You’ve been folding tiny bathing suits for an hour when you begin to feel like your plans are futile. Why would you take your children on a family vacation when they probably won’t even remember the trip?
Science has found that children are more likely to remember novel and emotional experiences, even if they occur before the age of seven. Your next vacation might become a core memory that recontextualizes your little one’s entire life.
The best family vacation ideas can change mom and dad’s life, too. If you’re due for a break, it’s time to take the brood on the road and experience something new. We’ve created this family travel guide to help you plan a journey that nobody in your tribe will be able to forget.
Read on to explore our top family travel ideas for your 2023 adventure.
Try a Timeshare
It’s hard to plan a luxurious trip with both kids and a budget. Timeshares make it possible to “upgrade” your accommodations while saving money. You’ll be able to return to the same high-end timeshare property repeatedly, making each subsequent trip a little easier.
You can find affordable timeshares near nearly any attraction you might want to visit, from beach towns to amusement parks. If it turns out the property isn’t for you, many companies help with timeshare cancellation, so you’ll never be stuck in an untenable situation. The spacious quarters are typically more comfortable for adults and children alike.
Because you’re paying for a timeslot, buying a timeshare is a great way to ensure family trips become annual traditions.
Whether you rent a timeshare or choose other accommodations, consider one of the destinations below for your next family trip.
A Florida Beach Vacation
The state of Florida has the longest coastline in the U.S., including 825 miles of beaches on both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. There are over 2,500 hotels in the state, including quite a few all-inclusive resorts. Many parents appreciate the daycare or babysitting services that keep kids safe and busy while they enjoy everything The Sunshine State has to offer.
Florida is also home to some of the world’s best family-friendly attractions, including:
- Walt Disney World
- Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
- Everglades National Park
- Legoland Florida
- Animal Kingdom
- Kennedy Space Center
- Universal Studios
A single day at any of the above destinations is often enough to satisfy the kids, but the beaches never get old. A mix of commercial fun and relaxing seaside shenanigans makes for an engaging trip for the whole family. The weather is consistently hot and sunny, and the occasional rain shower is a pleasant reprieve from the high temperatures.
An Urban Adventure
If you and your family live in the suburbs or rural countryside, visiting a large, urban city can be an exciting change of pace. Cities are centers of art and culture, and you can spend a day exploring a single, walkable area. They are often accessible for families with strollers and offer entertainment options for visitors of all ages.
Some of our favorite family-friendly cities include:
- Washington D.C.
- Boston, MA
- Philidelphia, PA
- Las Vegas, NV
- Seattle, WA
- Chicago, IL
- Indianapolis, IN
- San Antonia, TX
- San Diego, CA
- Nashville, TN
While NYC might seem the obvious choice, it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming for families with young children. If you’ve never been, you might not be ready for the amount of walking involved. New York City streets really are as long as they look in the movies!
One of the smaller, more manageable “starter cities” above can be a good test run. See how well kids can handle the theatre, museums, and street walking before tackling Broadway, The Met, and Seventh Avenue!
A National Park
National parks are landmarks for a reason! They’re stunning, unique, and full of beautiful natural areas to explore. A national park adventure might be right for your family if your kids have a lot of energy to burn.
For some families, camping is an affordable alternative to staying in hotels or resorts. When you visit a national park, appreciating nature is part of the experience. The parks feature some of the most stunning, family-friendly campgrounds on earth, making them ideal for a first camping trip.
Our favorite national parks for families include:
- Yosemite National Park
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Acadia National Park
- Yellowstone National Park
- Glacier National Park
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Zion National Park
- Grand Teton National Park
- Olympic National Park
Since the parks are major destinations, the nearby cities have expanded and evolved to accommodate tourism. If you need a break from the wild blue yonder, you can take a trip into town to enjoy restaurant dining, local museums, or local cultural landmarks. Plus, rainy-day recreation options are available if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
The campground itself will have plenty to keep the kids busy. Namely, they include plenty of playgrounds where they can interact with other little nomads.
The Best Family Vacation Ideas
Nobody deserves a getaway more than parents—but getting away without your kids in tow isn’t easy. The best family vacation ideas allow everyone to have a great time without making sacrifices. All the travel ideas on our list will keep everybody busy and satisfied, so your vacation won’t feel like another chore.
Whether you hit the road or stay at home, you deserve to incorporate more joy into your life. Check out the rest of the blog for more posts to inspire your next lifestyle adventure, even if it’s in your living room.