Fun Family Vacation Ideas

Posted Nov 10th 2010 12:39 PMUpdated Nov 10th 2010 06:50 PM

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fun family vacation ideas

A fun family vacation helps turn a break from school into an adventure for parents and kids that will make long lasting memories. From classic camping trips to luxury hotel getaways, taking a trip that is fun for parents and kids means looking for destinations with many age appropriate activities.

Here are some ideas for family vacations that are fun for everyone:




Water worlds:

Family trips by water can be fun, refreshing, and a perfect family vacation idea especially for the hot months of summer. For an ocean adventure, check out family eco-excursions and classes in The Ambassadors of the Environment program at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel or spend a few days at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach for beach volleyball games, surfing, and watching the pelicans dive for fish at the beach. All Hyatt properties offer the Family Plan, which offers 50% off a 2nd guest room so you can put the kids to bed and have some time to relax. For boating, water skiing, and gorgeous mountains views, head to The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. River rafting, kayaking and other water experiences teach kids to enjoy water sports and appreciate nature. Kayak Online offers a resource for finding kayak outfitters and trip organizers throughout The US and Canada like Adventure Rents in Gualala, California (where the photo of this little kayaker was taken).

Horsing around with the family:
Vacation time can be the best time to take a complete break from a family's daily routine. So unless you already live on a ranch, heading to a horse-filled adventure is sure to make for some memorable family fun. In Santa Ynez Valley, California, the Alisal Guest Ranch has been open for horseback riding, golf, and spa since 1946. In Tucson, Arizona, the White Stallion Ranch and in Shafter, Texas, the Cibolo Creek Ranch are both working longhorn cattle ranches that offer unique accommodations, horseback riding, and other ranch activities.

Big city fun:
For a big city family vacation, head to Los Angeles. The new luxury high rise Ritz-Carlton, LA Live and the JW Marriott opened downtown this year. See a game or concert at Staples Center, catch a show at Nokia Theatre, go bowling at Lucky Strike, and learn about the history of music at the Grammy Museum. China Town, Japantown, Grand Central Market are all nearby for your visit to downtown LA.

Or you can take your family vacation to The Big Apple. In New York City, stay at The Surrey on Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side or at the world famous Plaza Hotel. Take in a Broadway show, visit the Palace of Dandor at the MET, stroll through Central Park and spend a day in the Bronx at their world famous zoo and check out the Italian neighborhood Arthur Avenue.

Camping or glamping:
If you want cheap family vacation ideas, camping is always an affordable option. Reserve your favorite campsite, pack supplies and food and go. For those who would like the trip to be a bit cushier, try glamping. El Capitan Canyon Resort in Santa Barbara offers tents, cabins and every amenity to make your camping trip a lot more luxe. You'll appreciate amenities like free bikes and their Canyon Market & Deli. Try Sage Safari's African-inspired luxury in Montana's Great Plains. Check out more options on Go Glamping.

World vision:
For international travel, be strategic and find a destination that will work for all of your family members. For an especially meaningful trip, visit a location your kids have studied at school or that corresponds to one of their favorite after-school classes. Kids will love to practice their Spanish in Mexico or see their art history class come to life in Italy. Hotels like The Atlantis in the Bahamas offer so many fun activities for kids from water sports to art project and video game rooms that a family vacation to Paradise Island is sure to be a memorable one. In Edinburgh, Scotland take your fashionista teen to Hotel Missoni and your ghost story loving kids on a night time tour of the vaults.

Take a fun staycation or stay home:
Staycations are usually defined as a place you can get to close to home, often within an hour. These trips can be extra fun for the family because they skip the travel time and go strait to the vacationing portion of the trip. Check into a local hotel and voila, you are on vacation. Or for an even more budget friendly option, stay at home but designate a few days of full time break and explore your hometown. Then at the end of the day, head home and sleep in your own comfortable bed with no bill. The adventure can be close by or far away. Fun family vacations make memories kids will never forget.

Photo by Julie Wolfson

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