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24 Best Family Travel Destinations for 2024

Every year we reach out to our favorite family travel writers and ask them to share the best family travel destinations for the upcoming year. This year we are thrilled to have a variety of vacation ideas for families that are sure to make your 2024 travel planning easier.

24 Must Visit Family Travel Destinations - Kids Are A Trip

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Family-Friendly Destinations Around the World

Where to Travel in the US with Kids

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Located on the picturesque Pacific Northwest coastline of Oregon, Cannon Beach is not only stunning with its captivating views of Haystack Rock protruding from the waters but also home to filming locations of numerous film locations, including The Goonies and Twilight.

Cannon Beach Oregon

Whether you’re a movie buff or simply into nature, Cannon Beach has tons to offer kids of all ages: hiking and walking trails; visiting the tide pools in the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge or the nearby Ecola State Park; touring the USS Shark shipwreck; or checking out the annual sand castle contest.

For views of the ocean, Cannon Beach offers several local hotel options with stunning sunset views such as the Surfsand Resort. – Jana of Whisky N Sunshine

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod offers lots of tempting things to do for families and has been featured in movie after movie highlighting the best of US summer holidays.

The capital is Provincetown with its epic sand dune tours, 252 ft Pilgrim’s Monument (race to the top), welcoming local shops selling salt water taffy, and the Mayflower at the Provincetown Museum.

Alternatively, head to the Wicked Waves Waterpark and the Cape Cod Inflatable Park, situated together in West Yarmouth. You can easily spend an entire day or more playing here.

Next take the opportunity to island hop to Nantucket, sailing from Hyannis. If traveling with little ones it’s worth investing in the fast ferry to save time.

Once on Nantucket, you can hit the Children’s Beach for sheltered paddling and swimming. We took the chance to walk Nantucket’s coastal cliff-top Bluff Walk. This takes you past millionaires’ houses and gardens with amazing sea views. What an opportunity to see how the other half lives!

Historically, the island was a globally renowned whaling port so take time to visit its Whaling Museum, which has a play area and discovery area for children. Its ’Spirits Within Us’ hologram stories (where actors tell the stories of real Nantucket residents) keep kids entertained as do tales of cannibalism on the high seas!

After a full day out it’s time to chill. For family accommodation, browse self-catering options, or for a child-friendly hotel complete with a water park consider the Cape Codder Resort and Spa.Janice of Scots 2 Travel

Crystal River, Florida

If you want an immersive Florida vacation with excitement, but sans Genie+ logistics and you’ve had your fill of Diagon Alley, head to the Nature Coast of the Sunshine State, specifically the smallish town of Crystal River.

Tucked into the western side of Florida’s shoreline, this family-friendly destination in Citrus County has the claim to fame of being the ‘Manatee Capital of the World.’

The best time to get in the water and find yourself communing with huge aggregations of manatees is November through April. There are a smaller number of gentle giants who consider the waters of Crystal River their residence, but most come for the warm water of Three Sisters (and surrounding) hot springs in the colder winter months. 

Florida Manatee Underwater

We have ventured to Florida on four separate occasions to swim with the sea cows and each time we stayed at the Plantation on Crystal River. They offer in-water guides for manatee tours, golf on-site, several restaurants, a pool area with a tiki bar, and waterfront access to Kings Bay, the gateway to the Gulf of Mexico and ocean adventures.

We found the greater Citrus County area to have many delicious seafood restaurants and mini adventures like hiking and kayaking — or water biking for a truly unique method of spotting manatees! 

This family vacation spot is one of the best to bring your kids in 2024 because it’s low-stress, and meant to decompress and enjoy a spa day with some manatees at the local springs!

Summer can be fun-filled also since it’s prime scallop season! It’s an easy two-hour or less drive from both Orlando and Tampa and you would do well to leave at least 2-3 days to enjoy the area, but it can easily fill a relaxed weeklong itinerary, too. – Amanda of Wayfaring Mandy

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia is a fun family-friendly city to visit with kids. Historic Savannah is very walkable, with interesting museums and tours to keep kids engaged. Add in great shopping and family-friendly restaurants in Savannah, and this is an easy vacation for the whole family to enjoy!

