Family-Friendly Destinations to Visit in 2024

Trying to fit a vacation in with the school holidays can be a difficult task. It means you need to try and figure out the best time and the best deals. You may want a relaxing vacation in the tropics, where the kids can stay entertained in clear blue waters. Or you may want to give the kids a chance to explore, giving them a once-in-a lifetime safari. Whichever family-friendly destination you choose, there’s sure to be something for everyone.

Costa Rica

Arenal volcano in Costa Rica
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sebastian Machado

Costa Rica has everything from towering volcanoes to long stretches of golden sands and leafy jungles. Kids will love encountering all of the wildlife that Costa Rica has to offer. For adrenaline fixes, they can zoom through on zip lines, taking in the Costa Rican jungle below them.

A popular resort to choose is San Jose, it’s close to the airport, which means minimal transfer time. This is particularly handy if you have younger kids. Arenal is a perfect spot if the kids are in their teens. Here, the holiday is more of an adventure with hiking trails, waterfalls and an active volcano.

Cape Town, South Africa

Table Mountain in Cape Town South Africa
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alexcpt_photography

For a vacation filled with adventure, there’s no better place than Cape Town. It’s home to some of the most famous safaris in the world. You can hop on a safari just outside of Cape Town, where you can keep a lookout for the big five (lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffaloes). Seeing all these animals is certainly something you can tick off your family bucket list.

You can stay in a wildlife reserve, where animals come to you. The reserves are comfortable with all the amenities you’d need to ensure the kids are well looked after. However, it’s best to bear in mind that South Africa may be best suited to children over seven due to the wildlife.


Khao Lak Beach in Thailand
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Aleksandr Ozerov

If you want to take the kids for some winter sun, then head to Thailand for plenty of adventures. You can fly into Bangkok for a quick city break and then head down the country, for some incredible scenery.

Popular family-friendly destinations include Khao Lak, just north of Phuket, which is perfect for sunbathing time for you and time for the kids to enjoy the ocean. There’s also Chiang Mai to explore the culture and history of Thailand. Finally, there’s Krabi, where you can go hiking for some incredible views.


Bora Bora in Maldives
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The Maldives are another great spot for some winter sun, the vacation may be a little pricier than other destinations, but it’s sure to be worth it. Many resorts in the Maldives will have kid’s clubs, this means you can relax on the white sands without having to constantly check on the kids.

Great family activities include snorkeling across the coral, there’s so much to see underneath the water, and there could even be the chance of spotting a turtle or dolphin! You can also take day trips to other islands if you want to check out local markets or go for a spot of sightseeing.

Lapland, Finland

Reindeer in Lapland, Findland
Image Credit: Shutterstock / BlueOrange Studio

As the home of Christmas, Lapland is a once in a lifetime destination to take the kids over the Christmas holidays. For younger kids, you can take them on a magical trip to see Santa Claus, while the older kids can indulge in mugs of hot chocolate and saying hello to the local reindeer.

To make the holiday more adrenaline-fueled, book in for husky sleigh rides, tobogganing or even a go on a snow mobile. There’s something for everyone in Lapland and it’ll be a magical Christmas experience for people of all ages.

Crete, Greece

Agios Nikolaos in Crrete
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Vlas Telino studio

Crete is the largest Greek island, making it the perfect choice for a family vacation. Heraklion is the capital and is the best place to stay for activities and closeness to the airport. You can visit the ancient palace of Knossos, the outdoor markets or even head to the archeological museum.

Crete is the perfect place to head to in the summer holidays, you’ll have blue skies throughout the day along with high temperatures. The island is enriched with history and beautiful beaches and won’t leave you without things to enjoy as a family.

Marrakech, Morocco

El Badi Palace in Marrakech, Morocco
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Even though Marrakech is a chaotic city, the kids will still love it! It’s best to stay just outside of the Medina, as here you’ll have a quieter environment and larger pools for children to swim in.

Things to do as a family include visiting the gardens or the Oasiria waterpark. The kids will be entertained all day in the waterpark thanks to its selection of waterslides, lazy river and big wave pool. Other fun activities include heading into the Sahara Desert for an overnight stay or the snowcapped Atlas Mountains, for a complete contrast.

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Ruins of Tulum, Mexico
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jess Kraft

There are plenty of all-inclusive options for you to choose in the Riviera Maya. The kids can have ice cream, snacks and water whenever they please, leaving you to chill by the pool instead of heading out. Not only this, but these resorts will also have kid’s clubs and entertainment in the evening, the kids will never be bored here.

If you feel like venturing out of your resort for some family fun, then try zip lining across the jungle or try your hand at rafting. The Riviera Maya has something for people of all ages. Whether you want to relax or have a vacation packed full of adventure, it’s all here for you.


Rice Terrace in Vietnam
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Guitar photographer

Vietnam may seem like a long way to travel with the kids, but it’ll be worth it. This country has everything from beautiful beaches, lots of sunshine and plenty of places to visit. You’ll be pleased to know it’s also incredible value for money!

Places to stay include Ho Chi Minh City, which is where you can also fly in to. As a more westernized city, you’ll find more family-friendly activities here such as the Chi Chi tunnel, which really helps to give an insight into Vietnam’s past. Otherwise, you can visit Ho Chi Minh City’s markets or head to a vibrant restaurant in the evening. Other destinations to visit include Hoi An, Hanoi or beach resorts such as Nha Trang.

Barbados, Caribbean

Beach in Barbados
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Filip Fuxa

Barbados is known for its sunshine and beautiful beaches, think turquoise waters and white sands. It’s one the Caribbean’s most family-friendly islands, so it won’t be without exciting activities for the kids. For an adventure-packed day, head to Harrison’s Cave or the Folkstone Marine Park for a day of snorkeling.

Just like the Riveria Maya, there are lots of all-inclusive options in Barbados. This can help to lower the cost of your vacation, leaving more room to spend on activities! Most resorts will have private beaches, lots of nightlife and snacks around the clock.


Sea plane approaching the Maldives
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sven Hansche

It can be hard knowing where to start when it comes to finding the perfect destination for you and the family. If you want a sunny vacation, then it may be important that you can still relax along with having activities for the kids. Maybe you need a resort hotel that will have club options for the kids, so they won’t become bored.

For a more magical experience that the kids will never forget, there’s places such as Lapland. While it isn’t a sun-soaked destination, it’s certainly a unique experience, especially if the kids are younger. They’ll never forget meeting Santa and his reindeers!

Tara Rance

Author: Tara Rance


Tara Rance is a freelance writer from the UK. She graduated university after studying media and journalism, and is an avid traveller with the ambition to visit as many countries as possible.

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