You deserve a well-earned family vacation – you need it more than ever. It’s an opportunity to regroup, strengthen family bonds, and create precious memories together. To make the most of this particular time, it’s crucial to choose a destination that caters to the interests and preferences of every family member.
Don’t settle for a vacation that falls short of your expectations; aim for genuine quality time that goes beyond tired clichés. That’s why selecting the right spot is paramount.
To assist you in making this crucial decision, we have curated a selection of our favourite destinations for unforgettable family vacations. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline-pumping adventure or longing for a peaceful escape from the hectic world, we’ve got you covered.
In this article, we are going explore these inspiring family vacation ideas that cater to a variety of interests and desires.
1. Paris and Normandy, France
A visit to Paris is a must for every family’s vacation wishlist. Known as the City of Light, Paris boasts some of Europe’s most iconic tourist attractions, but it also holds many delightful surprises for families, even during a short stay.
Treat your children to a unique lunch experience at Les Café des Chats, an actual “cat café” where a dozen fluffy felines live and roam among the patrons. While the Louvre Museum appeals to almost everyone, if museums aren’t your family’s cup of tea, you can spend a picture-perfect afternoon in Luxembourg Gardens, where kids can find their own enjoyment. However, the true joy of exploring Paris with kids lies in meandering through the winding streets and charming alleyways, allowing for delightful and unexpected discoveries at every turn – all while indulging in freshly baked baguettes or delectable crepes.
2. Sydney, Australia
Sydney, one of Australia’s oldest and most stunning cities, also ranks high among the best family vacation destinations, thanks to its abundance of family-friendly beaches and attractions.
Sydney offers a multitude of renowned attractions, including the iconic Sydney Opera House, The Rocks, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Queen Victoria Building, and the Sydney Tower Eye. Animal enthusiasts will be delighted by the opportunity to visit Taronga Zoo and Featherdale Wildlife Park.
With its bike-friendly infrastructure, Sydney presents an excellent opportunity for family cycling adventures. Renting bikes allows you to explore famous sights such as crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. For those seeking outdoor activities beyond the cityscape, Sydney Harbour National Park, Malabar Headland National Park, and Lane Cove National Park offer a wealth of options to satisfy your craving for nature.
There is also family accommodation in Parramatta if you plan to visit the famous Parramatta Park. With its rich history, scenic beauty, and diverse recreational offerings, Parramatta Park is an ideal destination for a fun-filled family adventure.
3. The Maldives
The Maldives, a true dream destination, is often reserved for the wildest family vacation fantasies. However, experiencing this collection of island paradises in the Indian Ocean with your children is now more accessible, rewarding, and relaxing than ever, thanks to a resort that caters specifically to families.
Emerald Maldives Resort and Spa’s overwater bungalows should be at the top of your family’s vacation bucket list. Here, children are pampered and treated with the same level of luxury as adults. Imagine family cooking classes where your little ones learn to make authentic Italian gelato using local ingredients, specially designed yoga sessions just for kids, and rejuvenating spa treatments like a chocolate clay body wrap. It’s the perfect way to leave behind the stress, fears, and changes brought by the pandemic.
And that’s not all! Picture a two-bedroom beach villa with a private garden, an outdoor shower under the stars, and a turquoise pool exclusively for your family’s enjoyment. These enchanting accommodations set the stage for a truly magical and unforgettable vacation.
4. Pai, Thailand
Pai, a charming small town in northern Thailand, reveals that there’s more to the country than palm-fringed beach paradises. Known for its lush landscapes and laid-back atmosphere, Pai offers easy access to waterfalls, elephant camps, and natural hot springs, making it an ideal destination for action-packed family vacations.
If you’re not afraid of heights, embark on a mesmerizing hike along Pai Canyon, where breathtaking sunsets await. If heights aren’t your cup of tea, there’s an easier path to explore, but don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes.
For a gentle climb, visit Mor Paeng Waterfall, where you can even swim in the river. Seeking a more thrilling experience? Try white-water rafting for an adrenaline rush.
