18 Kid-Friendly Vacation Ideas

18 Kid-Friendly Vacation Ideas

Traveling with kids can be a whole lot of fun, but it can also be stressful, expensive or both if you book something that may not be kid-friendly without thinking it through all the way. The fact is, some types of trips are just better for kids in general, either because they have more activities for children or they offer something for everyone to do. 

Vacation options that have built-in childcare tend to work well for families for obvious reasons. After all, having a babysitter on vacation means parents can have a nice quiet dinner or more time to read a book and relax. Also think over your children's dining and napping schedule before you plan your next big trip, and remember that cruises and all-inclusive resorts with access to food all day are popular with families for a reason. 

With all these details in mind, we came up with this list of 18 kid-friendly vacation ideas that can work any time of the year. Consider these options if you want to travel with kids without losing your mind.

Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort, Spa & Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

All-inclusive resorts can be great for families with kids since they let everyone in your crew enjoy unlimited dining, drinks and entertainment without having to worry about getting a surprise bill at the end of the trip. The five-star all-inclusive Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort, Spa & Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic is worth checking out since it has a 16,000 square-foot Splash Island waterpark, a kids’ pool, separate clubs for kids and teens and an onsite bowling alley, arcade, ice cream parlor and candy shop. 

This property even has its own escape room experience to take part in on-site. Of course, all of this and more is located along the white sand beaches of Punta Cana.

Caribbean Cruise with MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises is known for offering a range of family-friendly itineraries and amenities on their ships, including several different kids and teens clubs that cater to children of all ages. Caribbean itineraries also feature ships with huge outdoor water play areas and waterslides, as well as good food and entertainment nearly around the clock.

Many cruises even come with "free drinks and wifi" offers that can make cruising with kids even less expensive, and members of the brand's MSC Voyagers Club loyalty program who have cruised before automatically get 5% off every booking.

Visit the Great Smoky Mountains

Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains are home to tourist destinations like Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, which both boast their share of hotels, resorts, rental condos, museums, restaurants and theme parks. For example, Pigeon Forge is home to the world famous Dollywood theme park, as well as attractions like the TITANIC Museum, WonderWorks, the Comedy Barn Theater and mini golf spots galore.

Pigeon Forge is also a great place to book a rental condo with enough sleeping space for adults and kids, along with a kitchen and living space to spread out in.

Book a Luxury Villa in Anguilla

If you're looking for a way to relax with kids without giving up the luxury experience, consider booking one of the three high-end villas that makes up the Altamer Collection on the island of Anguilla. Each of these villas comes with private butler service, daily housekeeping and laundry, access to a sparkling pool and incredible views of the nearby mountains on St. Maarten.

Continental breakfast is included in the nightly rate, and concierge services can set up meals with a private chef, boat and sailing trips and anything else you could want on your vacation.

Planet Hollywood Costa Rica, An Autograph Collection All-Inclusive Resort

Planet Hollywood Costa Rica is another family-friendly all-inclusive resort that has everything kids need to have fun and more. This property has 292 suites with incredible views, a supervised children's club for kids ages four to 12, seven different restaurants to choose from, a splash zone for children and multiple shimmering pools.

Several room options can also work well for families who need more space. In fact, this resort features suites with up to two bedrooms and more than 3,000 square feet of room to spread out in.

The Somerset at Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos

If you want to stay oceanfront in one of the world's best beach destinations without vacationing in an all-inclusive resort, The Somerset on Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos could be an excellent fit. This resort sits on the award-winning Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales, and it is a lot like a resort but with condo-style accommodations that boast multiple bedrooms, kitchens and huge living spaces.

The property also has an infinity-edge pool, and guests can utilize water sport equipment like kayaks and paddleboards. The on-site Caicos Kids Club also provides non-stop entertainment and activities for children ages five to 12.

Visit Alpine Falls Ranch in Montana

If you are looking for a way to get out and explore or enjoy nature with kids this year or next, you may want to consider Alpine Falls Ranch in Western Montana. This dude ranch resort is set on more than 800 acres of unspoiled natural land, yet is just 45 minutes west of the Missoula Airport. 

With access to Western Montana hills, fields, mountains and streams, this property offers so many experiences to choose from. For example, guests can camp overnight, hike the wilderness, take an ATV ride across the property and along mountain trails or go horseback riding, fly fishing and more. Winter activities also abound, including country skiing, snowmobiling and snowcat skiing.

Check Out the Embassy Suites by Hilton Aruba Resort

Embassy Suites by Hilton Aruba Resort is a fairly new 330-all-suite property that sits just between Eagle Beach and Palm Beach in Aruba. This resort is also ideal for families since room options have separate living and sleeping spaces, as well as kitchenettes and balconies. 

With access to both Eagle Beach and Palm Beach, visitors to the property can spend their days relaxing on the powder white sand or swimming in the crystal clear waters Aruba is known for. They can also visit the nearby Butterfly Farm or plan a snorkeling or scuba trip in the open ocean.

Plan a Theme Park Getaway

Many children love roller coasters and fair food favorites like funnel cakes and nachos, so why not plan a theme park vacation somewhere nearby? Doing so probably means you can drive to your destination and save some cash over the cost of airfare, and you can choose a park that suits the needs of your party and your budget the best.

As just one example, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio is known for its 18 thrilling coasters and attractions for kids and families. There are many affordable hotels nearby this property, and it even has its own lakefront campground.

