Photo by Max Goncharov on Unsplash

 

 

The best family holiday destinations for 2018

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost the end of 2017 but with a new year comes new family holidays. So, to help you with your vacation planning for 2018, we asked some of our favourite family travel experts for their suggestions on where are the best places are for families to travel to in 2018. Their recommendations cover the globe from Chile and Canada to Norway, Korea, Taiwan and more.  All of the destinations listed below have been tried and tested by kids and parents and have been nominated as the place to go in 2018 with the family. Happy travels!

 

Peru with kids

Best family destinations 2018

Peru: Photo Credit Wandering Wagars

 

Peru is long associated with ancient Inca history and the famous Machu Picchu. But those are just a small part of why Peru is so incredible for family travel! Peruvians are warm and hospitable. And they absolutely LOVE children. And the country itself is built like a playground. The mountainous terrain and green lush interior are perfect for climbing, exploring and learning about the amazing hummingbirds that flutter by. While the raw, desert coast is full of towering sand dunes, incredible marine life, and beautiful small towns.

There is lots to do in Peru for parents as well. The country’s Pisco region is famous for wines and Pisco Sours. Peru is also one of the worlds top foodie destinations. Two of the top 10 restaurants in the world are in the capital of Lima. And every restaurant seems to offer its own unique take of classic Peruvian food that kids will absolutely love.

Kevin, Wandering Wagars

 

Norway with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Norway. Photo Credit: Full Suitcase

 

We recently visited Norway for the first time and were impressed by how family-friendly it is. We have always heard that Scandinavian countries are very easy to visit with children, but Norway still exceeded all our expectations. From play areas at the hotels and creative playgrounds all over the place, to the most kid-friendly hands-on museums we have ever visited – in Norway they really understand the importance of keeping the kids busy and entertained.

Whatever your family’s interests or travel style, you will find plenty of things to see and do in Norway with children. From hiking, kayaking, fishing, scenic train rides and boat trips to charming towns, quirky museums, and many cultural attractions – there is plenty of choice for everyone. I asked my kids what they enjoyed the most from our 2-week road trip in Norway and here are some of their favourites: hiking to the Pulpit Rock, learning how to can fish at the Norwegian Canning Museum in Stavanger, meeting real Vikings at the Viking Valley in Gudvangen, ‘fishing’ at the Norwegian Fisheries Museum in Bergen, riding the scenic Flam railway, and driving the scenic Trollstigen road.

Jurga, Full Suitcase

 

Chile with kids

Best family destinations 2018

Chile. Photo Credit: Travel Babbo

 

Chile is my top destination for 2018. It’s stunningly beautiful, it’s diverse, it’s full of adventure, and it’s kid-friendly. Plus there’s very little jet lag if you’re coming from the US. I’d recommend starting in the mountains of Patagonia. We hiked and went horseback riding, and the kids had a great time seeing all of the animals – guanacos and rheas primarily but also some pumas. Tierra Patagonia is a great base.

Then head to Santiago for a couple days for the food and culture before flying north to San Pedro de Atacama and the Atacama Desert. The desert is full of activities – far more than you would expect! There are geysers, salt flats with flamingos, other Chilean animals like vicunas and viscachas, hot springs, markets, mountain biking, and amazing sand dunes. And if that’s not enough, there’s Easter Island! The famous Moai statues are incredibly cool for adults and kids alike, but beyond the statues the island has a great Polynesian vibe – kind of a cross between Hawaii and Tahiti.

Take your kids everywhere in 2018! But start with Chile.

Eric, Travel Babbo

 

Greece with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Greece. Photo Credit: Family Travel Magazine

 

Most people associate the sunsets, blue roofs, and white buildings of Santorini with the country of Greece. But this beautiful, historic country has so much more to offer, especially for families. Visit Athens, and explore the ancient ruins of the Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum. Venture out to Delphi, the home of Apollo. Kids learning about ancient civilizations will especially appreciate the chance to see these ancient structures in person.

But Greece isn’t all about learning. The islands, including Santorini and Crete, offer breathtaking views, delicious food, fun water sports, and so much more. Many of the islands offer a number of family-friendly resorts that cater to any family’s needs. Prices are reasonable, making it an even better option for traveling families. See more about our experience in Greece here.

