Family vacations are a time-honoured tradition, and there's no better way to bond with your loved ones than by exploring new destinations together. However, there is no one-size-fits-all destination; every age has different needs and interests, so finding the right destination for each member of your family can be a challenge.
Here are some of the best destinations around the world for kids at every age, along with things to consider for each age group.
Travelling with babies (0-2 years old)
Travelling with young children can be a challenge, but with some preparation, it can be a great bonding experience for both parents and babies. Beach destinations with calm and shallow waters, such as the Caribbean, Hawaii, or Thailand, are perfect for families with babies. The sound of the waves and the gentle breeze can be soothing for babies, and the warm water is ideal for splashing around.
Are you familiar with the concept of slow travel? It can be a great option to help reduce stress and allow for more relaxed and enjoyable experiences. Rather than trying to see and do everything in a short amount of time, consider staying in one place for a longer period and taking time to truly immerse in the destination. This way, you can establish a routine for your baby and avoid the stress of constantly packing up and moving around.
When flying with a young child, it's helpful to know which airlines provide special services like pre-boarding and bassinets. Pack all the necessary items, such as diapers, formula, and baby food, and plan for any medical needs. Choose accommodations that offer baby-friendly amenities, such as cribs, high chairs, as well as kitchen facilities to prepare meals for your little one.
Travelling with toddlers (3-5 years old)
Toddlers are full of energy and curiosity, and they love to explore and discover new things. While theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios can be exciting for families with toddlers, you could also consider visiting an animal sanctuary or a national park. This would give your little ones the opportunity to observe and learn about animals in their natural habitats or enjoy the beauty of nature.
To make sure your toddler enjoys the trip, plan age-appropriate activities that match their interests. Pack plenty of snacks, entertainment, and distractions to keep them occupied during long flights or car rides. Look for accommodations that offer plenty of space to run around and play, such as apartments or villas. By choosing a comfortable and spacious home away from home, your toddler can feel at ease and comfortable even when travelling to a new place.
Travelling with children (6-9 years old)
At this age, you can plan for a mix of educational and cultural experiences, such as visiting museums or historical landmarks, as well as outdoor activities like hiking and exploring nature. National parks with easy hikes, such as Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon, are perfect for families with children. The stunning natural beauty and the opportunity to observe wildlife up close are sure to inspire a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world.
To create a more memorable and engaging trip, involve children in the trip planning process and give them a say in the itinerary and activities. Pack age-appropriate entertainment, such as books or games, to keep children occupied during long flights or car rides, and make sure to schedule in breaks and downtime to avoid overstimulation.
Travelling with pre-teens (10-12 years old)
Pre-teens are at an age where they crave more adventure and independence. Destinations like Costa Rica or New Zealand are perfect for families with pre-teens as they provide the opportunity to go zip-lining, white-water rafting, or hiking in a beautiful setting, creating unforgettable memories.
Preteens seek more freedom than their younger siblings, and the perfect way to provide them with the independence they crave is all-inclusive family vacations. Kids can explore on their own while still knowing that there are adults nearby if needed. Alternatively, an exciting city break can provide an ideal blend of independence and security, letting pre-teens have fun discovering new places in familiar surroundings.
Travelling with teenagers (13-18 years old)
Teens are ready for parents to give them freedom, so consider planning a camping trip where they can explore nature or a volunteer abroad program in Central America where they can give back while learning about different cultures. When planning a trip with teenagers, consider adding activities that match their interests, such as music festivals or sports events.
Look for accommodations that give them some privacy and space to relax, such as renting an apartment or suite. Involving your teen in the planning process and respecting their interests can create a meaningful and enjoyable trip for the whole family. It's important to have a conversation with your teen beforehand to discuss expectations when travelling away from home.
Memorable and stress-free family vacations await!
From cozy beach houses perfect for babies and toddlers to exciting city breaks ideal for pre-teens— there is something out there suitable for every age group! Just remember to do your research ahead of time, so you know exactly what kind of adventure awaits everyone in your family before booking those tickets!