Written by
Louis Dhont

Published on: September 5th, 2017

Last modified: March 27th, 2024

Every family trip is an opportunity to make lifelong memories with your loved ones, from the stunning landscapes of Iceland to the tropical beaches of Thailand. Whether you’re travelling with young children, teenagers or as a multi-generation family, certain destinations offer just the right combination of fun, adventure, relaxation and luxury.

With so many spectacular places to visit, it’s not always easy to choose the best place for a luxury family vacation. Every family has their own needs and preferences, and it’s important to find a destination with something for everyone. If you want a relaxing vacation, you might prefer a location that has a luxury hotel with children’s activities; if you’re looking for adventure, access to the great outdoors may be the priority.

No matter what kind of holiday you’re dreaming of, we can help you design a bespoke experience to match your interests. With that in mind, we’ve asked our expert travel designers to select their favourite spots around the world for family trips. Here are their top picks, plus some helpful advice on planning the perfect vacation for your family.

How to Decide Where to Take Your Family on Vacation


When planning a family trip, there’s a lot to consider – and the first big decision is where to go. It’s important to do your research; you might be surprised at the vast variety of family-friendly destinations around the world. We suggest planning as far in advance as possible, and speaking to an experienced expert who can help design your ideal itinerary.

One significant factor in planning is the time of year, as different destinations have specific seasonal events and climates. You might want to avoid extreme heat or cold if you’re travelling with small children, or plan for the shoulder season to avoid the crowds. And if you’re hoping to see a certain event like the Great Migration, timing is everything.

In the following sections we’ll share the best destinations for different types of families, from those with young kids to multi-generational groups. Here are the world’s best places for family travel, including some expert insight into the highlights of each.

Top Places to Travel With Young Children


Travelling with young kids involves additional considerations, from weather and crowds to age restrictions for activities. That said, plenty of destinations are perfectly suited to families with small children – and some of them might seem unexpected. If you have kids under the age of eight, here are three of the best places to travel.

1. South Africa – Best for Family-Friendly Safaris

There’s nothing quite like going on safari with your family, and watching little ones’ eyes light up as they spot incredible animals in the wild. South Africa is an ideal destination for this, with kid-friendly camps, private houses and safaris for all ages. Malaria-free areas like Madikwe and Tswalu can also make it easier to prepare for a family vacation to South Africa.

Family bush walk, Morukuru, Madikwe, South Africa

Many of the best family safari lodges in Africa offer activities specifically designed for kids and swimming pools to keep them entertained. One of our favourites in South Africa is Madikwe Safari Lodge, which has family suites with special kids’ rooms and an Eco House where they can learn about conservation.


2. Costa Rica – Best for Nature Activities

Costa Rica has something for everyone, from lush rainforests and lava fields to sandy shores and twinkling waters. Family vacations in Costa Rica can easily be customised to your kids’ interests, and there are plenty of fantastic things to do with young children. The tranquil town of Dominical and the Manuel Antonio National Park are ideal for kid-friendly nature activities.

Costa Rica is an especially good choice if you’re travelling with children of varying ages. Older kids can go ziplining or whitewater rafting, while the little ones can enjoy nature walks or play on the beach. There’s a wide array of family-friendly lodges in Costa Rica, including the spectacular Nayara Tented Camp.


3. Croatia – Best for National Parks & Water Activities

The Mediterranean country of Croatia is quickly gaining a reputation for its turquoise waters and picture-perfect towns – but it’s also a wonderful place to travel with young children. Don’t miss the awe-inspiring Plitvice Lakes and the waterfalls of Krka National Park, which is an easy day trip from the main cities.

Both Dubrovnik and Split are overflowing with history and immersive excursions to keep younger family members entertained. In the coastal city of Zadar, kids will be mesmerised by the sounds of the Sea Organ and the glowing panels of the Sun Salutation. Stay at Maslina Resort for family-friendly luxury and incredible views.

Top Places to Travel With Older Children & Teenagers


If you’re travelling with teenagers or older children, we suggest choosing a destination with plenty to do. Teenagers can often participate in the same activities as adults, but it’s still important to consider what they’ll enjoy most. Here are some destinations that promise all kinds of adventures and excitement for the older kids in your family.

4. Kenya – Best for Thrilling Safaris

Kenya is a classic safari destination, full of wonderful wildlife, fascinating culture and natural beauty. Older kids will be captivated by game drives and walking safaris, as well as other outdoor activities like hikes and horse riding. If it’s the right time of year, you can even witness the spectacle of the Great Migration in Kenya.

Our travel designers recommend combining more than one safari destination so that you and your family can experience everything Kenya has to offer. For example, you can pair a trip to Angama Mara in the famous Maasai Mara with a stay at Lewa House in the private Lewa Wildlife Conservancy – both of which have a wide variety of activities for older kids.

5. Galápagos Islands – Best for Wildlife & Water Activities

If you’re looking for adventure, the Galápagos Islands won’t disappoint. This remote archipelago is world-renowned for its one-of-a-kind wildlife, from giant tortoises to adorable penguins. Children of all ages will love discovering the volcanic landscapes, exploring the islands in sea kayaks or on stand-up paddleboards and snorkelling beneath the surface.

