The 13 Best Family Holiday Destinations for 2022

Dann Ball
Dann BallJun 29, 2022
The 13 Best Family Holiday Destinations for 2022

The 13 Best Family Holiday Destinations for 2022

Summer 2022 is finally here! After nearly three years of planes grounded and restrictions in place, it’s time to get the passports out, pack your bags, and head off on your best family vacation ever.

So, we’ve rounded up the best family summer holiday destinations alongside the best places to stay — whether you’re looking for a beach trip, theme park, or mountain adventure. Travel to far-flung destinations or stay closer to home. Whatever you want to do and wherever you want to go, we have you covered with our wide range of family vacation destinations.

America and Canada

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Grand Canyon National Park

If you’re drumming up the best family vacation ideas, The Grand Canyon National Park has to be top of the list. After all, where’s better to take you and the kids to than one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World?

The Grand Canyon National Park is the USA’s second most popular national park, with over 6.3 million visitors each year. Our top tip? Fly into Las Vegas. Not only is it usually the most direct and cheapest way, but you can also stay one night in a family-friendly Las Vegas hotel. Las Vegas also offers one of the most iconic routes to the Grand Canyon: a drive along the historic Route 66.

Where to stay:

Why not stay in a historic lodge right next to the Canyon? The Bright Angel Lodge is hard to beat for location – you can see the edge of the Grand Canyon from your cabin!

It also features three restaurants, a bar/lounge, and a snack bar/deli. This is probably one of the most ‘rustic’ accommodations on our list, but it’s perfect for those family adventure vibes.

Mackinac Island, Michigan

After some family travel inspiration? There’s something magical about Mackinac Island, a car-free island in Michigan. This is the perfect vacation spot if you’re after savoring life at a slower pace, soaking up the stunning scenery, and adding a touch of adventure. It’s a natural playground for anyone to come and play.

Cute cottages, rocky beaches, and the bluest water you’ve ever seen adorn Mackinac Island. Bike around the island, skip stones at the beach, or sample delicious fudge and ice cream. The kids can also explore parks and historic sites.

Where to stay:

If your kids love to swim, you can’t go wrong with Mission Point Resort. This 18-acre property has an outdoor pool, daily Kids Club, bike rentals, lawn games, and so much more.

Orlando, Florida

Okay, so Florida just might be the ruler of family-fun holidays. After all, the Sunshine State is home to Disney World, Universal Studios Florida, and nigh on countless theme parks. There’s so much to do on your first visit that you’ll have to book another.

However, there are plenty of other things to do if you want a day’s break from theme park fun. For example, visit the Everglades National Park or swim with manatees in the Crystal River at Tampa Bay further up the coast.

Where to stay:

It’s got to be The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World. You’ll find a five-acre water park with interactive fountains and water slides, a rooftop bar to watch nightly fireworks, and the Ravello restaurant with Disney Character Breakfasts.

The whole resort is spread out over 26 acres of land, so you’ll have space to unwind from a full day. There’s also beach volleyball and a climbing wall if you’re after something slightly different.

Banff National Park, Canada

Another National Park on our list is Alberta’s Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Canada’s Rocky Mountains. You can't go wrong with Banff if you're after a family adventure in the great outdoors.

And don’t worry – long hikes and tough terrain don’t have to be on the agenda (especially if you have a toddler in your pack). There are plenty of scenic short walks by lakes, rivers, and mountains, perfect for all ages and degrees of active families. Our favorite hikes include:

  • Lake Louise
  • Sulphur Mountain
  • Johnston Canyon

Banff is also perfect for canoeing, horseback riding, road-tripping, and so much more. A huge bonus for picking Banff as your summer holiday spot is that children under 17 can enter Canadian national parks for free.

If you’re staying for a few days, the Discovery Pass for families and groups is our top pick at CA$136.40, or about $100. It’s not only valid for when you’re there, though – you’ll have unlimited access to over 80 parks for an entire year. So, you’ll just have to come back!

Where to stay:

We’re loving Moose Hotel & Suites Banff. It’s located at the heart of Banff with magnificent mountain views and family-friendly amenities. There’s also the Meadow Spa and pools, two incredible rooftop hot pools, and an on-site bar.