Jody, Family Travel Magazine

 

National Parks, U.S.A. with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Photo Credit: Along for the Trip

 

Our family spent a good portion of 2017 exploring several National Parks in the US and for 2018, we see that trend continuing. America’s National Parks are fantastic, and we think they offer a great experience for families looking for a unique vacation. They offer something for everyone, and with such a diverse number of parks and terrain, families are certain to find an adventure they can all agree on. If you enjoy warm beaches and the ocean, consider Dry Tortugas, Virgin Islands, or Channel Islands National Parks. Mountain lovers will enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park or Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Hike through stalagmites in Mammoth Cave National Park, or shoot the rapids on the Rio Grande River in Big Bend National Park. With 417 parks, monuments, seashores, and other outdoor areas, it’s easy to find an adventure to suit your family, so start planning your 2018 trips today!

Carrick, Along for the Trip 

 

Taiwan with kids

Best family destinations 2018

Taiwan. Photo Credit: Milana’s Travels

 

Taiwan is the perfect family destination! Often overlooked for more popular countries in the area, Taiwan is definitely worth a visit. You will meet the friendliest people in the world, eat some of the best food anywhere and your child will feel like a rock star with all the attention (locals love kids!). The first Din Tai Fung opened in Taipei, so be sure to visit! We centered our stay around Taipei and it was really easy to get around using their color-coded MRT system. When exploring the city, you will stumble upon lots of playgrounds so the kids can get their energy out before continuing on with the day. Taipei has a children’s museum, lots of restaurants with play areas and a ton of things to entertain both adults and kids. Be sure to visit one of the many night markets in the area! It’s the perfect destination to experience an amazing culture and really great food. .

Maggie, Milana’s Travels

 

Cyprus with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Cyprus. Photo Credit: Family with Latitude

 

Cyprus is a great family destination. Cyprus is a small island in the Aegean Sea. It can be driven east to west in just 3 hours and North to South in about an hour. In that small space, you can see Ancient Ruins, Mountains, Beaches, and plenty of natural beauty. Cyprus is also home to the only split capital left in the world. Nicosia is split between Greek Cyprus and Turkish Cyrus and you can visit both. Near Paphos there are great beaches and a Turtle Sanctuary. Close to Limassol there are 2 important ancient Greek ruins. These ruins are in much better condition than anything we saw in Greece and with a fraction of the visitors. Aiya Napa hosts great beaches, a bit of a party vibe, and a fun waterpark. There are great restaurants all over Cyprus. Not only that, but the food is fantastic; think calamari, grilled haloumi, kebabs and plenty of dips.

Nicole, Family with Latitude

 

Hawaii with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Hawaii. Photo Credit: The Travelling Mom

 

The land of aloha offers so much for the family traveller – gorgeous beaches, tropical trade winds, kid-friendly activities, lots of restaurant choices, and many familiar comforts of home. Each of the islands in the Hawaiian chain is unique, keeping the destination fresh for visitors who may return to favorite resorts year after year, or choose to island-hop in search of a spectacular sunset from a different beach.

Whether families have wee babes or active tweens and teens, families will find plenty of ways to keep as busy, or as relaxed in a Hang Ten state as they wish. From hiking on Kauai’s rugged Na Pali coast, donkey-riding on Molokai, visiting Pearl Harbor or Waikiki on Oahu, snorkeling off Molokini and riding the sugar cane train on Maui, or building sandcastles on the black sand beach on the Big Island, Hawaii is a true family travel paradise.

Claudia, The Travelling Mom

 

Slovenia with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Slovenia. Photo Credit: Inspire World Travel

 

For a tiny country, Slovenia sure packs a punch! From its lively capital, Ljubljana, you can reach almost anywhere else in the country in less than two hours, including the dramatic Julian Alps, fairytale Lake Bled, vast underground caves, hilltop castles and even a small but beautiful coastline. The Slovenian cuisine is divine, combining features from its neighbors Italy and Hungary with its own unique twist. We loved strolling along the Ljubljana riverfront and through the friendly farmers market. But dreamy Lake Bled was our favorite place – after an easy hike in nearby beautiful Vintgar Gorge, we relaxed on the grassy banks with Slovenians and other travelers, swam and watched the iconic boats paddling visitors to the island with its pretty church in the middle of the lake. Don’t forget dessert – the cream cake is delicious. Slovenia is a great value as a destination and is very family-friendly!

