All moms know that the level of family friendliness of a location can make or break a vacation. If there’s nothing for the kids to do, they will go stir-crazy. And you know what that means, don’t you? Your chances of relaxing fall to around zero percent.
When I plan holidays, I always think about places that are going to cater well for the kids without giving them a moment to even think about being bored. There are places around the world that are known for being better than others in this regard.
Why is Choosing a Family-Friendly Location So Important?
Booking holidays before having children was so easy. All you had to do was browse a few brochures or websites, settle on a place that you liked the look of, book the holiday, and leave. Now, you need to think about whether there will be any activities, how friendly the locals are, and even food options that will satisfy the whole family. It can be like planning a military operation if you’re not prepared.
Luckily, there are plenty of tools online that can help you plan trips without much hassle. There’s information about which holiday destinations are best for families, ranging from knowing how likely there is to be a kids club at the hotel to whether it’s safe to leave the little ones with a local babysitter.
When it comes to researching and whittling down your options, it may be worth consulting an online travel agency. With insight as to the main attractions at various locations, as well as services to assist with both booking flights and accommodation, brands like eDreams USA can help you filter through the overwhelming range available.
To save your research time, I’ve listed my top five countries that are perfect for family holidays. Have a read-through and see if any of these spots take your fancy. If they do, it’s then a good idea to peruse flight and hotel prices to see if any of them can be your next vacation destination.
If you’re interested in a getaway to the East that’s got all of the Western comforts, Japan is an ideal destination. There are plenty of cultural similarities between the good old USA and there, but there’s also enough that’s different to keep you interested. For instance, you’ll still be able to find fast food options like McDonald’s, but there’s a lot of accessible local food like sushi too.
A lot of families are mesmerized by Japan’s traditional charm that also blends futuristic marvels. One day, you could be exploring ancient temples in Kyoto. The next, you could be participating in an interactive science exhibit at Tokyo’s National Museum. The infrastructure in the country is incredible as well, with the easy-to-follow public transportation systems effortlessly taking you between cities.
There are a few unmissable attractions for kids of all ages in Japan, including Universal Studios Japan and Tokyo Disneyland. I needn’t say any more about the latter, as you know how I feel about Disney here at Sippy Cup Mom! One of the best and longest-running amusement parks in the region is Fuji-Q Highland, which has been going strong since 1968 and is located close to the idyllic Mount Fuji.
If you and your family love outdoor holidays with loads of forests and lakes to explore, Denmark is one of the best spots to go to in Europe. Various places in the country offer canoe getaways, for instance. You can find these in a bunch of different regions, including Kajakhotellet in Copenhagen. It’s a good idea to make sure you read and learn about these trips carefully, though, as some of them have a minimum age.
Still, the country has plenty of activities for young children as well. Indeed, Legoland is one of the most famous family days out in the world. The Billund resort has been around since 1968, and it’s a must-visit for fans of the toy bricks. More than 20,000 people used to visit the factory every year in the 1960s, which prompted the construction of the theme park. Now, that magical place attracts more than 15 million people annually.
Canada is another excellent country for the outdoorsy family, with some of the most stunning places in the world for camping and hiking. If you’re looking for a nature escape that’s close to home, national parks like Banff and Jasper are ideal for nature spotting. These places also offer great campsites and hiking trails, although they could be considered slightly more dangerous than places like Denmark due to the potential to run into bears. That’s something that families need to consider, and Parks Canada has some great advice on the subject.
Canada also has plenty of city escapes, though, with Vancouver and Toronto both being multicultural hubs with family-friendly attractions. For instance, the Vancouver Aquarium and the Toronto Zoo are both amazing days out for parents and children.
For a country with warmer outdoor activities in the summer months, Australia is a great option. Taking the family to the Great Barrier Reef would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it’s worth considering if you have older children. There are various ways to enjoy the incredible natural wonder, including boat tours and snorkeling. Along with some of the best sea adventures that you could imagine on a holiday, there are some amazing experiences on land Down Under.
One option for a really wild vacation is to go bushwalking and see if you can spot some kangaroos. You might need to put your brave face on, though, as you could encounter some deadly snakes and spiders on your adventures. However, if you want to experience all this wildlife in a safe environment, Australia Zoo is one of the best in the world according to Australia.com.
If you want to take your family on the ultimate European experience, France is probably the best country to visit on the continent. The nation has an excellent mix of cultural experiences, along with fun things for the kids to do. Paris is a walkable city, with plenty of cool spots to stop and take in the scenery. Children will love getting their caricatures done by the street artists, and of course, the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
If you opt for a France visit, you could split it up with a few days of sightseeing and a few at Disneyland Paris. The European version should be on all your bucket lists. The famous theme park is one of the most magical places on earth, and you need a few days to get around everything. Another great thing about this place is that it has themed hotel rooms, so you can pick something that’s going to be of interest to the whole family.
If you combine this advice with some of the other fantastic travel tips here at Sippy Cup Mom, you’ll be able to plan one of the best family holidays ever. It’s all about doing your research and picking a spot that has everything your family needs.