Start your Savannah vacation with a trolley tour of the city. The hop on hop off tours are a great way to familiarize yourself with Savannah and see the main sites easily.

Add a couple of historic home tours and visits to the Savannah Children’s Museum and Georgia State Railroad Museum for even more fun. 

Be sure to include some downtime to enjoy the many free things Savannah offers. Year-round, Savannah’s historic squares, stunning architecture, and live oak trees draped in Spanish moss are best appreciated on a long walk through the city.

In the summertime, the splash pad at Ellis Square is tremendously popular with kids. And, at night, take the free ferry from the riverfront to Hutchinson Island for gorgeous views of the city.

If you want to take a day off from the tours and attractions in the city, nearby Tybee Island is a popular day trip beach destination. It’s hard to beat a cool city destination with a beach nearby! The kids are sure to love it.

When deciding where to stay in Savannah, there are lots of hotel options. For families, our favorite is the Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Historic District for its convenient location to Ellis Square and the splash pad, the City Market for shopping and dining, and the check-in for the bus tours. – Karen Dawkins of Family Travels on a Budget

Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the best family travel destinations in the United States. Whether you want to explore the desert landscapes, have rich cultural experiences, or are looking for a laid-back vacation, Scottsdale has it all. Not to mention, the local cuisine is one of the best in the country (IMHO).

There’s a wealth of activities in Scottsdale for families with children. Take your kids hiking at Papago Park, visit the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden, or spend time at one of the local museums (we love the Musical Instrument Museum).

McDowell Sonoran preserve hiking Scottsdale

As a popular vacation spot, Scottsdale has a wide range of accommodation options to suit any budget, from luxurious 5-star resorts to more economical private rentals.

One of our favorite places to stay is the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. This luxurious resort offers multiple pools, a top-notch spa, several restaurants, and golf courses. Its central location makes it a great base for exploring Scottsdale and the surrounding areas. – Kirsten

Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is a must-see for everyone and a great place to take kids in 2024. We live close to the park and have been taking our kids to Yellowstone many times each year since they were newborns. Now teenagers, we still have a great time in the park together.

For what to do in Yellowstone with kids, start with the big “attractions” and build your itinerary around them. 

When you visit Old Faithful Geyser and Upper Geyser Basin, stop in the visitor center to better understand the geothermal features with hands-on kid-friendly exhibits. Check eruption time predictions and work on a Junior Ranger badge.

There are plenty of family-friendly hikes in the park, including Storm Point Trail, Wraith Falls, Cascade Lake, Lone Star Geyser, and many more.

And don’t forget the wildlife! While you will see plenty of critters from your car, spend an early morning or evening in the Lamar or Hayden Valleys for the best chance of seeing herds of bison, wolves, bears, elk, coyotes, and other animals.

2023-08-06-YellowstoneandTeepeesDSC07944-2
Photo credit: Melynda Coble Harrison

For a fun Western evening, chow down at a chuck wagon dinner, leaving from the Roosevelt Stables. Or attend a Ranger Program held at most of the campgrounds. 

Where to Stay in Yellowstone

In Gardiner, Montana, at the North Entrance, you can ride horses, go whitewater rafting, or soak in hot springs. In West Yellowstone, at the West Entrance, there is an Adventure Course, an IMAX Theater, and the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center where you can meet Yellowstone’s wildlife up close (the animals can’t be released into the wild for various reasons). 

There are a lot of choices on where to stay when visiting Yellowstone – from camping to glamping to RV parks to motels and hotels. I recommend visitors stay in two different locations to minimize their driving–for instance, Canyon Lodge and Mammoth Hotel or Lake Hotel and Roosevelt Lodge and Cabins. – Mel at YellowstoneTrips.com

Where to Go on a Europe Family Vacation

Algarve, Portugal

Nestled in the southwesternmost point of the European mainland, the Algarve region in Portugal is one of the best family vacation destinations in the world. Whether you are interested in scenery, culture, and sightseeing or are simply looking for a relaxing beach vacation with fun family-friendly activities, Algarve has it all. Not to mention that the food is great and prices are very affordable.