The UK and Europe

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Cascais, Portugal

Set right on the coast, about 30 minutes from Lisbon, is Cascais: arguably one of the world’s most beautiful seaside towns. This small, under-the-radar spot is bursting with rich history and things to do. Experience a city getaway, beach break, culture dose, and hiking trip on the same vacation!

Our favorite things to do are:

  • Family surf lessons
  • Take a spin on the Ferris wheel for the best views of the harbor
  • Dolphin-watching boat trips
  • Jeep safari tour
  • Visit the Museum of the Sea
  • Head to the Marechal Carmona Park, a green space with a cafe and pond filled with turtles, ducks, and peacocks

Where to stay:

A 10-minute drive from the center of Cascais is the 5-star Martinhal Lisbon Cascais. This hotel is probably the definition of kid-friendly, with a Kids' Clubhouse and a huge play area. The play area is so large that they've made sections for different ages, from babies to teenagers. There are also three pools, a Finisterra Spa, and three restaurants.

Sardinia, Italy

Italy is well-known as one of the top dream family holiday destinations. But have you ever considered the small sandy island that lies off the mainland? With nearly 2,000km of coastline, Sardinia is the European spot for sand and sea – making it the perfect family vacation destination.

It’s ideal for exploring salty coves, building sandcastles, and overdosing on vitamin sea. Our favorite beaches are:

  • Simius beach, Villasimius
  • Porto Guinco, Villasimius
  • Spiaggia della Pelosa beach, Stintino
  • La Cinta, San Teodoro
  • Cala Ginepro, Orosei

Where to stay:

Our top place is, without a doubt, Forte Village, Le Dune, a luxury and award-winning resort. It’s set on a stunning white sandy beach and features 5-star bungalows. That way, you can have your privacy and home comforts while surrounded by the ‌5-star service you’d expect in a hotel.

For the kids, there’s an on-site Children’s Wonderland, Aquapark, rowing academy, Chelsea FC football school, and even a kids-only restaurant. So, while they’re keeping the kids entertained for hours, you can enjoy some R&R in the rooftop infinity pool.

Tenerife, Spain

With 365 days of warm temperatures, volcanic mountains, and miles of beautiful beaches, it’s no surprise that Tenerife is one of the most popular destinations for family holidays. It’s a place full of family-friendly attractions and kid-friendly activities. Our top picks include:

  • The Tiede National Park
  • Whale-watching tours
  • The Castillo San Miguel Medieval Adventure

Where to stay:

The Ritz-Carlton is an amazing choice in Tenerife for you and the kids. It features a beautiful Moorish-inspired design and is only a nine-minute walk from the beach.

Through games and scientific workshops in the Lab Room, their popular Ritz Kids Program introduces young kids to the natural history of the Canary Islands. They’ll discover the wonder behind the island’s volcanic past and its current work on marine conservation.

It also features seven outdoor pools, an award-winning spa, tropical gardens, and eight restaurants. With so much to do and see, Tenerife will probably be more than a one-time-only visit.

Dorset, UK

The UK might not be the first place that springs to mind when thinking of family holiday destinations, but that’s probably because you haven’t yet thought of Dorset. It's probably top of our list for best family holiday destinations in July, as believe it or not, temperatures can reach a lovely 70 °F.

Based on the West coast of England, Dorset family holidays have a certain ‌magic and something for everyone. Explore castles, stroll along sandy beaches, go fossil hunting or get into those salty waves. There are also fantastic days out to be had at places like:

  • Swanage railway
  • Monkey World
  • The Tank Museum

Where to stay:

Wherever you stay in Dorset, use Dorset Hideaways. These guys specialize in family-friendly holiday cottages throughout Dorset, from lighthouse cottages to dog-friendly stays and luxury accommodation.

Long-Haul Trips

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Cape Town, South Africa

In Cape Town, the outdoors is on your doorstep, making it a particularly great pick for your next family vacation. The beautiful beaches are just something else. Of course, a favorite beach among kids is Boulders, home to a colony of penguins.

If you want to venture a little further North, the beach at Fish Hoek has a playground next to gentle waves. There are also many open spaces, parks, museums, and aquariums throughout Cape Town, giving you more than enough to keep the whole family busy.

Where to stay:

Our top pick is the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront. The striking ocean views are something else, and it’s close to the city center. This hotel is also part of Rad Family World, where games, toys, and adventures await.

