When you start plotting a family vacation, there are so many questions to answer. Where can you go that will be cool enough to make everybody enthused? How can you come up with a destination that works for those of you who have traveled a lot already, as well as the generations who haven’t seen much of the world? And can it really be done without getting buried under an avalanche of logistics?
For the best family vacation ideas right now, start here. Each one of our five hand-crafted itineraries has earned the highest praise from families and offer experiences that will earn you a big thumbs-up for putting together the finest multi-generation getaway ever.
Wild Fun in the Galápagos
“The Galápagos pushed the happy buttons of everybody in our family,” one guest raved. Family after family seconds that emotion. Exploring the islands in the fulltime company of local naturalists, it’s super easy to spot the Big Five: giant land tortoises, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, penguins and iguanas…and that’s just the beginning of our trip that was named Best Wildlife Encounter by AFAR Magazine. You’ll have chances to go mountain biking, kayaking, snorkeling and boogie boarding.
A walk on the rim of a 6-mile-wide volcano is as awesome as they come, and there’s also a visit to a family-owned coffee plantation. Best of all, the trip is island-based so that – unlike visitors who retreat every night to small cruise ship cabins – you and your family will be ensconced in luxury boutique hotels. You get to spread your wings and hang out by the pool, go for a walk on the beach, or take a stroll in a village where the streets are made of sand. Rarely has a family vacation been so easy, exciting and enlightening all at once.
Costa Rica’s Eco-Extravaganza
Where else can you find yourself in a cloud of 4,000 butterflies, dig into an alfresco breakfast beside capuchin monkeys, zing through the rainforest canopy on a zipline and soak in a pool heated by a volcano? Long renowned for its incredible diversity, Costa Rica will leave your family breathless in all of the best ways.
Together, you experience the natural wonders from a non-stop variety of perspectives. “I could hardly keep track! One day we were white-water rafting, on another we walked on cooled lava flows, then we tasted the coffee on an organic plantation.” And that’s not to mention visits with the students in a small village school or charging into the Pacific surf on a private beach. As small as Costa Rica is it offers an overwhelming number of options, but this smartly curated trip puts the emphasis on Manuel Antonio Park and the lush lands at the foot of Arenal Volcano. You stay in fantastic lodges that would be worth the trip all on their own – but none of you will be able to resist the call of the hummingbirds, anteaters and scarlet macaws that draw you into great Costa Rica outdoors.
Exotic, Easy Morocco
This guest said it best: “When I was a kid, we camped in the backyard, but now my kids have camped in the Sahara.” And that’s Morocco in a sandy, seriously cool nutshell. You arrive at that luxury Berber encampment on a camel through the dunes in time for dinner and music and dancing around a campfire.
The beauty of Morocco as a family vacation destination is how it offers something new for everybody, regardless of age. There’s the time in the medieval Medina of Fés, the souks and snake charmers of Marrakesh, the Barbary apes you spot on a walk in a cedar forest in the Atlas Mountains, wandering in an oasis lined with date palms and almond trees and eating lunch at a family farm in the remote hills. A whole caravan of experts work with your wonderful local guides so you can indulge in an utterly hassle-free vacation – and focus 100% on the exotic beauty and culture of northern Africa. As an extra bonus, Morocco is roughly the same distance as Paris from most U.S. gateway cities. “Everything was new and different,” one grandmother told us, “but we never felt outside our comfort zones.”
Venice, Florence & Rome, Oh Yeah
“I was looking for a way to introduce some of the younger ones in our family to Italy and pay a sentimental repeat visit to some cities I’ve loved for a long time. This trip did it for everybody!” Truly, what a week it is.
You start in Venice complete with a gondola ride, the Bridge of Sighs and Piazza San Marco. In Florence, you skip to the head of the line to see Michelangelo’s David, and before “monument fatigue” sets in, you retreat to a village-style hotel in the Tuscan hills where you bike in Chianti vineyards, make pizza, and meet a family of shepherds who show you how they make cheese. To top your Italy family vacation off, you explore Rome like never before. Your local guide makes sure you see the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, the St. Peter’s and the Sistine Chapel and more. And there’s a gladiator training session that’s fantastic fun whether you’re in the fray or cheer from the sidelines. For iconic sights in legendary cities plus lively, unexpected activities this may just be the best way ever to fall in love with Italy.
An Epic Adventure in London & Paris
“I used to think the ideal family vacation was a total fantasy where our 7- to 77-year-olds would smile all day. After going to London and Paris with Classic Journeys, I can tell you that it really can happen!” This trip delivers the crème de la crème of two of the world’s great capitals in ways your whole family can appreciate. The London leg includes guided visits to the Tower of London, a ride to the top of the London Eye and a Harry Potter style afternoon tea – not to mention a sunset visit to Stonehenge where you can all explore when the site is closed to the public. Across the Channel, your local guide arranges a skip-the-line visit to the Louvre, chances to taste chocolates and pastries, and a one-of-a-kind bike ride through the 2,000-acre gardens of Versailles along with a guided visit inside the palace.
In both cities, you’ll settle into luxury hotels that put you right in the heart of the action. When we asked one family what they liked best, we heard that “everybody had different favorites. We loved it all.” If you want to win praise for the best family vacation, you couldn’t hope for better reviews than that!
All of the Classic Journeys handcrafted family vacations were designed with our own families in mind. What would we all love doing together, that would provide equivalent entertainment for all of us? Book your next enthralling and memorable Classic Journeys trip with us here, or see our other family-friendly destinations!