With a mild climate and more than 300 days of sunshine per year, Algarve has even better weather than southern California. Plus, it boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world – places so impressive and unique that it will take your breath away.

There is a lot to see and do in Algarve, also for families with children. Take your kids to one of the stunning beaches, spend a day at a water park, or book a boat- or a kayak tour to explore some of the most beautiful rock formations, sea caves, and grottos along the coast (you may even spot dolphins!).

Top places to visit with kids in 2024 - Algarve Portugal
Photo credit: Jurga Rubinovaite

There are also several theme parks and all kinds of water sports, and if you are traveling with teens, you’ll find plenty of adventurous activities to keep them off their phones too.

Being a popular vacation destination, Algarve offers a wide variety of accommodation options for all budgets, from 5* luxury beach resorts to very affordable private rentals.

In addition, if you can avoid the peak months of July and August, your budget will stretch quite a lot further too. 

One of our favorite places to stay is Alfagar Village in Albufeira. It’s a nice beachfront resort with multiple pools (some heated) and it’s very centrally located allowing you to easily explore all over the beautiful region. – Jurga Rubinovaite of FullSuitcase.com

Bergen, Norway

This charming city is known for its picturesque landscapes, colorful houses, and rich cultural history. It is also a perfect destination for families. With plenty of activities and attractions suitable for children of all ages and adults.

The must-visit attraction in Bergen for families is the Bryggens Museum. This museum is an interactive experience that showcases the history and culture of Bergen. It is located in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bryggen, which adds to its charm.

Kids can explore the museum through fun activities and games while learning about the city’s past. They can also dress up in traditional Viking costumes and take part in a treasure hunt around the museum’s exhibitions.

Another must-do activity in Bergen is taking a trip on the Fløibanen Funicular, which takes you to the top of Mount Fløyen. The journey itself is an adventure for kids as they ride through tunnels and forests before reaching the summit.

Bergen Norway with kids
Photo credit: Kamree Price

Once at the top, families can enjoy stunning panoramic views of Bergen and its surrounding areas. Kids can also run around in the playgrounds or have a picnic while taking in the breathtaking scenery. It’s really fun to rent bikes or scooters at the top of Mount Fløyen and then ride down.

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If you’ve got cold weather, head to VilVite Science Center. This interactive museum has over 100 hands-on exhibits that cover topics such as space exploration, energy, and the human body. 

Where to Stay in Bergen

One of the best places to stay in Bergen is Opus16 which is part of the Small Luxury Hotels Collection. Several suites will easily fit a family of four.  Do note that the hotel will be closed for all of Feb. 2024 for renovations. However, the renovations are supposed to be spectacular.

Lastly, family vacations to Europe can be expensive, especially when you are flying your entire crew there. If you’re heading to Norway or Europe soon, learn how to fly your family there for less here. – Kam from Our Family Passport

Ireland

Ireland is one of the easiest and most fun places to travel with kids, especially for a first trip to Europe. It’s small enough to see a lot in a 7-to-10-day trip.

Things to Do in Dublin

In Dublin, my teen’s top recommendation is the Epic Museum, where interactive exhibits explore the impact of Irish emigration on Ireland and the world. There are plenty of things to see in Dublin with teens, but we recommend seeing the rest of the country as well.

Exploring Northern Ireland

Use Derry as your base for exploring Northern Ireland. We loved the boutique Shipquay Hotel for its delicious breakfast with Irish specialties like fresh scones and potato boxty. It’s steps from the key sights including Apprentice Hall, the Peace Bridge, the Free Derry wall, and the Derry Girls mural.

The Giant’s Causeway, an hour’s drive from Derry was my teen’s absolute favorite destination in Ireland. Its columns of hexagonal stones look like the start of a bridge across the sea to Scotland. The views from the cliffs overlooking the causeway are postcard-perfect.

