When it comes to family destinations it can be a little tough to figure out where to go. When you have to make sure it’s safe, an experience but not too much so, and affordable it is next to impossible.
Just about every blog out there is going to tell you to just hit Disneyland or go on a cruise. While those are worthwhile I am going to give you some actual family spots that aren’t quite as common.
Try to keep in mind every destination has it’s problems so when you book a trip keep in mind those problems will differ based on the age of your kids.
Bali has long welcomed kids and is quite a family centered culture. The hotels are almost all family friendly and the city is extremely safe, not without problems, but you will have no worries here (You can check out safety advice here.
This best benefit to going to Bali is that especially for a family of 4 or more, the cost is incredibly cheap. The price per person of going somewhere in the U.S. or Europe would be at least triple that of Bali. That is not even to say you won’t get luxury, just look at this gorgeous family friendly hotel for next to nothing.
A good amount of the hotels in Bali tend to be a bit away from the action so be ready to take a tuk tuk. Don’t worry though they’re less than a dollar per ride in most cases.
Arenal, Costa Rica
This is nothing short of a paradise and perfect for a cheap family vacation that will still blow your mind. You can take guided tours of the jungle or take a tour of La Fortuna and get to look out over the island.
A lot of the activities here are either just relaxing or outdoors activities, so don’t be expecting the atmosphere of Puerto Veijo.
One thing I adore to do here is to white water raft in the Balsa River, it is quite family friendly as the large boats make it perfectly safe.
If you want more activities check out this article by nomadicmatt, he does a great job going into more detail on everything you could ever want to do.
Banff, Alberta, Canada
Whether you want to spend your days hiking or simply looking out over the mountains in a luxury cabin you’ll have a great time in Banff.
During the summers you can check out the hiking trails, mountain bike, or check out the glacier lakes you’re in luck here. Want to go in winter? Well then you have world renown Sunshine Resort, Lake Louise and many other to ski or snowboard. You also have the views of snowcapped trees and the bustling town full of Christmas cheer.
Still can’t picture it? Imagine Aspen but even more charming, that’s just one mans opinion but I think you’ll find it rings true.
Don’t expect to come to Banff and spend Bali level money though. Canada is always quite expensive and Banff is no different as a tourist hub.
Big Island, Hawaii
There’s something special that bonds families when you get to visit a wordclass beautiful island and relax on the beach, hike volcanos, dine in fancy resteraunts, and learn to surf for the first time.
You may be thinking, what’s different about Hawaii as compared to somewhere cheaper like Jamaica? Well the answer is that it is safer, higher scale, and has a lot of luxury activities.
Additionally, the island has more natural beauty than many islands due to it’s volcanos. There is just so much more to explore here and it is perfect for an upscale family vacation.
The Eternal City is incredible as it can be enjoyed alone, with friends, a spouse, or with the entire family. There is something for everyone in Rome and is actually extraordinarily safe. There is police and army about every 5 feet in the main city so you’ll just feel completely safe the whole time.
There is so much to do here you won’t even be able to hit it all in a week and a half. Your kids will love the incredible snacks and you and your spouse will love the terrific wine and food.
You can’t get through all these activities very quickly so make sure to prioritize and as I mention in this article, the Vatican is quite overrated so just know what you’re getting into.
Planet Hollywood Beach Resort – Culebra, Costa Rica
I’ve covered Costa Rica in other articles but I have not touched on how family friendly it can be. It’s not just the beaches and scenerey but the amazing relaxation.
Your kids will love playing on the beaches but they will also love the extensive activities that the spectacular staff here has for them.
Planet Hollywood is a perhaps not as special as Disneyland but it will have everything you could ever want for you and your kids at a fraction of the price of Disneyland compartively.
Most Amazing Guided Tours
Iceland with National Geographic Family Journeys – G Adventures
National Geographic has teamed up with G Adventures to make something truly special in one of the most special places on earth.
Iceland is gorgeous but also quite easy to miss things if you don’t know what you’re doing. You know who knows what they’re doing here mmore than anyone else? G Adventures.
They truly provide a great experience and with a family you can’t get better than this informative and beautfiul tour.
Machu Picchu with Intrepid Travels
One day I hope to come back here with my kids and when I do I will be using Intrepid Travels. This tour is just perfect, albeit long. Don’t let that stop you though your kids will love the hike and you will love everything about it.
This is a great historical path and destination and Intrepid Travels really makes you feel the magic the entire trip.
It’s not super cheap to take this trip and it will be a great experience but a hard one so just be ready and know your limits.