Best Vacation Ideas for Parents With Young Children | By: Kiley Morrow

If you have young children, finding a vacation that actually feels like a vacation, rather than doing more of what you do at home, can be tricky. Some parents simply decide to stop vacationing all together, and stick to staycations until the kids are older and more independent.

But there’s no need to do that! While a vacation with small kids is never going to be a truly relaxing break, it can be a lot of fun, as long as you choose wisely. 

Here are five suggestions for vacation destinations, and how you should plan ahead to make sure you have the best time:

Head for The Hills

A mountain break in Colorado or Canada might not seem like an obvious child-friendly vacation. But the wide, open spaces and fresh air can make mountain destinations the perfect choice, especially for active kids. 

Go in winter, and you will of course be able to ski. Kids can usually join a ski school from around 3 years old, and most resorts have a ski nursery where they can learn in a safe environment.

Ski hotels and tour operators usually offer childcare for younger children too. This means that adults can head off to the slopes for a few hours, knowing the kids are having a great time, before coming back for an afternoon of family time.

But it is in summer that the mountains really come into their own for young children. Strap them into a carrier and head off on a hike. You’ll usually find gentle trails as well as challenging ones. If they’re a bit heavy to carry but too young to walk, look for a resort with a gondola lift that runs in summer, such as that at Lake Louise in Alberta, so you can get up to the top and enjoy the views.

Where there are mountains, there are usually rivers, and these turn into fantastic summer playgrounds. Younger kids will enjoy just having a paddle and a riverside picnic. With teens, look for a resort such as Vail in Colorado, where you can try out white-water rafting.

Hit the Beach

Beach breaks are the classic kid-friendly vacation choice, and for good reason. It’s difficult for them to get bored when they have all day to make sandcastles, paddle about in the water, and enjoy the sea breeze in their hair. There are usually plenty of other kids around too, so they will be able to make new friends.

Choose your beach wisely, though. The best beaches for kids are those with calm, shallow waters, so you can safely take them for a swim. Avoid beaches with big breakers or currents. 

Beach resorts generally have plenty of facilities for kids away from the beach too, including shallow, warm pools so even less confident swimmers can splash about, playgrounds and kids’ clubs. 

If you want to stay a little longer and make it more luxurious, think about heading to the Caribbean or another tropical locale. There are many family resorts and packages geared specifically for families there, so you won’t be crossing paths with honeymooners. Resorts are often marketed as either families-only or adults-only all-inclusives, so there should be no confusion. They tend to be high-end, but the cost is worth it for the memories you’ll make.

Run to The Forest

A forest vacation gives you the opportunity to really get away from it all. Hidden in the trees, you’ll feel like you’re having a real adventure in the wilderness. Forests can be great, safe places to explore for young children, with lots of flat trails that are perfect for little legs. The shade of the trees means you don’t have to worry about sunburn, and you’ll often find a lake where you can cool off with a swim.

Forest vacations often work well as camping trips. You’ll feel like you’re really part of the forest, wake up to birdsong and go to bed to the sound of crickets. But if that’s not your thing, look for a forest lodge: your own cabin in the woods.

Head to a Theme Park

BVI - 6

Theme parks are an obvious choice for those with young kids, and adults can have plenty of fun at them too. They’re a great chance to forget about the grown-up world for a while and really let your hair down. 

You’ll never have to worry about the little ones being bored, and they’ll be excited about the trip for weeks beforehand. Disneyworld and Disneyland are the classic choices, but there are many others if they don’t float your boat. How about Sesame Place in Pennsylvania, with its Sesame Street themed rides? It’s ideal for younger children.

Enjoy a City Break

BVI -5

This isn’t the first choice of many parents. City breaks are often seen as the best option for those with no responsibilities who want to spend their time mooching around art galleries and drinking in trendy bars. 

But if you choose the right city, a city break can be perfect for kids, as there is so much to see and do without having to travel. The key is to pick somewhere compact with plenty of open space nearby, such as Charleston. The kids will love its historic streets and sights, and when they need to run around, the beach is close by.  

Submitted by:

Kiley Morrow
She is a travel/lifestyle expert. She’s spent the past 3 years traveling the globe and sharing all the experiences she had through tips and guides.

*** Moments Made Meaningful does not take credit for any and all photographs within this post. The photographs were taken from the internet to support this post. 



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s