Giants Causeway Northern Ireland-Kids Are A Trip

What to See on Ireland’s West Coast

On the west coast, Galway is an ideal base for visiting the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher, and the Burren, known for its exotic rocky landscape and wildflowers. The Aillwee Passage caves and nearby Birds of Prey Centre provide a break from all the scenic driving that kids and teens will appreciate. Galway itself has a plethora of good restaurants, great shopping, and street musicians.

Finishing your trip in the southwest, Killarney is a colorful and lively town with plenty of dining, music, and ice cream in the evenings. And it’s a handy jumping-off point for some of Ireland’s most famous scenery, including Killarney National Park, the Ring of Kerry, and the Dingle Peninsula.

There’s so much more to Ireland, but hopefully, this will provide a starting point for your visit to the Emerald Isle. – Eileen at FamiliesGo!

London, England

Our family was lucky this year to move to one of my favorite cities in the world and one fantastic for kid-friendly travel: London!

With oodles of museums and historic sites (many of them free), family-friendly theater, and terrific food, London is a winner for families of all sizes and ages.

Be sure to check out the history and Crown Jewels at the Tower of London, as well as peek at the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

National Portrait Gallery Trafalgar Square London

As far as museums go, consider a transportation theme to go along with your double-decker bus rides. The London Transport Museum and Postal Museum and its underground Mail Rail are excellent choices. Be sure to make time to stop into Borough Market for lots of fun treats, and follow it up with running off some energy at Princess Diana Memorial Playground.

While staying in London, you can’t beat the location and warm welcome of the Marriott County Hall. For a more budget-friendly option,  the Holiday Inn Express – Earl’s Court is a great choice – clean, comfortable, with a great breakfast included. If you’re planning a trip, check out our 3-day London itinerary. – Preethi at Local Passport Family

Rome, Italy

The Eternal City has been welcoming travelers of all ages for millennia. From ancient sites like the Colosseum, Imperial Forum, and the Pantheon to fun market squares like Campo de’Fiori and impressive Vatican Museums, there are always interesting and wonderous things to do in Rome with kids and families.

Arch of Constantine Rome with Kids Laroye
Photo credit: Claudia Laroye

The city’s many restaurants serve kid-friendly pasta and pizza, while street food like arancini and scoops of gelato are delicious and easy to find to ward off sight-seeing hangries.

Rome is compact and walkable, even on uneven cobblestones, and its Metro system is not difficult to navigate for day trips to outlying sites like Ostia Antica, which rivals Pompeii in its quality as an ancient Roman town.

For family-friendly accommodation in Rome, we recommend the Suites Trastevere in one of Rome’s most desirable neighborhoods. This is a friendly neighborhood B&B whose five bedrooms are not suites per se, but spacious enough for families.

They also offer several extra amenities like soundproof windows, air conditioning, and memory foam pillows. The communal kitchen is always open for quick breakfasts or to grab free cookies provided for guests. – Claudia of Claudia Travels

Tenerife

The Canary Islands are always a good idea, and Tenerife is a fantastic destination to visit in 2024. There are many things to do in Tenerife with kids. The island has it all, year-round good weather, plenty of activities, and nature.

If your kids are a fan of theme parks Tenerife have some of the best ones. Siam Park has some amazing thrilling rides, water-themed rides, wave pools, and a number of restaurants. Loro Park is another fantastic attraction to visit with kids where you can see many different animals and all of the park’s conservation projects. 

Apart from thrilling theme parks, Tenerife is also known for its beautiful hikes some of which are very kid-friendly. If you head to Mount Tiede volcano there are several hikes that you can take to see the lava fields and forests and see if your kids can spot the lizards. 

Tenerife has many family-friendly accommodations; one of the best areas to stay is on the south side of the Island in Adeje. You can also find some of the best beaches on this part of the island including Fanabe. – Asha Bhatia from Home Travel Guide

Best Caribbean Island with Kids

Puerto Rico

So, I may be a little biased since my dad and grandmother are from there, but this little island packs a really big punch when it comes to family travel. It’s an easy flight from the United States, they speak English, no passports are required (coming from the US), and they use the US dollar. Oh, and the food is delicious and the people are amazing!

