Looking for family vacation ideas? We’ve rounded up our favorite ideas for an exciting, educational, and stress-free family vacation in 2017.
When it comes to travel, research shows that adults who vacation have a more productive work life. And when it comes to traveling with family, experts agree that carving out a week or two each year for a family vacation is important for decreasing stress and improving family bonds. Of course, that doesn’t mean that planning a family vacation comes without stress! And that’s exactly why, this year, you should consider a guided tour for your family travels.
There are many reasons why escorted tours are a great option for travelers. For starters, they allow you to skip the lines at popular attractions, gain special access to legendary sites, and offer an overall hassle-free experience from start to finish. You’ll ride in comfort and style on a luxury motor coach complete with on board WiFi, which means that your kids can share pictures with their friends back home or watch a movie on the iPad when they’re not gazing out the window at the incredible surroundings. Throughout your journey, you’ll enjoy a number of up-close cultural encounters along with the perfect ratio of guided sight-seeing and time for independent exploration.
Sounds great, right? Here’s a look at our favorite family vacation ideas for 2017.
If You Want: An immersive Italian holiday…
We Suggest: Gladiators, Gondolas & Gold
Italy is the perfect European country to explore as a family. There is simply so much to do in one place and there is something for
everyone to enjoy. From ancient cities to iconic landscapes, there’s no better destination for exploring art, architecture, culture and cuisine. You kids will love the pizza, and you’re sure to love the variety of local wines you’ll be able to sample on tour. Oh, and we can’t forget the history — lots of history.
The 11-day Gladiators, Gondolas & Gold tour takes you on a gondola ride in Venice, whisks you by the famed Leaning Tower of Pisa, and makes a stop in Florence before delivering you to Rome, where you can take in the ancient Coliseum and pretend to be a modern day gladiator. Each experience in this tour of Italy is built around immersing guests in Italy’s offerings without costing the comforts of modern day travel. You’ll stay in comfortable and centrally-located accommodations, and enjoy fun family experiences like a tour of the Vatican and an afternoon at gladiator school! And you’ll create meaningful memories as you learn how to make pizza- Italian style- in Rome and create Carnival masks as a family in Venice. With Italy being our #1 destination for travelers of all ages, this trip tops our list of family vacation ideas for 2017. CLICK HERE to learn more about this popular tour of Italy.
If You Want: A trip showcasing nature and wildlife…
We Suggest: Monkeys, Jungles & Volcanoes
Nestled between the Caribbean and Pacific Oceans, Costa Rica is an enchanting destination packed with diverse wildlife and insanely beautiful botanical life. Home to incredible highlights including the Aernal Volcano, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and Guanacaste Beach, the country packs more natural wonders per square mile than most places that beckon to summer travelers. But Costa Rica can be a difficult place to navigate for independent travelers, and is best experienced on a guided tour.
On a eco adventure of Costa Rica you can expect beach time, rain forest exploration, and up-close encounters with monkeys and maybe even sea turtles, all without spending too much time in transit between locations. This means less downtime for active kids, and a real opportunity to unplug from screen time. This eleven day experience will open your family’s eyes to how to protect wildlife as you meet sea turtle preservationists who explain the reproduction cycle of these gentle giants.
You’ll also be able to understand how important rain forest preservation is when you’re zipping through the canopies of a forest on a zip line. A real life cultural experience is available to your children if you travel during the Costa Rican school year, as they’ll be invited to meet with local students. Sound interesting? CLICK HERE to learn more.
If You Want: An exciting adventure on American soil…
We Suggest: Wild West, Cowboys & Buffalos
Not up for taking the kids overseas? No need when you consider just how much fun you can have in your own backyard, so to speak.
The American west offers an alluring experience with wide open spaces steeped with history and natural beauty. Perfect for younger children who still fancy themselves cowboys, this trip spends nine days crossing through five states. With stops at iconic locations including Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore, and Grand Teton National Park, the tour features the best of the American West.
This adventure makes for a great summer break educational opportunity, allowing children to study geology first-hand as you explore geysers and glacier carved canyons with local experts. And there’s no shortage of fun, either. You’ll enjoy treating the kids to a look back in time when they dine at an old west themed restaurant and go for a ride in a covered wagon. The experience is completed with a stay at a dude ranch in Montana, with the option to enjoy a river float trip down Snake River. If you’re looking for an adventure close to home, this trip’s for you! CLICK HERE to learn more.
If You Want: An unforgettable tour of the Emerald Isles…
We Suggest: Castles & Kilts
This guided tour of England and Scotland is rich with tradition and history, but
definitely not one that will leave your kids saying they’re bored!
The 11 day adventure starts with suggestions for self-exploration through London before offering guided and enriching experiences at all the city’s must-see attractions including Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey.
The kids will be positively charmed when the tour stops by several iconic spots from the Harry Potter book and movie series. As the tour moves on, old world meets new as you blend castles with the birth place of The Beatles and wind through Edinburgh, Scotland, where you can take in the dazzling Crown Jewel collection or, depending on the timing of your trip, enjoy the festivities at Edinburgh’s annual military tattoo. This is a trip your young lads and lassies will always remember. CLICK HERE to learn more.
If You Want: A family trip across Europe…
We Suggest: European Wonderland
Lots of parents want to expose their children to the history and culture of Europe, but don’t know where to start. We hear the same thing year after year: “We only have two weeks, what should we see and what can we skip?” The answer lies in this 14 day adventure showcasing the best of Europe without wasting a moment of your time. You’ll skirt through four countries — England, France, Switzerland, and Italy — in a whirlwind European experience without the hassle.
Of course you’ll experience the iconic tourist stops in each country, the Colosseum in Rome, Eiffel Tower in Paris, and Buckingham Palace in London, but you’ll also be treated to up-close cultural encounters along the way, like learning how to make pizza in Rome and painting traditional Carnival masks in Venice.
With two-night stays in each city you visit, you’ll never have to worry about being rushed along. And your stay in Switzerland offers a relaxing pause in the middle of your trip; here, you’ll enjoy picturesque towns and mountain fresh air while taking in the contrasts of historic charm and modern day living. London, Paris, Venice, Rome and more are yours to discover on this epic tour of Europe. CLICK HERE to learn more.
If You Want: An enriching, all American experience…
We Suggest: Trails of Liberty
One of the things we love the most about touring our nation’s capital is that it’s exciting and educational for visitors of all ages.
Younger children can enjoy the beauty of a monument just as well as an older child can appreciate its significance. Touring our country’s historic highlights is something American should experience at least once in their lifetime, and is a fantastic summer trip to take as a family. However, it can be incredibly overwhelming to plan such a trip given the endless offerings one could explore. And that’s exactly why you should plan it as a guided adventure.
This eight day Trails of Liberty tour is the perfect trip covering all the highlights: Washington DC, Mount Vernon, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, and more. You’ll see major attractions including the National Mall, the White House, Lincoln Memorial, and the Smithsonian Museum. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the National Zoo, view Liberty Bell, and visit the historic Gettysburg battlefield. There is also ample free time to explore on your own as a family. In addition, this trip makes time for a delicious pause in Pennsylvania at the Hershey’s Chocolate factory. Who could resist? CLICK HERE to learn more.
Which of these family vacation ideas is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!