There are plenty of ways to see and experience the world, but choosing the best vacation may be the most important part of your family’s travel plans. Whether you’re learning about ancient history in Rome, spotting favorite animals on an African safari, or taking a trip to the very end of the Earth (literally), an adventurous family trip is sure to create lasting memories and inspire a love of traveling in your kids for life.
For families looking to take a road trip, the classic East Coast beach getaway to Virginia Beach is a top pick, with seven wide, kid-friendly beaches and plenty of other attractions. Baltimore is another good choice, with the Port Discovery Children’s Museum, the National Aquarium, and the USS Constellation warship all nearby. Meanwhile, West Coast adventurers should consider visiting White Sands, where they’ll be able to spot sea lions and elephant seals in their natural habitat.
More tropical destinations are also popular family vacations. Malaysia, for example, is home to lush jungles and awe-inspiring temples, while Thailand offers pristine beaches and an exciting nightlife scene. Armenia is another excellent option, with a historic religious heritage that lends its cities and villages much of their character. With friendly locals, ancient monasteries, and awe-inspiring mountaintop temples, this beautiful country has something for everyone in the family.
Those who prefer a land-based adventure might choose to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra in Jordan. This ancient city features awe-inspiring carved-rock structures, including temples, tombs, and altars. Other popular cultural destinations include the awe-inspiring Batu Caves in Malaysia, which are filled with hundreds of stunning stalactites and stalagmites. Or, head to Turkey for a unique geological experience at Pamukkale Thermal Pools, where hot spring waters are naturally carbonated and have been turned into a stunning waterfall.
A few steps further afield, a trip to Antarctica is another one-of-a-kind travel destination that’s well worth the long flight. Whether you’re exploring the vast wilderness on foot, on a cruise ship, or in a helicopter, the views of this unique destination will be unlike any other you’ve ever seen.
If you’re looking for a truly unique natural wonder, look no further than the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. This immense coral reef stretches across 2,300 kilometers, making it the largest in the world. Explore the swaying coral, spot your favorite marine life, or even snorkel along its edges to get an up-close view of this breathtaking natural marvel.
For some, the best vacation is right at home. With a little planning, you can turn your own backyard into a relaxing, fun-filled getaway. Pitch a tent in your yard and sleep under the stars, roast marshmallows around a fire pit, or set up an outdoor movie screen to show your kids their favorite childhood movies. And if you have a pool, make it into a water park for some splashy family fun. You can even go on a day trip to your local museums, aquariums, or state parks to see what the surrounding area has to offer.