Puerto Rico has warm weather year-round, and you can find some of the best beaches in Puerto Rico. From the fabulous Flamenco Beach in Culebra to the family-friendly Luquillo Beach, there’s something for everyone on the island.

If your family loves adventure, head to El Yunque National Forest. This is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System, and families will love hiking, swimming in the waterfalls, and discovering the diverse flora and fauna found within the park.

Old San Juan guided tour Puerto Rico

Of course, every visit to Puerto Rico needs to include a stop in Old San Juan. Here families can wander through the blue cobblestone streets, admire the colorful colonial architecture, and explore the historic forts of El Morro and San Cristóbal.

If you’re looking for something unique, we recommend a Puerto Rico food tour where you can sample all of the local cuisine.

Don’t miss an opportunity to go kayaking in the bioluminescent bay at Laguna Grande near Fajardo. This is one of the few bioluminescent bays in the world, and everyone will love seeing the glow when the water is disturbed.

We have a couple of places we recommend. The Caribe Hilton and Marriott Stellaris Resort & Casino both have great beach locations, and excellent amenities, and are convenient to both Old San Juan and adventure activities. – Kirsten

Where to Explore in Mexico with Kids

La Paz

Many families head straight for the all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, but in doing so, they miss out on some amazing gems. La Paz is located on the Baja California Peninsula in the Sea of Cortez. So far, it has escaped a lot of the development you find in other parts of the country, but I’m afraid the secret is out and the mega-resorts are coming.

La Paz rivals beaches in the Caribbean. One look at Balandra Beach, with its shallow, turquoise waters and soft, white sand, and you’re instantly transported to a world away. Plan on spending some time here with the kids building sand castles, searching in tide pools, and splashing in the cool water.

Balandra Beach La Paz Mexico

One of the most thrilling activities in La Paz is swimming with whale sharks. These gentle giants offer an unforgettable experience, and you can book a tour where you can observe and swim with the largest fish in the world.

Other favorite highlights include whale watching, swimming with seals, sand boarding on the Dunes of El Mogote, and kite surfing in La Ventana.

Accommodation in La Paz ranges from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hotels. We recommend Hyatt Place La Paz which has easy access to the marina and is driving distance to town and Balandra Beach. The property has spacious rooms and beautiful views of the Sea of Cortez.

Visiting La Paz outside of peak tourist seasons can also be more economical, offering a more tranquil experience. – Kirsten

Best Places to Visit in Canada with Kids

Toronto

Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is a fun destination for a family trip, with plenty of family-friendly activities, great restaurants, and world-class museums. 

Be sure to visit the CN Tower, where panoramic views of the city leave both adults and children in awe. There are plenty of other things to do in Toronto as well, including the Royal Ontario Museum, with fascinating exhibits for all ages, Ripley’s Aquarium, and the Hockey Hall of Fame. 

downtown Toronto

If you’re visiting Toronto in the summer, don’t miss a visit to Toronto Islands, only a short ferry ride away where you’ll find Centreville Amusement Park and clean sandy beaches. And in the winter, lace up your skates and go skating outdoors at Nathan Phillips Square. 

After exploring the city during the day, Toronto’s diverse culinary scene ensures that even the pickiest eaters will find something enjoyable, making it a well-rounded destination for families seeking a memorable and fun getaway.

Consider staying at the Chelsea Toronto Hotel, a family hotel located downtown with kid-friendly accommodations. – Erin of Wanderlust with Kids

Best Countries to Visit in the Middle East

Jordan

Jordan is hands-down one of the most family-friendly places in the world and offers a perfect first dive into the Middle East. It is safe, very welcoming of foreigners, and is full of outdoor things where kids are not cooped up in strollers or need to be careful of busy streets. 

Yes, Jordan has major cities, and they are worth visiting, but the best part of Jordan with kids is exploring Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Roman Ruins like Jerash. Here kids can run, climb, and play. They can let their imagination run wild on the Mars-like landscape of Jordan’s desert or pretend they are in a Star Wars movie. 