There’s a complimentary shuttle bus to and from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a dining, shopping, and entertainment quarter. Table Mountain and Robben Island are also nearby. Prepare to get those steps in!

Hamilton Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

If award-winning sailing, diving, and luxury resorts sound like your idea of a holiday, look no further than Hamilton Island. ‘Hamo’ – as locals affectionately call it – is one of the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia. Much like Mackinac Island, most of the island is car-free.

Instead, you’ll find bushland, coral reefs, koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, and so much more. We say that taking a tour is an absolute must if you want to see it all. Our recommended day tours include:

  • Reefworld on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Whitehaven Beach

Hamilton Island is the perfect place to get in and on the water. Hire a catamaran, take sailing lessons, hop on a paddleboard, or ride in a high-speed jet boat.

Where to stay:

We’re big fans of the Reef View Hotel. Most rooms have incredible sea views, and it’s directly opposite Catseye Beach. Plus, your family adventure times are sorted – the Reef View Hotel includes the use of kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, catamarans, snorkeling equipment, and more. And the bonus part? Kids eat free in the restaurant!

Monteverde, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a gem when it comes to family holidays. As a country, it’s leading the way in eco and adventure tourism, and Monteverde is one of our favorite spots.

Monteverde is a protected area and an incredible stretch of beautiful cloud-forest, rainforest, and montane evergreen forest. The lush forests provide plenty of chances for jungle walks and sloth-spotting. Zip lining, canoeing, horseback riding, and camping are also top of the list of things to do here.

Where to stay:

It’s hard to pick just one place in Monteverde, but Camino Verde B&B Monteverde might just be our favorite. Expect a terrace with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and cloud forest. There’s also a communal kitchen to get to know your fellow travelers.

The Maldives, Indian Ocean

Often associated with honeymooners, did you know ‌the Maldives is also a fantastic family holiday choice? With over 1,200 islands, there’s a certain remoteness to the Maldives that makes it so special.

Children can spend hours playing on the white sand beaches or snorkeling in the shallow, crystal-clear water. Most islands offer beach games, swimming pools, dolphin-spotting trips, kayak hire, and more. If you’re traveling with teens and older kids, there’s no better spot for learning to scuba dive.

Where to stay:

The Maldives can be done on a budget. But, if you’re going to go big, choose Niyama Private Islands. It’s the only 5-star Maldivian hotel with a surf break on the beach. There’s also a 3D Silent Cinema (the first in the Maldives).

For the kids, the activities are nearly endless. There are snorkeling safaris, sports coaching, and performances on the Children Club’s amphitheater stage. For your older children, there’s the chance to hang out on CHILL Island, home to the LIME Spa and the insane SUBSIX, an underwater bar and restaurant.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

White sand beaches and turquoise seas await you at Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. With 32km of beaches in the area, including Bavaro and Macao Beach, you definitely won’t have a hard time finding that perfect spot.

Beach after beach also makes this the perfect place to take the kids scuba diving for the first time, swim with dolphins, or go horseback riding along the sand. We highly recommend checking out The Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve (Reserva Ecologica Ojos Indigenas). This 1,500-acre reserve is dedicated to conservation, comprising lowland subtropical forest and 12 freshwater lakes.

Where to stay:

Punta Cana is known for its all-inclusive hotels, a fantastic choice for any family trip. You can just lie back and have everything taken care of for you.

Our pick is the Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana, with stunning beaches right by its four pools. So, you can lounge by the pool or choose to go snorkeling, windsurfing, or kayaking on the nearby coral reef. Land activities include beach volleyball, bocce ball, tennis, and more. However, if a cocktail is more your style, there’s a swim-up bar.

There are also multiple kids' clubs and an indoor game room. In the evening, the whole family can enjoy live entertainment, big-screen movies on the beach, weekly camp-outs, and themed party nights. Traveling with teens? Don’t worry. The hotel hosts nightly social events with dance parties and bonfires. We guarantee your family won’t ever want to leave.

Don’t forget to check out our other travel guides, such as what to pack for Spring Break. We also have our Staff Summer Picks for fantastic items you can take away with you. Even better? You’ll get crypto‌ cashback on everything you buy.