Every night, we spend about 8 hours of our day sleeping. Well, if we’re lucky, at least. And for most of us, of course, another large chunk of our day (8 hours?) is spent working.
Quickly, our daily allotment is two-thirds booked by only sleep and work. Thrilling. The remaining (roughly) one-third of our days are usually spent doing what? Perhaps caring for our kids, tackling daily chores and errands, exercising, doctor’s appointments…the list goes on.
But before we know it, our entire day is booked solid. Is the rigidity of such a structured routine really our purpose for being on Earth? Because this leaves little room for adventure.
Working and earning are essential, there’s no doubt about it. But what is the purpose of a life filled with endless work and structure without adventure – without stepping outside the box and seeing what our planet has to offer?
I know your immaculately landscaped lawn and flowers already provide you with a daily dose of beautiful…
“But I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel.”
Time is the only true commodity. The last suit you’ll ever wear has no pockets. If you have the means, invest in family vacations while you still can.
World-wide family exploration. If you’re curious about family vacation ideas – without further ado – below are the best family vacation spots in the world.
Best Family Vacation Spots in the World
1. Dune du Pyla, France
At more than 110 meters above sea level, Dune du Pilat, situated at the entrance to France’s Arcachon Bay, is Europe’s tallest sand dune. Located roughly 60 km southwest of Bordeaux, the Dune attracts roughly 2 million visitors every year. That’s no surprise, though.
After all, beaches, and mountainous sand dunes, are some of the best spots to bond with nature. At over 500 meters wide and 2.7 kilometers long, the Dune’s glistening sands offer endless possibilities for families, couples, or solo travelers alike.
To avoid the heat, and since there’s no shade, arrive at the Dune for sunrise or sunset, but be prepared to snap a myriad of pictures as the sun and shadows cast a magical light over the pristine sand. One of the best things you do on your visit is to experience the Dune du Pilat and Oysters Tasting.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in Switzerland & Things to do
2. Honolulu, Oahu
Aloha! While we’re on the subject of glistening sands, perhaps I could interest you in palm tree-lined sands, overlooked by high-rise hotels against pristine, turquoise waters on the world-famous Waikiki Beach of Oahu.
And with just a short ride to the Pearl Harbor Museum, you’ll discover miraculous stories in the company of the USS Arizona memorial, museum, and gallery related to the fateful day of December 7, 1941.
In addition, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, set in a volcanic crater, is a historic military site honoring veterans of four wars. For the fans of the television series, Hawaii Five-0 was filmed on location in Honolulu and throughout the island of Oahu.
The city is also home to several attractions, allowing visitors with different interests to explore history, art, and culture. The beauty and luxury of the city make it an ideal spot for family vacations. So book your very own beach resort and make it one of your best family vacations ever.
See Related: Romantic Destinations in the World
3. San Francisco, California
“What ever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, the evening TV?” Known for its cable cars, hilly, winding streets, and row homes featured in the hit series Full House, San Francisco is the ultimate commercial and cultural center in Northern California. The city is absolutely packed with various activities, making it perfect for family vacations.
Are you and your family fans of Disney? Check out the Walt Disney Family Museum where you can explore the life of Walt Disney with hands-on exhibits and original artwork.
Fancy a ride on a ferry or a boat tour? Visit San Francisco’s island prison, Alcatraz, on a tour, once home to notorious mobster Al Capone. There’ll be plenty of great views of San Francisco Bay along the way.
San Francisco Maritime National Park is a must-see for boating enthusiasts. Union Square, downtown San Francisco, Presidio of San Francisco, and Ghirardelli Square are additional major tourist attractions of San Francisco.
See Related: Best Road Trips in California
4. Lake Champlain Islands, Vermont
From the ski slopes of Mount Snow to the natural beauty of Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont provides endless activities for both summer and winter months for everyone in search of outdoor fun.
Its most-visited place, however, is Lake Champlain. A haven for wildlife, Lake Champlain is a natural freshwater lake and is the perfect outdoor spot for canoeists and kayakers.
Lake Champlain contains roughly 80 islands, as well as lighthouses and numerous parks to explore. If you and your family want a special, unforgettable trip, consider visiting Lake Champlain, a perfect spot for family vacations.
See Related: Best Tropical Vacation Spots in the World
5. Gurnee, Illinois
Gurnee is one of the best family vacation spots in Illinois. Known throughout Chicagoland for its outstanding tourist attractions, Gurnee is a beautiful village offering much to keep tourists engaged and entertained. This includes splendorous architecture, an amusement park with exhilarating roller coasters, indoor water parks, a lazy river, beer tasting, and endless shopping.
- Scream from the top of your lungs at Six Flags Great America amusement park.
- Ride the lazy river at Hurricane Harbor.
- Bring the family for outdoor activities at Betty Russell Community Park.