Jordan with kids Wadi Rum
Photo: Lindsay Nieminen

In Petra, they can learn about the Red Rose city of the Nabateans and how the beautiful structures were carved and preserved. In cities like Amman, taste the local flavors with Amman Food Tours which offers child-friendly pricing (and kids under 6 are free). 

At the Dead Sea, float in the salty waters or explore some of the lush Wadis nearby. Jordan is a  wonderful place to explore with kids and you can see almost everything in just a week!

In Amman the Intercontinental has an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, in Petra, choose the Movenpick as it is right outside the site entrance and has large rooms for families. At the Dead Sea, choose the Dead Sea Spa because of its water park for kids! – Lindsay of Step Into Jordan

Kid-Friendly Destinations in Asia

Japan

After several years of closure, tourism is back in Japan in a huge way, and for good reason. If you’re looking for a bucket list trip to inspire wonder in every age group from tots to teens to parents, Japan fits the bill.

In a single trip, you can dive into the technological wonders of Tokyo, the peaceful nature of Hakone, the unique cultural elements of Kyoto, and more. Even better, with the US and Canadian dollars at near-record strength versus the Japanese Yen your expenses on the ground will be a lot lower than they would have been just a few years ago.

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Plan to spend at least 10 days in Japan with kids, but ideally closer to two weeks. That gives you enough time to adjust to the huge shift in time zones and explore several different areas of this varied country – after all, you’ve flown to the other side of the world!

things to do in kyoto with kids Melissa conn

The exact way you split your trip will depend on the ages and interests of your kids and how many days you’ll be on the ground. For instance, families with younger children might want to allocate a few days to Japanese theme parks while teens might prefer visiting some of the country’s manga museums or shopping for unique souvenirs. Be sure to check out our Japan travel tips to see what needs to be booked in advanced!

One of the biggest challenges for families visiting Japan is finding hotel rooms that will accommodate more than two or three people. Thankfully the Mimaru chain is perfect for families and has locations around the country’s center! They offer family rooms that can comfortably accommodate 6 people and include full kitchens. If you book far enough in advance, you can even book one of their Pokémon themed rooms! – Melissa of The Family Voyage

Maldives

While The Maldives have a reputation for being the ultimate spot for a romantic couple’s trip, this archipelago in the Indian Ocean can be surprisingly family-friendly if you pick the right resort.

The greatest challenge in choosing this vacation spot is the travel time, distance, and cost of going from North America to The Maldives, which explains why U.S.-based family travel groups aren’t very common.

The Maldives is a snorkeler paradise, and the warm year-round weather allows guests to be comfortable in the water all year round.

If you visit during the summer when kids are out of school, one of the upsides is lower resort prices. Christmas and Easter are the most crowded and expensive times to vacation in The Maldives.

Maldives beach
Photo credit: Jill Robbins

Where to Stay in Maldives with Kids

If you’re an active family, book a stay at Siyam World, Sun Siyam’s largest resort, where water-loving kids, especially adventurous teens, won’t run out of fun things to do.

This property has a wide variety of lodging that works for families. Families with older children (12 and up) might love the whimsy of an overwater bungalow with a slide that zips you right into the warm ocean.

If you’re looking for something more secluded, Sun Siyam offers a selection of beachfront villas. Most accommodations include private plunge pools and easy access to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.

The resort is all-inclusive, with eighteen restaurants serving everything from tapas to pizza to sushi.

Kid-friendly activities at Siyam World include a giant inflatable obstacle course on the water, horseback riding, art classes, and marine biologist-led activities. A kids club for kids ages 4 to 12 is included in the resort fee. 

To get the best experience, family travelers who plan a trip to The Maldives should be experienced air travelers, ideally with at least one long-haul flight under their belt. A love of water activities is also necessary, as most things to do in The Maldives revolve around being in the water. – Jill Robbins of Ripped Jeans and Bifocals

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, is a fantastic family vacation destination, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and family-friendly activities.