Julia, Inspire World Travel

 

Portugal with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Portugal. Photo Credit: Learning Escapes

 

Portugal is one of the easiest European countries for families to enjoy. Welcoming and child friendly, it has something for all ages and a variety of landscapes and opportunities to suit all needs. If you like cultural tourism, Portugal is home to no less than 14 UNESCO Worlds Heritage Sites, including castles and forts that are guaranteed to pique the interests of even very young explorers. If you like nature, you can explore Sintra/ Cascais National Park and if you prefer the beach, you will be spoilt for choice: the Portuguese coastline is legendary, with its gorgeous weather and vast sandy beaches! Lisbon, Porto and Faro are the main gateway to Portugal but it doesn’t matter where you start: Portugal is sure to envelop you and your kids  in its beautiful weather, delicious food and charming musing for a trip to remember!

Marta, Learning Escapes

 

Canada with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Canada. Photo Credit: Crazy Family Adventure

 

Canada is a breathtaking and adventurous country to visit with your family! If you are looking for city life be sure to check out Winnipeg and the Assiniboine Park Zoo to see the rescued Polar Bears. And the Canadian Museum For Human Rights to learn all about human rights in Canada and around the world.

If you are looking for outdoor adventure head over to Banff National Park and Jasper National Park, in Alberta Canada. While you are there you can walk on a glacier, soak in a natural hot spring, and see some of the most beautiful lakes we have ever seen! If your family loves to get outside and hike and explore and maybe come across a bear or two then Jasper and Banff are the place for you. The scenery is out of this world and the hiking is some of the best we have done in North America!

Bryanna, Crazy Family Adventure

 

Scotland with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Scotland. Photo Credit: Nikica Batur

 

We have been picking Scotland as our family’s vacation destination for two years in a row because of its mixture of the scenery and solitude. Even though Scotland has become popular, we find places, where we have sand beaches almost all to ourselves. There are many hiking possibilities, especially on Isle of Skye. We also love driving on one-line roads and stopping every mile to witness a waterfall, a cove, a moor, or maybe sheep can’t decide which way to cross. After a full day of exploring wild nature, there are welcoming villages with cosy pubs serving the best fish and chips, while the logs crack in the fire place in the middle of Summer. For us life slows down in Scotland. Days are longer than at home, we don’t rush and we make sure to start each day with a cup of tea and a scone.

Inga, Cook Kidz Cool Trips 

 

Scotland with kids – again! 

Editor’s note: I received two nominations for Scotland and, given that it is an amazing country for families, have included them both. 

Best family destinations 2018

Colombia. Photo Credit: This Is My Happiness

 

If your family loves history and the outdoors, Scotland should be on your wish list. Adventurous kids will love exploring the castle ruins and dungeons, imagining what life was like when clans and even Vikings ruled these lands. The whole family can enjoy the mystical side of Scotland while discovering the many fairy legends on the Isle of Skye. If your family likes to hike, Scotland is a perfect destination; walking, hiking and biking trails are well maintained, and the right to roam assures that you needn’t worry about trespassing while exploring the great outdoors. Overall, we found Scotland to be easy to travel in, affordable and peaceful, and in today’s busy world, the rare sight of someone staring at their phones was a welcome change. Best of all, the people made our trip especially memorable – friendly, funny and laid-back, the Scottish people reminded us why travel is so rewarding.

Jenna, This Is My Happiness

 

Alaska with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Alaska. Photo Credit: No Back Home

 

Alaska is one of North America’s most fantastical destinations, particularly for families. With spectacular scenery and adventures for all activity levels, Alaska is the perfect multi-generational destination, appealing to the littles as much as it does to the elderly.

From land focused trips to cruises and flight tours, a visit to Alaska allows families to experience it’s dramatic landscapes in various ways. America’s Last Frontier takes you back in time, allowing visitors to be enchanted by glaciers and massive snow covered mountains while bears roam the landscapes and whales and puffins cruise the seas. In addition to the abundant wildlife, you can experience native Alaskan cultures and history by panning for gold, visiting Native American totem poles and exploring the various influences left by Russia.