The Grand Mayan at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta

If you are dreaming of a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in the coming year, consider booking the Grand Mayan at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta. This beachfront resort has incredible mountain views, as well as numerous pool options, a lazy river, wave pools and an on-site waterpark.

Kids can even enjoy a mini train ride across the property, and there are numerous eateries on site. This resort can be booked on the RedWeek marketplace, and it also features huge room options with up to four bedrooms.

Book a Family Trip to The Westin Puntacana Resort & Club in the Dominican Republic

Westin Puntacana Resort & Club in the Dominican Republic is not all-inclusive, but this can make sense for families who want to get away from their hotel to dine and shop from time to time. This property is set on 15,000 tropical acres of beachfront paradise, and there are two award-winning golf courses nearby. 

Room options are also great for families since there are suites with separate living space. On-site dining option Anani Restaurant also makes it easy to grab a bite or sit down for a full meal with the kids at any time of the day or night.

The Woodlands Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton

Located in The Woodlands, Texas, the Woodlands Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton is a family-friendly resort with plenty for kids and adults to do and see. This property has its own water park with a lazy river, yet guests can also play golf or tennis at the property. There's also an adults-only floor parents can escape to when they need some quiet time.

This property is also just two miles from the Woodlands Waterway, Market Street and the Cynthia Woods Pavilion, which paves the way for families to enjoy endless activities like shopping, dining and outdoor concerts.

Explore Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa is located in beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming near Grand Teton National Park. Guests can book rooms and suites with up to three bedrooms, many of which have their own fireplaces, kitchens or kitchenettes and dining areas. Activities offered at the lodge vary by season but include everything from hiking and fly fishing in summer to skiing, snowboarding, fat biking and sleigh rides during winter.

An upscale spa is also available on site, which makes it possible to book relaxing massages, treatments and body therapies. Meanwhile, dining is available at the on-site Spur Restaurant and Bar, which is considered one of the best restaurants in the Teton Village area.

Head to Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida may be a very obvious place to take your kids on a getaway, but there are reasons it's so popular with families. Things to do in Orlando are nearly endless and include visits to Walt Disney World Report, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Dolphin Cove, Universal Studios Florida, Sea World and more.

Because there are so many theme parks and attractions in Orlando, finding a place to rent that sleeps your entire family is also a breeze. You can rent vacation villas, condominiums and other vacation rentals here through Airbnb, VRBO.com or RedWeek. There are also hundreds of traditional hotels in and around Orlando and Kissimmee to choose from, many of which have huge sparkling pools and provide shuttle service back and forth to Disney parks.

Carlisle Bay Antigua

Carlisle Bay Antigua is situated on one of the most beautiful and pristine beaches on the island, and young kids stay free at this property with parents. The resort also offers a variety of activities to keep everyone active and entertained, including watersports, yoga and pilates classes and several supervised kids clubs for children ages 2 to 12.

This five-star luxury resort also has a diverse selection of restaurants and bars, including beachfront dining options. Children under 12 eat free with adults. However, the entire family can also opt for an all-inclusive package that bundles in dining, drinks and more within the nightly rate.

Book a Beachfront Villa

Booking a beachfront vacation rental with the kids is always fun, and that's true whether you opt for a beach house or you choose a condominium to have more amenities at your fingertips. Popular destinations for beachfront homes include almost anywhere along either coast of the United States, with beach destinations like Destin, Florida, Galveston, Texas and North Carolina's Outer Banks as some of the most popular.

While there are downsides that come with renting a beach home, including the fact someone has to pick up supplies, make meals and keep things tidy and clean, renting a home gives kids more space to play and nap. Adults can also secure separate sleeping space from kids they may not get in a traditional hotel. Vacation rentals can also be less expensive than booking a traditional resort stay, especially if you eat most meals at home to keep costs down.

Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya

Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya is one of the most kid and baby-friendly resorts all along the coast of Mexico just south of Cancun, and it's easy to see why. This resort has a kids club for guests ages three months to four years of age, which comes with supervised care from a trained childcare team. The Kimbo Kids Club for kids ages 4 and up also offers meditation and yoga, Spanish classes, treasure hunts, crafts and games. In-room babysitting services are also offered at the resort.

The Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya is also incredibly luxurious and ideal for parents who want to relax with their family. An on-site spa is available for treatments, and several types of suites have their own private pools. You can even book a private three-bedroom villa with its own swimming pool at this property.

Good, Old-Fashioned Road Trip

Finally, don't be afraid to pack up the car and take the kids out for an old-fashioned road trip for a few days or a few weeks. Driving instead of flying can be less stressful and costly to begin with, but it can also be a ton of fun. You can play games in the car like license plane spotting or trivia, and you can pack plenty of snacks and drinks for the ride.

Where should you go? There are all kinds of stunning road trips to take throughout the United States, whether you want to explore the country's national parks, drive up the coast or spend some time visiting family or friends.

Next Slide > >

< < Prev Slide

Traveling with kids can be a whole lot of fun, but it can also be stressful, expensive or both if you book something that may not be kid-friendly without thinking it through all the way.

For the latest travel news, updates and deals, subscribe to the daily TravelPulse newsletter.

Topics From This Media to Explore

Get To Know Us Better

Agent At Home

Helping leisure selling travel agents successfully manage their at-home business.

Subscribe For Free

Agent Specialization: Group Travel

Laurence Pinckney

Laurence Pinckney

CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

About Me
Agent At Home

Helping leisure selling travel agents successfully manage their at-home business.

Subscribe For Free

Agent Specialization: Group Travel

Laurence Pinckney

Laurence Pinckney

CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

About Me