The island is famous for its beautiful beaches, such as Patong, Kata, and Karon. These beaches are not just palm tree-lined and full of glorious, soft golden sand, they offer a range of water activities like swimming, parasailing, and jet skiing.

The clear, warm waters of the Andaman Sea are ideal for families who love to explore marine life through snorkeling and diving; taking a trip to nearby islands such as Phi Phi or the Similan Islands is a must if you love underwater exploring.

Apart from its natural beauty, Phuket is rich in culture and history. The Old Town of Phuket, with its colorful Sino-Portuguese architecture, offers a glimpse into the island’s past. An Instagrammers delight, stroll the quaint streets, visit local markets (the Sunday market is a must!), and sample delicious Thai cuisine.

Phuket Surin Beach - Mama Loves Phuket
Photo credit: Keri Hedrick

Phuket’s numerous temples, such as Wat Chalong, provide a cultural experience and a chance to learn about Thai traditions and beliefs. Big Buddha sitting atop Nakkerd Hill is another must-see, especially at sunset.

For families looking for adventure, there are several genuine elephant sanctuaries where you can learn about and responsibly interact with these majestic animals.

The island has several theme parks and attractions like the Andamanda Water Park, and thrill seekers will want to try Phuket Wake Park.

Where to Stay in Phuket with Kids

There are multiple fabulous beaches and resorts for families to stay at; it’s hard to narrow down the best place to stay in Phuket, as every beach offers something unique to fit all budgets.

Our favorite stretch of resorts can be found on Bang Tao Beach – SAii Laguna Phuket or Angsana Laguna Phuket make excellent choices for families seeking a luxury beachfront stay. – Keri from Mama Loves Phuket

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul, South Korea is an excellent destination with kids. From great food and interesting history to it being clean and safe, you’ll enjoy spending a few days in this vibrant city.

In all honestly, it’s easy to fill several days in Seoul, especially if you include a day in the national park, a day trip to hike ancient fortress walls plus all the palace visits. Add in the markets and stops at the aquarium for the kids and you’ll easily fill your time in Seoul with kids. We also have ideas in this article if you are visiting Seoul with teens.

South-Korea with kids
Photo credit: Celine Brewer

A food tour is an excellent way to start any visit to Seoul, as it’s the perfect introduction to the local markets and the delicious food to enjoy during your stay.

For outdoorsy families or those who need a break from the city, the Bukhansan National Park is easily reached from the subway. Alternatively, the Cheonggyecheon River Park is a beautiful walking path in the city.

Lotte World Aquarium is the perfect place to spend a rainy day. Kids will love this excellent aquarium. No matter how your family likes to spend their time, there’s something for everyone in Seoul!

When deciding where to stay in Seoul, the Moxy Insadong Hotel is great in central Seoul. Besides the incredible location (walking distance to several attractions), it’s also near a subway entrance where it’s easy to access three major subway lines. As for the hotel, kids will enjoy returning at the end of the day to play with the games in the main lobby or hang out in the comfortable dining area. – Celine of Family Can Travel

Family-Friendly Destinations in Central America

Panama

Panama, with its vibrant culture, rich history, and stunning natural landscapes, offers tons of activities that are perfect for families traveling with kids. Plan on a mix of time in the city and then time in nature at the beach or in the jungle.  

When you’re in Panama City with kids, you’ll want at least 2 days to explore the city. At the top of your list should be a visit to the Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal. The IMAX movie there is informative and while it’s slow-moving, kids will love watching boats go through the canal. A visit to the Panama Canal is also an easy way to infuse some great history lessons into your travels! 

Next, head to Casco Viejo to explore the old city.  Explore the shops, try on some hats, and make sure to get a Raspado (shaved ice with sweetened condensed milk) from a street vendor. 

Panama with kids fishingJPG
Photo credit: Jessica Averett

Mi Pueblito, a mini replica of a historic Panama City,  is another great stop in Panama City.  Make sure to get a guided tour at the entrance, since the tour guides are well known for being great with kids and you’ll learn so much more that way. 