With limited roads throughout the US’s largest state, the accessible areas of are easy to navigate by rental car, rail or by a tour. For the more remote areas of the state, families can enjoy small boat cruises and flight tours for an immersive experience. Alaska is perfect for families who love adventure, the outdoors and wildlife.

Karilyn, No Back Home

 

Switzerland with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Switzerland. Photo Credit: Simple Family Travel

 

Switzerland is a paradise for families. Mums and dads love our safe cities and clean and reliable public transportation but it’s our jaw-dropping scenery and fun activities that can turn kids who are normally attached to screens into kids who are happy to step away from the electronics and out into nature. In the winter you can ski, snowboard, sled, and snowshoe and in the summer months you can discover the mountains along kid-themed hiking trails with superb playgrounds and awesome views.

But there’s more to Switzerland than just the beautiful mountains. Perhaps a well kept secret is its more than 1000 lakes just begging you to jump in and cool off on hot sunny days. Depending on your location, those lovely swimming spots are called “Badis” on the German side, “Lidos” on the Italian side and “La Plage” on the French side, usually have a lovely stretch of grass or sand as well as other creature comforts—some more extensive than others–where you can go to socialize and cool off with the locals. You will find these swimming spots in the mountains as well as the in the cities and they are a great way to relax after a long day exploring.

Kristin, Simple Family Travel

 

Bermuda with kids

Best family destinations 2018

Bermuda. Photo Credit Fairfax Family Fun

 

Rich in history, boasting beautiful beaches, and full of activities, Bermuda is a place you must visit at least once. This small British territory packs a lot in a small area. From the Royal Naval Dockyard with its National Museum of Bermuda to various forts, you can visit one-of-a-kind places. Other fantastic structures include St. Peter’s Church (more than 400 years old) and the Unfinished Church. Fort St. Catherine, with numerous tunnels and towers is a must-see. When you’re finished, cool off in one of many beaches, including the famous Horseshoe Bay with its pink sand and coves that create little calm pools perfect for the kids.

And if it’s raining? Many child-friendly indoor options include the amazing Crystal Cave and Fantasy Cave and fun museums. At the Bermuda Aquarium, Natural History Museum & Zoo you’ll see hundreds of animals and a 145,000-gallon coral reef exhibit. The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute is another fantastic facility with hands-on exhibits and a simulated diving experience. For more unique adventures on the island, try helmet diving, a whale-watching or glass-bottom boat cruise, swimming with dolphins at Dolphin Quest, or dancing along with Gombey troupes at one of the island’s many street festivals. Remember, you can’t rent a car in Bermuda, but taking a taxi or riding the bus is easy.

Patricia, Fairfax Family Fun 

 

France with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

France. Photo Credit: Trekaroo

 

Quaint towns and villages, epic beaches and majestic mountains await your family in France. Whether you’re traveling with young artists, writers, historians, adventurous eaters or outdoor enthusiasts, the country offers something for everyone. Retrace history on the storied D-Day Beaches of Normandy. Bask in the fabulousness of the chic French Riviera and explore the nearby principality of Monaco, once known for its own American actress turned royal princess, Grace Kelly. Ski the Alps. Hike the Pyrenees. Explore the enchanted fairytale like island of Mont St. Michel. Visit the sprawling royal estate of Versailles. Meander through a mother lode of museums in Paris covering an array of topics ranging from art, literature and history to religion, military, and science. Take a class in making macaroons. Get a firsthand look at what inspired Monet by visiting Giverny. France is a diverse country with a rich heritage of historic and natural sites to discover and explore with your kids.

Kristine, Trekaroo 

 

Germany with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Germany. Photo Credit: The World is a Book

 

While Germany or Deutschland may be more known for its beer and Oktoberfest, we’ve found it quite family-friendly and loved our visits there. For kids who enjoy fairytale stories, Germany has over 25,000 castles, castle ruins and palaces to visit. Many of them are well preserved to see the grandeur and fascinating history.