When planning a family trip to the Galápagos, you’ll need to decide if you want to explore them by land or by sea. If you have younger kids, staying somewhere like Galápagos Safari Camp offers flexibility and tailor made itineraries. But for teenagers, cruising around the islands on a ship like the magnificent La Pinta can be incredibly exciting – think swimming with sharks and watching sea lions play.

6. Japan – Best for Stunning Scenery & Cuisine

A family vacation in Japan is the kind of experience your kids will never forget, whether they’re into anime, karaoke, samurai or sushi. Beyond these obvious claims to fame, Japan offers an infinite number of things to do with older kids, from visiting museums and cultural sites to learning traditional crafts and sampling the most authentic and cutting-edge cuisine.

The best time to visit Japan depends on your family’s interests. Go in March or April to see some of the country’s top destinations blanketed in beautiful cherry blossoms, or in November or December for vibrant displays of autumn leaves. Winter brings world-class winter activities and the snow crab harvest, while summer is peak festival season.

7. Iceland – Best for Outdoor Adventures & Rugged Beauty

It’s no secret that Iceland is one of the world’s most jaw-dropping destinations when it comes to natural wonders. Older kids and teenagers will be just as awestruck as the rest of the family as you encounter glaciers, geysers, volcanoes and geothermal pools. The activities here are endless, from hiking and snowmobiling to whale watching and meeting Icelandic ponies.


If you’re planning a family trip to Iceland, you’ll need to decide when to go. The best time to visit Iceland for hiking and outdoor adventures is summer (June – August), but winter (December – February) is optimal for snow activities and seeing the northern lights. If you’d rather avoid the crowds, the shoulder seasons in spring and autumn are lovely. We highly recommend the cosy Torfhús Retreat.

8. Egypt – Best for Ancient History & Spectacular Snorkelling

Egypt might just be one of the most educational destinations on earth. Older children and teenagers who are studying ancient Egypt in school can take their understanding to a whole new level by seeing sites like the Great Pyramids and Luxor in person. Family-friendly activities with expert Egyptologists are also good for all ages.

Sphinx carving in front of Egyptian pyramid with tourists below

Beyond its legendary historical sites, Egypt is a world-class destination for snorkelling. Older children can dive into the Red Sea to discover the intriguing world beneath the waves – and parents can either join them or relax on the beach. Although summer (June – August) sn’t necessarily the best time to visit Egypt if you’re heading to the cities or the Sahara, it’s an excellent time to enjoy the coast.

Top Places to Travel With Multi-Generational Families


Travelling with multiple generations at once – for example, kids, parents and grandparents – can be a truly special experience. But it also requires careful planning to ensure that everyone will be happy. We often suggest beautiful locations that offer something for every family member, as well as bucket-list destinations where you can make lasting memories together.

9. Thailand – Best for Beaches & Culture

Thailand should be on every traveller’s list. This Southeast Asian country is bursting with unbelievable landscapes, ornate temples and endless activities for every age group. Here your family can go hiking or rock climbing; sample delicious cuisine and learn about Thai culture; or simply relax at one of the many lavish hotels scattered across the islands.

A family-centred culture and wonderful weather add to the appeal of family vacations in Thailand. If you’re travelling with both kids and older family members, opt for a luxurious resort like Rosewood Phuket – which has an Explorers Club for kids – or Anantara Golden Triangle near Chiang Rai. Both offer enough options to make everyone happy.


10. Greece – Best for History & Idyllic Islands

Greece is a land of legendary history and incredible beauty that kids and adults alike can appreciate. We suggest spending some time in the capital of Athens to soak in its many ancient sites and stories, then heading to the Greek islands for charming towns and gorgeous beaches – not to mention mouthwatering cuisine.

Each island has its own distinctive appeal, but for family trips we especially love Crete. It offers a little bit of everything, from eclectic architecture and archaeological wonders to white sand beaches and hidden coves. Stay in one of Domes Zeen Chania’s spacious bungalows or pavilions, designed specifically for families.

11. Australia – Best for Tropical Forests & Coral Reefs

Australia is well known for its welcoming spirit and sense of adventure, making it a fantastic choice for multi-generational families. Cities like Sydney and Melbourne are certainly worth a visit, but there’s plenty more to discover here. Head to Lizard Island for a remote escape and privileged access to the Great Barrier Reef, or the Whitsundays for a luxurious yacht trip.

The tropical rainforest surrounding Silky Oaks provides the perfect setting for a family trip to Australia, with wildlife tours, canoe trips, morning yoga and a heavenly spa. We love the elegant Daintree Pavilion, with space for up to 5 guests and its own infinity pool. Keep in mind that Silky Oaks only accepts children aged 10 and up.

12. Colombia – Best for Exclusive Family Retreats

The vibrant country of Colombia has plenty to offer, from buzzing cities and colonial towns to beautiful beaches and verdant coffee plantations. It’s also a great destination for an exclusive family trip. Book a private house for your entire family in Cartagena or Barichara, and enjoy an itinerary customised to your needs and interests.

In the mystical Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta you’ll find Casa Oropéndola, a luxury lodge with extraordinary views. If you prefer the sea to the mountains, Kasamar is an equally exquisite choice. Here you can relax – or play with the kids – in two different swimming pools, and enjoy delicious food prepared to your family’s tastes by your own private chef.

Trip Inspiration

Our favourite family trips around the world

Where to stay

Our pick of the best family hotels around the world

Ready to your perfect family trip?
Whatever you want from your family adventure, our team of expert travel designers are ready to help.