If you have time and energy when you’re done, rent some bikes and bike along the Amador Causeway.  It’s much less crowded here than in the city, but gives you an incredible view of the skyline across the lake!

Head to the Beach

After you’re done in the city, the beach is the next best place to go.  There are lots of little beach towns near Panama City, but for a truly authentic experience, carve out a few days to spend in the San Blas Islands, a series of over 300 tiny islands in the Caribbean. 

Inhabited by the indigenous Guna people, these islands are a chance to step back in time and live a slow life with beautiful weather and crystal clear water all around. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can do what we did with our kids and charter a sailboat to take you from island to island and explore all over the area.  – Jessica of Bring the Kids

Where to stay in Panama City: Central Hotel Casco Viejo  

Where to stay in San Blas: Shaula Liveaboard Boat Charters

Best Places to Visit in South America with Kids

Galápagos Islands

One of the best places to visit with kids is the Galapagos Islands. Full of nature and adventure, this is a trip your family will remember for years to come!

Stay at Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel on Santa Cruz Island. This is the only place where you will see giant Galapagos tortoises roaming free without having to pay admission to a wildlife park. We hiked the trails around the hotel grounds and saw so many of these giants roaming around just feet from us!

We based our entire stay on Santa Cruz Island with day trips to neighboring islands/attractions. Go downtown to the famous Santa Cruz fish market, where you will see sea lions and giant iguanas right next to the humans begging for food.  

Galapagos Islands with kids
Photo credit: Maggie Alexander

And don’t skip Tortuga Bay! A 45-minute walk will get you to a beach filled with hundreds of iguanas that are unbothered by humans. We had to step over them to walk across the beach and they didn’t even move!

Of course, no trip to the Galapagos Islands is complete without a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here, your family can learn the history of the island and Darwin’s important work.

If cost is of concern, I will tell you that this trip cost us no more than any other trip we have taken. We loved being land-based and venturing out on daily day trips. We have been to over 30 countries with our child and the Galapagos Islands top our list of favorite trips. – Maggie of Milana’s Travels

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, with its vibrant culture and stunning landscapes, is a beautiful destination for families traveling with children. Bask in the sunshine on the iconic Copacabana Beach or Ipanema Beach as you watch the locals play spontaneous games of footvolley in the sand.

Sugarloaf Mountain Rio de Janeiro Brazil Sarah Blevins
Photo credit: Sarah Blevins

Consider a sailing outing and enjoy swimming in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and buy a coconut from one of the beach vendors.

Above and beyond the beaches, Rio de Janeiro is home to two iconic landmarks and experiences.  Your children will love riding the cable cars to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain and experiencing the incredible views.  Also, make sure to visit the Christ The Redeemer Statue, one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World.

While visiting Rio de Janeiro, families can explore countless museums and parks, including Tijuca National Park.  Rio’s rich blend of cultural diversity, outdoor activities, and family-friendly attractions make it a fantastic destination for a memorable and
enriching vacation with kids. – Sarah of Our Little Lifestyle

Hotel Recommendation for Rio:   Fairmont Rio de Janeiro Copacabana

Salento, Colombia

Salento, Colombia, is a great place for families to visit in 2024. It’s a small, colorful village full of fun activities. Kids will love visiting the coffee farms, where they can see how coffee is made and even help pick coffee beans.

Another must-see in Salento is the Cocora Valley, famous for having the tallest palm trees in the world. Reward your kids for the hike with a silly photoshoot with the trees!

Salento Colombia
Photo credit: Barbara Rodrigus

Traveling around Salento is an adventure in itself. The village doesn’t have taxis, but they have “Willies” – mini jeeps where you can stand at the back. It’s a unique and exciting way to see the sights near Salento. The village itself is small enough to explore on foot (although the streets can be quite steep at times).

Finding a hotel with family rooms can be tricky in Salento, so you better opt for an apartment or house. Casa Hotel El Porton is a great choice. It’s only two blocks from the main square and has a bright, cheerful inside. – Barbara of Mums on Flipflops