We loved visiting the medieval towns and charming villages filled with colorful half-timbered houses. Germany is brimming with landscapes, fairytale trails and settings straight out of the Brothers Grimm storybooks (their birthplace). There are plenty of kid-friendly museums in cities for unique cultural and
educational experiences. Many of them are free for everyone under 18 years old. Munich’s Deutsches Museum is the world’s largest science and technology museum and be sure to go to the Chocolate Museum in Cologne.

Germany also holds some of the best Christmas markets when visiting during the holidays. If your family is an outdoor enthusiast, there are plenty of natural wonders and trails including the famed Black Forest area. My kids absolutely love Europa Park. This is Germany’s largest theme park and Europe’s second most popular. With over 100 attractions and events across 13 different European themed “countries”, it’s a family favorite. You also can’t go wrong with giant pretzels and bratwurst for snacks on the go. Germany is clean, safe and easy to navigate from their efficient transportation system to the well-connected autobahn.

Mary, The World is a Book

 

South Korea with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

South Korea. Photo Credit: Flashpacker Family

 

South Korea is my pick for the best country for family travel in 2018. Travel to South Korea is seriously underrated, with many travellers heading to it’s neighbours Japan and China, but not to Korea. Korea has a tonne of natural beauty, fascinating culture and beautiful people. The food is amazing but can be spicy though BBQ is always a good bet. There are so many fun things to do in Seoul like palaces, markets and the world’s largest indoor theme park. The best part is that the Korean people love kids and are incredibly friendly, open and not afraid to chat with foreign visitors.

Bethaney, Flashpacker Family

 

Jordan with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Jordan. Photo Credit: All Over the Map

 

Jordanians are famous for their hospitality and warmth, and their country offers an astounding variety of adventure within a relatively small country. Ride a camel to the historic archaeological city of Petra, hidden among sandstone cliffs. You’ll be astounded at the majestic classical buildings that appear almost magically as you ride through the deep caverns.

Take a ride through the desert of Wadi Rum and sleep in a Bedouin camp. You can pretend you’re Lawrence of Arabia while the kids sled down sand dunes and scramble over rocks. At night, watch a star show unlike any you’ve ever seen. Stay in a resort by the Dead Sea, where older kids can marvel at the experience of floating in the salty waters. Watch the sun set over Israel on the opposite shore.

If that’s not enough adventure, head to Aqaba on the Red Sea for snorkelling, windsurfing, and some of the best scuba in the world.

Paige, All Over the Map

 

Cuba with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Cuba. Photo Credit: De Su Mama

 

Perhaps I’m biased as a first-generation Cuban American, but the island remains at the top of our preferred family travel destination list. Venture out of the all-inclusive and into the streets of Havana or the countryside of Pinar del Rio to experience the true jewel of Cuba: its people! With mild temperatures and a culture that celebrates la familia, there are scarcely any areas in Cuba in which kids are not welcomed. For older kids, Cuba affords a wealth of first-hand education in history, political science and language with a testament to the incredible ingenuity of the Cuban people. Everything from outdoor adventure, cultural immersion, crystal-blue beaches, and colorful colonial cities bring adventurous parents to Cuba with kids. What are you most excited to explore?!

Vanessa, De Su Mama

 

Japan with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Japan. Photo Credit. Hilton Mom Voyage

 

Our family fell head-over-heels in love with the enchanting Land of the Rising Sun – Japan. This magical, stunning, friendly country is the perfect destination for families. Whether you experience the famous Tsukiji fish market, Shibuya’s busy crosswalk, pop-culture central Harajuku, one of the eclectic theme cafes or Disney, Tokyo thrills children of all ages! Kyoto’s spectacular gardens, the Golden Temple, the Monkey Park, the many shrines, gyoza (mmmm!), and the elusive geishas captivated our family. The foodie capital of the country, Osaka, offers so much for families including a castle, and plenty of kid-centric attractions. A visit to historic Hiroshima teaches your children the importance of promoting peace. A relaxing escape to tranquil Miyajima Island rewards your family with ultimate zen and incomparable beauty. Discovering cities like Kamakura with its tremendous Buddha and Hakone with it’s fabulous outdoor art museum and famous black sulphur eggs that are said to add years to your life create wonderful memories. And seeing Mt. Fuji will leave you speechless! Japan’s gastronomic delights, historical sights, hospitality, kitschy pop-culture, and natural beauty enchants parents and children alike!