Relaxation awaits at Pai Hot Springs, where you can unwind in the various hot pools with temperatures ranging from lukewarm to nearly boiling. If you’re looking for some animal encounters, pay a visit to Thom’s Pai Elephant Camp and enjoy swimming with elephants. For a more immersive experience, consider Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat, offering courses in martial arts and meditation.
5. Lapland, Sweden & Finland
Lapland, a region spanning the northernmost parts of Sweden and Finland, is renowned for its snowy landscapes, mesmerizing Northern Lights, and association with Santa Claus. It’s a destination brimming with exciting excursions and adventures that promise an unforgettable family vacation.
To witness the Midnight Sun and Northern Lights, plan your visit to Lapland during the winter season, from December to March. Look out for thrilling snowmobile tours or enjoy the unique experience of travelling by husky sledge. While catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights is not guaranteed, the thrill of the ride will stay with you forever.
Ounasvaara, located close to the centre of Rovaniemi city, is an excellent mountain resort offering diverse activities. In summer, you can rent mountain bikes and e-bikes, while kids can enjoy the dirt bike track. You can even try summer bobsleighing. When winter arrives, skiing, snowboarding, and visiting the nearby Santa Claus Village are among the must-do activities.
Embark on a family adventure to Lapland, where enchanting winter wonderlands and unforgettable experiences await at every turn.
6. Copenhagen, Denmark
Denmark is a country full of endless possibilities for unforgettable family adventures, and its capital, Copenhagen, is the perfect starting point. With its serene atmosphere and fairytale-like castles, it offers a wonderful experience for the whole family.
One of the great things about Copenhagen is that many of its top attractions are conveniently located near each other. For instance, you can explore the 17th-century Rosenborg Castle, stroll through the Botanical Gardens, and climb the Round Tower for panoramic views of the city—all within walking distance. And don’t miss the iconic Little Mermaid statue at the quayside.
Venture further to experience more Danish highlights, such as the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, where you can even take a ride in a Viking longboat. And, of course, LEGO enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the fantastic LEGO shop in Copenhagen, while Billund offers the ultimate LEGO experience with LEGOLAND Resort and the LEGO House.
7. Western Norway
Western Norway, stretching 500 miles from Bergen to Trondheim, is undeniably one of the most breathtaking and unspoiled destinations for family vacations. My two daughters consider it their personal slice of heaven and with good reason. Amidst the vibrant wooden buildings, KODE museums, Fløyen Mountain, and the sublime Olivia Restaurant, your bucket list family vacation in Norway begins.
After exploring Bergen, continue north along scenic roads and car ferries to embark on memorable experiences. Hop aboard the charming Flåm railway, visit the “Norwegian Book Town” of Fjærland, and immerse yourself in the beauty of Jostedalsbreen National Park before reaching the art nouveau city of Alesund and its picturesque archipelago.
Take the awe-inspiring Atlantic Road—a mesmerizing drive along the rugged and untamed coast—that will lead you across the most captivating bridge your kids have ever seen. By the time you arrive in Trondheim, you will have traversed a wonderland of idyllic Scandinavian towns. And like my children, yours will likely be eager to do it all over again.
8. Santorini Island, Greece
Santorini, the Greek island renowned for its charming white buildings perched on cliffs, is often associated with romantic honeymoons. However, it also offers plenty of activities for unforgettable family vacations.
Spend leisurely days on the famous black sand beaches of Perissa or Kamari, but don’t forget to pack beach shoes for your comfort. Many hotels and restaurants provide complimentary sunbeds as long as you make a purchase.
Explore the island’s rich winemaking heritage by visiting one of the numerous wineries, where guided tours are often accompanied by tasting sessions. Discover the ancient ruins of Akrotiri Santorini for a glimpse into the island’s history. For a spectacular view of the sea and volcano, take a ride on the Santorini cable car, connecting the town to the Old Harbour. To experience the volcano up close and catch a whiff of sulfur, consider joining one of the volcano tours and day trips available. Remember to wear comfortable shoes for your adventures.
Immerse your family in the beauty and activities of Santorini, where stunning ocean views and mesmerizing sunsets await at every turn.