- Get some air and bounce on at Launch Trampoline Park.
A small hidden gem full of fun to discover, Gurnee is an excellent place to plan an exciting family vacation today.
See Related: Cheapest Shopping Destinations in the World
Linking Central and South America, Panama is a beautiful country offering many things to see and do. The country provides countless opportunities for every age group, such as visits to top-rated beaches Red Frog Beach and Starfish Beach, deep-sea fishing, diving, golf courses, and other physical activities for the whole family.
You can also find a wide assortment of attractions in Panama City, including the Panama Canal, where you take a cruise. Tourists will see waterfalls, abandoned castles, stunning rivers, and hiking trails. You can also book a Panama City Money Heist and San Blas Islands Day Trip on your visit.
If you genuinely want to experience the natural beauty of Central America, don’t miss the chance to explore Panama. It truly is one of the best family vacations you can have.
7. Quebec, Canada
Quebec City is one of the best family vacation spots in Canada. The history, culture, vibe, and attractions make it a standout family vacation destination.
Each season throughout the year provides stunning sights and unique activities to locals and tourists alike. The top tourist attractions of Quebec City are Aquarium du Québec, Village Vacances Valcartier, Domaine de Maizerets, and others.
With a vast array of fun and exciting things to do, Quebec City, with its rich history and culture, shouldn’t be missed when planning a family vacation in Canada.
8. Central North Island, New Zealand
Have you ever dreamed of visiting New Zealand? Well, you need to visit the Central North Island, which is the heart and soul of New Zealand. You’ll explore volcanic landscapes and forests, and enjoy New Zealand’s largest lake.
But what would a trip to New Zealand be without a visit to Hobbiton? Located in the heart of New Zealand, explore the lush pastures of the Shire with a guided walking tour of Hobbiton.
Central North Island is also home to many other world-famous attractions: Hot Water Beach, Rotorua, Cathedral Cove, Hell’s Gate, and more. Tongariro National Park, Whanganui National Park, and Egmont National Park are among the best national parks to visit.
Central North Island is among the best family vacation spots globally and offers activities like bungee jumping, surfing, horseback riding, hiking trails, and plenty of water activities. It is a perfect location for active families. Don’t miss experiencing the Milford Sound Full-Day Trip from Queenstown.
The sunny paradise of Aruba is known for its hot beaches and surfing. A trip to this stunning country can ease the mind, relax the soul, and add a touch of adventure to life. The gorgeous beaches, sunny days, and pleasant weather make this island one of the best vacation destinations.
Aruba is one of the best vacation spots for children and family members who love beach and water activities. So if you dream of waking up in a beach resort with private beach access, make reservations for your trip and have the best family beach vacation ever. Don’t miss the Aruba Sailing and Snorkeling Experience with Drinks on your visit.
10. Orlando, Walt Disney World
Home of ‘The Most Magical Place on Earth.’ Walt Disney World. The ultimate family vacation destination. No family vacation to Orlando would ever be complete without a trip to The Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney World Resort.
A world-famous family holiday destination, Orlando has tourists often describing it as Florida’s entertainment capital. Grab your family members and hit up Universal Orlando Resort and enjoy the amusement park rides at this perfect family vacation destination.
Dozens of creative, hands-on activities await families at the Crayola Experience Orlando. Cool off at Aquatica water park, consistently ranked as one of the best water parks in the world.
Are you and your family fans of the Harry Potter books and film series? You absolutely must visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Ever wanted to stay in your own spaceship? Enjoy a 2-night, immersive space adventure at Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, a Star Wars-themed hotel complete with role-playing activities and actors.
A world-ranked water park with several open-air theme parks, mini golf, and other spectacular attractions, Orlando is well-catered for families and couples of all ages. Plan your trip to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando and experience the magic. Get your admission ticket now.
11. Los Angeles, California
Pack your bags and head for the coast. La La Land. Hollywood. Los Angeles is one of the best family vacation spots, including vibrant neighborhoods, luxury restaurants, beaches, pools, museums, and many other exciting things to explore.
Consider visiting Disneyland, Joshua Tree National Park, Venice Beach, and the Santa Monica Pier. But no trip to Los Angeles would be complete without strolling on Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, and Rodeo Drive.
Hike and see the world-famous Hollywood Sign, take the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, or search for your favorite stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Los Angeles offers incredible things to see and do, committed to making your star-struck trip unforgettable.
Want to see Hollywood and check out celebrity homes? Book the Los Angeles Hollywood & Celebrity Homes Open-Air Bus Tour.
12. Chicago, Illinois
Chicago offers an array of museums, parks, and attractions for kids and adults alike. In 2021, Chicago hosted a whopping total of 30.7 million domestic and international visitors.
