Trying to plan an epic family vacation, but can’t figure out where to go? The perfect family getaway might be closer than you think.
Whether your crew is interested in a relaxing beach trip or an adventurous experience, many of the perfect family vacation destinations await right here in the US
Best family vacation destinations
Rebecca Alesia, SmartFlyer travel advisor, told TODAY Parents that the top family vacation destinations have changed a little since the start of the pandemic.
“In the past two years, we’ve seen a tremendous renewed interest in family travel to domestic destinations,” Alesia told TODAY Parents.
Alesia noted the California coast is a top pick among families.
“Particularly the southern part of the state (which has) so much for families to do, between the beaches, amusement parks and opportunities for exploring the great outdoors,” she said.
Related: TODAY’s Family Travel Guide maps out the best places to go with kids
The travel expert noted that national parks, particularly Yellowstone, are also quite popular.
“Children as young as 2 and all the way up to college age enjoy traveling from Bozeman to Jackson Hole and exploring the great outdoors on Western adventures,” she said.
Family vacation ideas outside the US
For family fun outside the United States, there are some destination front runners.
“The Caribbean islands and Mexico, collectively, have always been one of our top destinations for families because they don’t require difficult logistics to travel there and because they have a variety of accommodations to suit a variety of diverse needs,” Alesia told TODAY Parents.
Alesia noted that as European travel has made a reemergence, there are some big city stand-outs.
“Two very popular itineraries are combining London and France — so many amazing sightseeing opportunities and great connectivity between the two cities — as well as exploring Italy from Venice to Amalfi,” she said.
How to plan ideal family getaways
Alesia said that when clients come to her, she starts by having them close their eyes and envision their perfect vacation day.
She recommends families looking to book a vacation ask themselves:
- What does it look like?
- What is everyone doing — is the family all together in the ocean or pool?
- Are you in a kitchen with a chef learning how to make pasta from scratch?
- Are you getting chills together as you watch giraffes amble by?
“Getting to the core of what people want to experience together as a family — and what memories and feelings they’d love to take away from their trips — is essential to the process of planning the right type of family vacation,” Alesia told TODAY Parents.
Related: The 14 best places to go on vacation with a baby or toddler
Alesia also recommended taking age range, as well as length of time the family has for the trip, into account while planning.
“Younger children really require more experiential touring versus teenagers and young adults who can appreciate historical and cultural context,” she said.
Family getaways with extended family
As a destination plan comes together, Alesia suggests including more than just your nuclear family.
“When thinking about your family vacation, where possible, consider extending the invitation to extended family,” she said. “As we slowly emerge into what we hope will be the post-COVID travel world, opportunities for multi-generational travel are plentiful and so special. They are a great way to make up for lost time.”