Lisa, Hilton Mom Voyage & We Said Go Travel

 

Australia with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Australia. Photo Credit: An Emerald City Life

 

Australia is such a perfect family destination because there is no end to the adventures a family can have in this beautiful country. From hugging koala bears and searching for penguins near Melbourne to spending lazy days on the beaches in Surfer’s Paradise and Bondi; hiking through the lush greenery in the Blue Mountains and Daintree forests and biking through the desert around Uluru-there is just so much to see and eat and do. Our family of four spent six weeks flying and driving around the country in April and May and we can’t find a favorite part-we liked every place we visited and we all want to go back as soon as possible.

Terumi, An Emerald City Life

 

Ireland with kids 

Ireland. Photo Credit: Ireland Family Vacations

 

Thanks to Star Wars and Game of Thrones, Ireland is topping travel lists for 2018. A country with more than its share of otherworldly landscapes and dramatic castle ruins, Ireland is also relatively small, easy to navigate, and has the benefit of little to no language barrier for English speakers.

But Ireland is more than a dramatic filming location. It’s a country filled with magic and mystery, history and hauntings, saga and scenery. It’s a country where castles (or ruins) appear around every bend of the notoriously windy roads, where stories are told nightly by a pub fire to the accompaniment of music, and where a warm welcome is guaranteed.

The best way to explore Ireland is by car. And be sure to leave room in your itinerary to follow the road less traveled- that is where your memories will be made.

Jody, Ireland Family Vacations

 

Galapagos Islands with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Galapagos. Photo Credit: Green Global Travel

 

Taking my daughter to the Galapagos Islands in 2015 easily ranks among the greatest trips we’ve ever taken. Located 620 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the archipelago features 18 major islands (many of which remain uninhabited) and 3 smaller islets spread across 3,040 square miles. Taking a small ship cruise with International Expeditions was a great way to explore Charles Darwin’s paradise, where the weird wildlife is utterly unafraid of humans. The magical memories were many: Standing next to Giant Galapagos Tortoises; being surrounded by hissing, spitting Marine Iguanas; swimming with playful Galapagos Sea Lions; and snorkeling alongside Galapagos Penguins. The Galapagos Islands is a great place to learn more about the science of evolution, the fragility of nature, and the importance of conservation. And in the process of learning and exploring these remote, rugged landscapes together, we strengthened family bonds that will hopefully last a lifetime. I’ve been to the Galapagos twice in the last five years, and I’d go back in a heartbeat! –Bret Love of Green Global Travel

Bret, Green Global Travel & Green Travel Media

 

Colombia with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Colombia. Photo Credit: Cool Moms Cool Tips

 

Colombia is pure magic and has the happiest people on earth. They will teach your entire family how to have fun as you discover a rich and diverse country teaming with things to do. Be the explorer in the ancient sacred cities, Bogota opens its arms to visitors like no other. At over 3000 meters high closer to the starts, this cosmopolitan city is full of contrasts that invite to enjoy culture and history. It is also the gateway to the rest of the country. You can conquer the Andes, explore the Amazon jungle, learn to dance salsa in Cali, Have a cup of coffee in The zona cafetera near Medellin and be a rancher in Villavicencio. Barranquilla invites you to its colorful carnival in February and While Historic Cartagena offers pristine beaches, plus island hopping. Colombia has it all!

Mena Pregi & Taty Pradilla, Cool.Moms.Cool.Tips

 

Mexico with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Mexico. Photo Credit: Travel Mamas

 

Mexico makes a friendly and beautiful choice for families seeking a vacation destination. Northern neighbors from Canada and the U.S. find Mexico to be an easy-to-reach and affordable choice for travel with kids. Plus, even the pickiest of children tend to enjoy Mexican food, with tasty choices like tacos, quesadillas, and grilled chicken or steak available on most menus. Mexico’s culture emphasizes the importance of family, so kids are welcomed in most restaurants, often with special play equipment to enjoy. With over 5,300 miles of shoreline, many travelers flock to the country’s gorgeous sandy beaches. For those seeking a city getaway, Mexico City is the largest in North America and offers up tons of cultural and historic sites and museums. Mexico’s ancient ruins provide an educational opportunity for children and their parents, too. If you’re looking for a unique destination within Mexico, I suggest taking the kids to San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato state. With its cobblestone streets, plentiful Spanish haciendas, and gorgeous central plaza — it feels like a slice of Europe with a side of guacamole.