With such a diverse range of things to get into, it’s no surprise. You can visit nightlife venues, vibrant shopping districts, and world-class museums. Some of the best sights in Chicago are Adler Planetarium, Lincoln Park, Navy Pier, The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and the Chicago Children’s Theatre. With Chicago CityPASS, you can visit top attractions in Chicago.
Don’t also forget to book Chicago Mob and Crime Bus Tour. What are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Chicago today.
13. Sydney, Australia
Sydney is one of the oldest and most incredible cities in Australia. The natural beauty and endless opportunities to experience Sydney’s history and entertainment make this city the most visited destination in Australia.
The best attractions include George Street, Sydney Opera House, The Rocks, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Queen Victoria Building, and the Sydney Tower Eye.
For those looking for outdoor activities, check out the Sydney Harbour National Park, Malabar Headland National Park, and Lane Cove National Park. Book a Sydney Harbor Cruise too!
Of course, how could we forget the fabulous Sydney beaches? Bondi Beach, Manly Beach, Shelly Beach, and Palm Beach, the list goes on!
14. London, England
The capital of the United Kingdom offers hundreds of attractive and iconic spots to visit. You can explore this stunning city on sightseeing tours, or take a day out to visit the seemingly endless supply of galleries and museums.
London has a wide range of national parks, national museums, theme parks, beautiful bridges, zoos, towers, and other places to explore. Book Big Bus London Hop-On Hop-Off Tour or enjoy the Harry Potter Tour of Warner Bros. Studio.
With its several high-end shopping streets, London is the perfect city to treat yourself or your loved ones to some fancy English souvenirs.
See Related: Most Beautiful Places in America to Vacation
15. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is a beautiful port city on South Africa’s southwest coast. One of Africa’s best family vacation spots, Cape Town offers plenty to do.
An array of museums, 50-plus pocket-friendly luxury restaurants, cocktail bars, the Atlantic Seaboard, and other stunning places await you in this South African city. Cape Town also provides water sports and other adventure-related activities to those interested.
For active families who love outdoor fun, check out Table Mountain National Park. For the best weather, fewer crowds, and the lowest prices, the right time to plan a trip to Cape Town is from March to May and September to November. And when planning your trip, always remember, that their seasons are reversed. Tour Cape Town with City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Tour.
16. San Diego, California
San Diego is one of the best locations for family trips in California. The most challenging part of planning your trip to San Diego is deciding what to do. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
San Diego offers luxury, comfort, and affordable hotels all in one beautiful city. From Balboa Park and Mission Beach to the world-famous San Diego Safari Zoo, this southern California city is the complete package.
17. Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico is becoming increasingly famous with travelers from across the globe. People come from all over the world for its endless sunshine, sandy beaches, stunning scenery, and rich cultural heritage.
Chapultepec Castle and Lake, the National Museum of Anthropology, and the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Studio House Museum are among the best places to visit in Mexico City. To plan your memorable Mexican getaway, consider making a list of Mexico’s best tourist places today.
18. Banff, Canada
Banff is a small yet fully-loaded resort mountain town in Canada. With its countless outdoor activities, easy access to pristine wilderness, and endless opportunities for picturesque, breathtaking views, Banff offers a lifetime’s worth of things to do for any type of traveler.
Explore the town of Banff on a day tour, with its rich history and a wide array of interesting shops and restaurants. Rent a canoe, go paddle boarding, and hit up Lake Louise. Built-in 1888, the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is one of the best places to stay for family vacations.
With its rich heritage and awe-inspiring mountain views, Banff truly is one of the best locations for nature lovers.
See Related: Most Romantic Cities in the World
Toronto is the capital of Ontario and one of the best family vacation spots in Canada. Toronto Islands Park, the Harbourfront Centre on the Toronto waterfront, the walkable bohemian neighborhood of Kensington Market, the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Toronto Zoo, and the CN Tower are among the top tourist attractions awaiting you in Toronto.
Plan at least a 3-day trip with your family to ensure you have enough time to check out all of Toronto’s major highlights.
20. Martina Franca, Italy
Martina Franca is a small city blessed with a cool climate in Puglia, Italy. It is famous for its unique dishes and delicious dinners. Walk around Lama, the historic center of Martina Franca, and admire its endless beautiful town squares.
The Oriente Hotel Bari, the Basilica di San Martino, and Caffe Tripoli are among the top tourist attractions and sights of Martina Franca. Don’t forget to add wine tasting in Martina Franca. Overall, this small yet stunning Italian city is a location absolutely worth visiting.
21. Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne is one of the most-visited and magnificent cities in Australia. The city offers attractive infrastructure, a good climate, and plenty of unique places worth exploring.
Some top attractions include Federation Square in the city’s center, Queen Victoria Market, the National Gallery of Victoria, endless cafes and eateries, and much more.
Also be sure to add Yarra Valley Wine & Wildlife, Philip Island’s Wildlife and Nature Parks, and a ride along The Great Ocean Road to your itinerary for visiting Melbourne.
