreal, Canada

Winter aerial view of Montreal, Canada

When you’re searching for the best family vacation spots in Canada, Montreal has to be on your list. Montreal has many wonderful attractions, including Old Montreal (Vieux-Montreal), Notre-Dame Basilica, the Montreal Botanical Garden, and Saint Joseph’s Oratory.

Montreal is set on an island in the Saint Lawrence River named after Mount Royal, a mountain at the city’s heart. There are several stairways up to this hill, which offers stunning city views. In winter, you can also toboggan and cross-country ski there.

Kids will love the city’s awesome Biosphere dome and the Insectarium. Another favorite is the Montreal Science Centre, crammed with interactive exhibits. Even non-Barbie fans have been known to enjoy Montreal’s amazing Barbie Expo, the world’s largest free exhibition of Barbie dolls!

26. Phuket, Thailand

Thai traditional wooden longtail boat in Phuket, Thailand
preto_perola / Adobe Stock

If you’re craving a warm getaway, consider Thailand, whose tropical climate is toasty and humid all year round. Phuket is one of Thailand’s best family vacation spots thanks to its crystal clear seas and soft white sand.

A popular beach is Nai Harn, which boasts a kid-friendly lagoon area. You’ll feel reassured generally by the presence of lifeguards and the red flag system. Check out the beautiful Wat Naiharn temple close by; other gorgeous Phuket temples include Wat Phra Thong, and pagoda-style Wat Mongkol Nimit.

Animal lovers will want to see the Soi Dog Foundation—Southeast Asia’s biggest dog and cat rescue center—and Phuket Elephant Sanctuary. More energetic activities include whitewater rafting, ziplining, and all-terrain vehicle tours.

Thailand is home to several budget airlines and well-connected trains, so Phuket has easy access to other Thai cities, such as Bangkok and Pai. The weather is generally wetter around September-October, but there are regional differences, so check these out before you go.

See Related: How to Plan a Trip to Thailand and Build an Itinerary

27. Bangkok, Thailand

Grand palace ancient famous architecture south east asia thai art tradition culture building in blue sky background
52Ps.Studio / Adobe Stock

Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city, is another great place for thrilling family vacations. With its affordable hotels, vibrant markets, dazzling temples, and amazing street food, it’s no surprise that Bangkok is so popular.

One must-see temple is Wat Phra Chetuphon, with its sensational, over 150-foot-long golden reclining Buddha. Other stunning historical sites include the Grand Palace, the Golden Mount, the Marble Temple, and the Erawan Shrine.

More modern attractions include Bangkok Ocean World and the Snake Farm, where you can handle venomous snakes – should you want to. And children will love the Kidzania amusement park, where they can believe they work in the big city.

28. Pai, Thailand

The village next to the river in Pai, Mae Hong Son, Thailand
Sukjanya / Adobe Stock

Pai is a small town in northern Thailand showing more to the country than palm-fringed beach paradises. Pai is famous for its lush landscape and chilled-out vibe and provides easy access to waterfalls, elephant camps, and natural hot springs. This makes it a great place for action-filled family vacations.

If you’re OK with heights, there’s a mesmerizing hike along the Pai Canyon, where you can enjoy stunning sunsets. If heights aren’t your thing, there’s an easy way up, too, but wear comfortable shoes.

Mor Paeng Waterfall also allows you to climb gently, and there are places here to swim in the river. If you want more of a thrill, try a white-water rafting experience.

At Pai Hot Springs, you can relax in a hot pool with temperatures ranging from lukewarm to nearly boiling. Or if you want extra company, visit Thom’s Pai Elephant Camp, where you can swim with the elephants. Try Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat, where martial arts and meditation courses exist for a more challenging break.

29. Copenhagen, Denmark

Nyhavn Harbor Copenhagen with colorful buildings and boats
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Curious about Denmark? Well, you should be because it offers endless options for family adventures. Its tranquil atmosphere and fairytale castles make it a wonderful place to explore with the entire family.

The great thing about the country’s capital, Copenhagen, is that many of its top sights and attractions are near one another. For example, 17th-century Rosenborg Castle, the Botanical Gardens, and the Round Tower – the best spot for city views – are all within walking distance. And don’t forget to look out for the iconic Little Mermaid statue at the quayside.

Other Danish must-see spots include the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, where you can ride a Viking longboat. And, of course, we can’t discuss Denmark without mentioning LEGO.

There’s a fantastic shop in Copenhagen showcasing LEGO products, but if you want the full experience, head to Billund for the LEGOLAND Resort and the LEGO House.

See Related: The Ultimate Backpacking Through Europe Itinerary

30. Lapland, Sweden & Finland

Northern landscape from a drone, Swedish Lapland, Arctic summer
ArtBBNV / Shutterstock

Lapland is a region encompassing the northernmost parts of Sweden and Finland. It’s best known for its snowy climate, incredible northern light phenomena, and association with Santa. It’s also a destination with exciting excursions and adventures for a great family vacation.

The best time to visit Lapland to witness the Midnight Sun and Northern Lights is the winter season, from December to March. Look out for snowmobile tours, or you can travel by husky sled. A view of the Northern Lights can’t be guaranteed, but the thrill of the ride is unforgettable.

Ounasvaara, close to the center of Rovaniemi city, is a great mountain resort. In summer, you can hire mountain bikes and e-bikes, and kids can go on the dirt bike track.

There’s even summer bobsleighing. And in winter, there’s skiing, snowboarding, and, of course, a visit to the nearby Santa Claus Village.


What are some alternative ways to enjoy a family vacation?

A family-friendly cruise is a unique family vacation idea, as there’ll be a range of activities and amenities, such as indoor and outdoor pools, on offer.

Some of the best family vacations include a cultural getaway. Immerse yourself in a new culture by visiting a city with a rich history and artistic scenes, such as Paris, Rome, or Barcelona.

Finally, another classic cheap family vacation idea is going on a road trip. Hit the open road by choosing a route that takes you through beautiful landscapes and interesting destinations.

Are there any family vacation destinations that don’t require passports?

We love to travel, but arranging paperwork for kids can be a nightmare. That’s why we’re big on bucket-list-worthy destinations where US Citizens don’t require passports – like the US Virgin Islands, Catalina Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Hawaii.

What’s the best way to get cheap flights for family trips?

The best way to find cheap flights is to use a booking tool like, Skyscanner, or Momondo. Flight finders take the hassle out of finding flights and fares, and they’re invaluable to frequent travelers.

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