Colleen, Travel Mamas

 

Austria with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Austria. Photo Credit: Family on the Loose

 

Austria is a dream family destination in any season and at any age. Visit the Lipizzaner stallions and enjoy delicious hot chocolate mit schlagg (with whipped cream) in Vienna during winter. You can also plunk your kids in ski school in the Alps, just a few hours by train from Vienna. One or two days might be expensive but a week of ski school is amazingly reasonable and a never-forget adventure with the world’s skiing experts.

Summer in Vienna includes outdoor cafés, pubs with playgrounds, and wandering through the vineyards that ring the city. The country is steeped in history and art so there are plenty of traditional museums to enjoy, many with special exhibits for kids. Other museums are fantastic for kids as well. At the Haus der Musik, you can explore the music that makes Austria special and even conduct an orchestra. The new Optical Illusions Museum is a dream destination for teens who can easily take 100 funny pictures of themselves in a one hour visit.

Ashley, Family on the Loose

 

Denmark with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Denmark. Photo Credit: Kids Are A Trip

 

Families looking for a destination that is safe and friendly with a variety of adventures will find the perfect vacation in Denmark. If your kids are interested in Vikings, you’ll want to head to Roskilde and the Viking Ship Museum. There’s an interactive village where kids can try on chain mail, watch a blacksmith at work, and even take a ride on a viking ship in the harbor. LEGO lovers should head to Billund, where the building blocks were invented. Of course there’s a LEGOLAND and even a life size LEGO house. In Copenhagen, kids will love Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest amusement parks in Europe. Include time for a bike ride, walking along the Strøget, and cruising the canals. Be sure to sample the tasty food from street vendors and tour the royal palaces. Don’t forget the national parks, white sand beaches, and charming fishing villages. Denmark really has something for all ages!

Kirsten, Kids Are A Trip

 

Costa Rica with kids 

Best family destinations 2018

Costa Rica. Photo Credit: Mom Endeavors

 

Costa Rica is one the the best exotic destinations for families! Whether you’re into adventure activities like ziplining, white-water rafting, horseback riding, and surfing or you’re more in favor of relaxing in nature at beautiful beaches or hiking through lush rainforests, there is something fun to do in Costa Rica for EVERY age and interest level. Since it’s one of the 20 countries with the most biodiversity on earth, you have the chance to see amazing animals in the wild like sloths, monkeys, tree frogs, toucans, and parrots! This small country has two international airports to choose from, making it easy to get around and easy to find good flight deals to. It’s one of our top recommendations for families! Pura vida!

Sara, Mom Endeavors

 

Guatemala with kids 

Lake Atitlan Guatemala

Guatemala

 

We loved our trip to Guatemala at the beginning of 2017, which is why it’s my top pick for family travel in 2018. Still relatively undiscovered by family travellers, this colourful Central American country is an incredibly friendly place to visit with lots of things for families to do. Start your trip in the colourful colonial town of Antigua, an easy place for wandering with plenty to keep kids busy such as chocolate-making workshops.

From here head to Lake Atitlan, stopping at the lively Chichicastenango market along the way. Aldous Huxley once claimed that Lake Atitlán was “the most beautiful lake in the world”, and it’s hard to disagree, surrounded by steep, fertile hills, dramatic cone-topped volcanoes and colourful Mayan villages. Explore the lake by boat, go kayaking or stand up paddle boarding and then learn to cook traditional Mayan food with a family-friendly cooking class. You can’t visit Guatemala without stopping at Tikal, one of the world’s most impressive pre-Columbian sites of Mayan civilisation. It’s a little out of the way, located deep within the jungle in the northern province of El Petén, but really can’t be missed!

Katja, globetotting 

 

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Best family destinations 2018