22. Shanghai, China
While it may not initially strike your mind while researching the best family vacations, Shanghai is an excellent option. Though the country is filled with a vast amount of historic cities and culturally authentic places to explore, Shanghai is the country’s most populous and wealthiest city.
Shanghai is known for its historical landmarks and contemporary, ever-expanding skylines. You can explore attractions like the Yu Garden, Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai Museum, Longhua Temple, and the iconic Oriental Pearl Tower. Book Zhujiajiao and Downtown 3-Day Tour to experience the real Shanghai.
See Related: Most Beautiful Places in the World
23. Santorini Island, Greece
Santorini Island in Greece offers you jaw-dropping activities to do and places to see. The destination is best known for its cube-shaped buildings embellished with cliffs, blue accents, and eye-catching sunrises and sunsets.
Santorini Island is one of the perfect honeymoon destinations. Greece’s beautiful beaches and white villas will capture your mind and heart while exploring this volcanic island. Overall, the island includes all the qualities you could dream of in a Greek island.
Argentina is one of the most stunning South American countries. Known for its beauty, Argentina is one of the best family vacation spots. It has an exciting history, unique culture, beautiful geography, unique local cuisines, and thriving nightlife.
The city offers many affordable activities to do and stunning, jaw-dropping places to see. You can explore Argentina by walking around its national parks, lakes, and coconut-fragranced beaches.
25. Montreal, Canada
When you are searching for the best family vacation spots in Canada, Montreal certainly needs to make it onto your list. Famous for its heritage and cultural history, some of the best attractions of Montreal include Mount Royal Park, Old Montreal (Vieux-Montreal), Notre-Dame Basilica, Jean Drapeau Park, the Montreal Botanical Garden, and Saint Joseph’s Oratory.
If you’re planning to visit Canada, make sure to visit and tour this spectacular place and plunge into the city’s rich culture.
26. Phuket, Thailand
If you’re thinking about Thailand, then no need to check out its weather conditions. It is one of the best family vacation spots. Phuket boasts crystal clear beaches, markets, temples, mini golf courses, horseback riding, water parks, and bungee jumping locations.
Thailand is also home to several budget airlines and well-connected trains, so Phuket has easy access to other great cities in Thailand, such as Bangkok and Pai.
Thailand is home to budget airlines and well-connected trains that can take you from one place to another without any hassle. There are several destinations to explore in the country, such as Bangkok, Koh Samui, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hua Hin, and so much more.
27. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is another world-famous city for an excellent family vacation. From affordable hotels and resorts to beaches, floating markets, and more, it’s no surprise that Bangkok is among the most visited destinations in the world.
The city has a lot to explore, such as world-famous, dazzling temples, rooftop cocktail bars, and colorful floating markets. Book the Bangkok city highlights tour now.
28. Pai, Thailand
Pai is a small town in northern Thailand, famous for its landscape, chilled-out vibe, hospitality, and cuisines. The city also provides easy access to various waterfalls, elephant camps, and natural hot springs.
The natural and lush surroundings of Pai make it endlessly mesmerizing. Visitors can see and enjoy the Pai Canyon, temples, and street markets. This wonderful town attracts everyone from nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts to artists, musicians, flash-packers, and more.
Curious about Denmark? Well, you should be, because it offers endless options for family adventures. The country’s top-rated attractions include Christiansborg Palace, Tivoli Gardens, Nyhavn, Frederiksborg Castle, and the National History Museum of Denmark.
The National Aquarium Denmark is the largest aquarium in Northern Europe. Additionally, the Copenhagen Zoo is not to be missed. So, grab your passports and land in Denmark, its peaceful and tranquil atmosphere makes it an extra special place to explore with the entire family.
30. Lapland, Sweden & Finland
Lapland is a region encompassing the northernmost parts of Sweden and Finland. It is best known for its vast arctic nature and incredible northern light phenomena, while also being a destination with exciting excursions and adventures for the whole family.
People from all over the world travel to Lapland to witness the Midnight Sun and Northern Lights. The winter season, from December to March, is the best time to visit Lapland when both the snowy conditions and the display of the Northern Lights are at their best. One of the best things not to miss in Lapland is the Reindeer and Husky Safari.
What are some great vacation ideas?
Some of our favorite family vacation ideas are beach vacation destinations such as the Caribbean, Hawaii, or the Mediterranean. A cruise is another great family vacation idea as they offer a range of activities and amenities, making them a great option for families and couples. If you are looking for a cultural getaway, immerse yourself in a new culture by visiting a city with a rich history and vibrant arts scenes such as Paris, Rome, or Barcelona.
Finally, another classic cheap family vacation idea is going on a road trip. Hit the open road for by choosing a route that takes you through beautiful landscapes and interesting destinations.