42 Great Family Vacation Ideas: Make Memories

You don’t forget family vacations no matter how old you get. Even as time goes by most people can (thanks to a plethora of family photos) remember the details of where they went on vacation with their family, what they did, and even how excited they were about the whole thing.

These fun memories are part of the reason many people choose to take their families on vacation. Added to that, family vacations are a great way to let your kids see the world and build better relationships with those nearest and dearest.

Water Park Beaches Negril

Picture: Only Beaches Resorts has the biggest, most thrilling waterparks in the Caribbean, where kids of all ages will have a blast.

As you seek to recreate those feel-good moments in your own family vacation, the most important thing to note is that it is important to plan well. Doing research is imperative, and so is knowing what your kids like. Whether your kids are babies, toddlers, older kids, or teens, there is a vacation opportunity waiting for you that will provide the perfect combination of relaxation and fun. For the sake of helping, you get to your vacation sooner, we’ve compiled a list of ideas for some of the most fun places you can go and things you can do during a great family getaway.

In this article on the Beaches Blog:

Vacation ideas for families with babies
Vacation ideas for families with toddlers
Vacation ideas for families with older kids
Vacation ideas for families with teenagers

Ready… set… pack!

Which place is best for a family trip?: The ease of all-inclusive resorts never fails - helping you and your family have an unforgettable, stress-free vacation. If you’re looking for a vacation to please the whole family, try one of the Beaches Resorts in Jamaica or Turks & Caicos. These resorts come with their own waterpark!

The best vacation ideas for families with babies

Baby Vacation Parents Beach Sand

Photo credit: mavo/Shutterstock.com

Parents with babies sometimes feel as though vacations are out of reach – nothing could be further from the truth. Nowadays, there are so many places families can go that don’t leave the baby out of the mix!

Family vacation idea #1: Grandma and grandpa’s house

Going to visit your parents or in-laws is a low-key family vacation, if what you’re looking for is a little change from the norm. This can be a great road trip if grandma and grandpa live within driving distance. The kids can look forward to being super spoiled by their grandparents while you’ll get some time to relax in between – maybe even a date night with your honorary babysitters on hand. Even though this might not be your dream vacation, it’ll certainly be a breath of fresh air for parents with babies.

Family vacation idea #2: Beach house vacation

Beach house vacations are the perfect family getaway, especially if you have multiple kids. You can rent one that’s a road trip away to avoid having to encounter any airports at all. Parents with smaller children will appreciate most the opportunity to skip the lines and save money. The great thing about beach house vacations is that they have a homey feel while still delivering everything you need out of a family vacation. You can also up the fun factor by including other family members. Beach house vacations can also be done on a budget – you can save money by purchasing groceries for your family. If you’re traveling with a baby and all related essentials, you also won’t have to worry about baggage restrictions – go with whatever can fit in your car!

Family vacation idea #3: All-inclusive resorts with childcare facilities

The appeal of the all-inclusive resort never fails – you pay a set price and get to partake in an array of inclusions without having to worry about your vacation cost spiraling out of control. This sort of arrangement is most beneficial to families with children.

Family friendly all-inclusive resorts, like Beaches, which has properties in both Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos Islands, are located on a short flight from the USA and provide a top-notch all-inclusive vacation experience for families with children.

The best part about it all is that you can get some time for yourself too even if you’re traveling with a baby or toddler! Now of course that may seem a little too good to be true, but with Beaches Resorts it is not. There are even certified babysitters and nurseries that ensure that even the youngest member of your family is treated like royalty, if you’re looking to spend one night on the beach for a romantic (and peaceful) dinner with your other half!

See three more vacation ideas for families with babies here.

The best family vacation ideas for families with toddlers

Beaches Turks Caicos Kids Camp Toddler3

Picture: At Beaches Turks & Caicos, we give kids extra attention with tailor‐made fun just for them, offering age-appropriate activities for kids of all ages, from tots to teens.

Family vacations with toddlers are always filled with excitement. As you explore a world of fascinating things, your toddler will likely want to get involved in it all. The fact that toddlers are likely to be thrilled at the chance to have an adventure of any kind takes a lot of the pressure off choosing the destination, but especially for families with toddlers and other kids, it can be hard to please everyone.

Family vacation idea #1: Beach vacations

Toddlers love the beach, and the mere mention of a beach vacation is sure to cause excitement. Your toddler may not know exactly what a beach vacation entails, but once they get there, they’ll be thrilled about seeing new things and getting to spend time with their parents and siblings. Some of the best islands for beach vacations with toddlers are Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Family vacation idea #2: Visit a ranch

Animals are fascinating. Your toddler will certainly agree during a getaway where they get to spend some time on a ranch. From pony and hayrides, to feeding animals and learning how things are grown, this will be an interactive experience for your toddler. At some ranches, toddlers will also be able to feed and help care for the animals, which will grant them one on one moments where they can see some of the animals they always read about in real life. Meeting cowboys and engaging in sing-alongs are some of the other things that will have your toddler in a state of pure delight during your family ranch visit.

Family vacation idea #3: Visit an aquarium

Give your toddler an introduction to sea life with a visit to an aquarium. This can be part of a family vacation which is centered on learning, exploration, and enjoyment. There are aquariums that cater just to children, and in most of these the viewing windows are a bit lower, which allows your toddler to be more immersed in the experience. You can help your toddler make sense of what they see by explaining to them the growth process of fishes and other basic biology. You can also point out the various colors and even some of the types of fishes, some of which your toddler may try to imitate.

See seven more vacation ideas for families with toddlers here.

The best vacation ideas for families with older kids

Beaches Turks Caicos Wave Simulator Kids

Picture: The non-stop action surf simulator rocks. Feel the adrenaline at the most exhilarating waterpark in the Caribbean.

No matter how old your kids are, all it takes a bit of searching to find a family vacation experience they’ll love. If you’re open to discovering new things and letting the kids lead the way, you’ll be well on your way to a vacation that’s unforgettable.

Family vacation idea #1: Waterpark vacations

Water play and vacation seem to go hand in hand for kids, and you’ll find a world of this during your Caribbean vacation. In fact, other than having some of the most incredible beaches on the globe, the Caribbean also has some awesome waterparks. Beaches Resorts in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos have their own all-inclusive waterparks where kids can spend as long as they’d like zooming down the enormous waterslides, swimming in the kid-friendly pools, and even indulging in the swim-up soda bars. Other attractions include whirlpools, water cannons, the lazy river, and the only surf simulator in the Caribbean. Beaches Resorts are popular with families because there’s something to do for everyone, including parents.

Family vacation idea #2: Theme park vacations

Though theme park vacations can be a little on the higher end, in terms of price, they offer a chance to have the family vacation of a lifetime. There’s so much fun to be had in all the available rides and other attractions that your kids probably won’t be able to contain themselves. This is one of the top picks for family vacations because there are so many parks along different themes that allow kids to let their imaginations run wild. You may have to sift through the details to find the one best suited for your family, but once you do the whole family will be in for a thrill.

Family vacation idea #3: Train trips

Train trips are a sure way to create nostalgic memories to look back on later. They’re also a good way to let the kids see the world from a different perspective. Looking out the window at natural and manmade landscapes zooming past, you and your family will have plenty of time to connect. This is a great way to have your kids experience a different sort of travel which is comfortable and easy.

See eight more vacation ideas for families with kids here.

The best ideas for family vacation with teenagers

Beaches Turks Caicos Hobie Cat Ride

Picture: Every water sport imaginable is included along with top-of-the-line equipment and professional instruction.

Teens can be a little harder to impress when it comes to finding a good family vacation destination, but once they’re sold on your suggestions or get to add input, they’ll be the happiest campers in any foreign land. Here are a few ideas families with teens will love:

Family vacation idea #1: Beach vacations

If your kids are in their teens, they’re likely to enjoy a beach getaway that gives them an opportunity to do nothing but sprawl out on the beach in a swimsuit all day. If they’re on an idyllic Caribbean shore on islands like Jamaica or Turks and Caicos, this is amplified because these islands have so much to offer in addition to sun, sea and sand. During a vacation with plenty of time on the beach as the core objective, your teen won’t be able to get over just how perfect the weather can be in this part of the world, and how warm and clear the ocean is!

Tip: Grace Bay beach was voted the best beach in the world is less than a two-hour flight from the US!

Family vacation idea #2: Adventure vacations

Vacations with promises of adventure are a great way to keep teens off their phones – if only for a few hours at a time. Many families use these to get their teens to disconnect and live in the moment. Fun things to try during a thrill-seeking vacation include snowboarding, surfing, skiing (or water skiing), ziplining, rock climbing, hiking, and cycling. There are so many options that you’re best off discussing with your teen what they’d like to do most so you can plan a vacation around their interests. If you have a bigger family, you’ll need to do some research to find out which activities are available for the rest of the family, so everyone is happy. With teens though, the trick is making sure there are fun ways to burn off their excess energy and ensuring they at least get some input in scheduling various things during your family vacation.

Family vacation idea #3: Voluntourism trip

Your teen will have lots to talk about once they return home from their voluntourism trip. Depending on where they travel to and how they spend their time, this kind of trip will certainly help them grow philanthropic roots. This is a great getaway for teens who are about to leave school and head out into the world as it gives them a chance to view life from a different perspective. Let your teens get involved with activities that help the less fortunate and more vulnerable communities which can have a real feel-good effect. Plus, they’ll be able to recognize their own advantages in life which can spur an even greater desire to give back. Whether this is organized through a school, church group, or nonprofit, or you and your teen will be travelling on your own, this will undoubtedly be a life changing experience.

See twelve more vacation ideas for families with teenagers here.

Ready… set… pack!

Mom Unpacking Travel Suitcase

Photo credit: And-One/Shutterstock.com

The quicker you get to packing, the sooner you can enjoy your vacation! As you get set to embark on a getaway with your family, keep in mind that the best family vacations are centered around fun. You and your kids will get some great bonding time and some awesome experiences. Now that you've read our list of great family vacation ideas, all you'll need to do once the planning is done is relax and let things fall into place.

Kylie Morrow

About Kylie Morrow

Writing for 13 years, Kylie discovered that experiences tell the best stories. As a Caribbean mother who wrote for newspapers, magazines, and blogs, she believes inspiration is even found in our kids!