Planning a vacation is always stressful, but planning a vacation for a big family? That’s a whole new ball game.
Between accommodating everyone’s interests, being easy to navigate (while herding the whole family) and relatively easy on the wallet, simply finding the right destination is hard enough. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next big trip, consider these large family-friendly destinations, both near and far, for whatever kind of experience you’re looking for:
Totally stress-free: Cancun
If your number one goal for the trip is rest and relaxation, consider booking into an all-inclusive resort in Cancun. Definitely one of the cheaper options when it comes to tropical paradise vacations, Cancun has plenty of family-friendly resorts ready to welcome you.
You should be able to find a resort that will give your family access to sun, sand, surf and plenty of equipment to take advantage of it. You can snorkel, bike or swim as a family or just let everyone choose their own activities. Either way, you’ll have a relaxing trip.
The most bang for your buck: Washington, DC
A trip to Washington, D.C. is requisite for all American families, but in addition to the awesome educational experience, your credit card also gets a vacation. If you’ve ever taken the kids to a theme park, you know how the admission fees can add up. Fortunately, Washington’s attractions are almost all free of charge.
That’s right, you can spend days checking out museums and monuments without paying for anything other than food, accommodation and transportation (and easily-navigable the DC metro makes this just a small expense). Favorites among the younger set include the National Zoo, the Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History. Older kids might also enjoy the Library of Congress, the Museum of American History and the National Gallery.
Something for everyone: New Zealand
If you’re looking for a great all-around experience for the whole family, it doesn’t get much better than New Zealand. Famous for its natural beauty, excellent outdoor activities and adventure sports, it’s easy to find something for everybody (and the exchange rate will definitely please mom and dad!).
Between the hiking, mountain biking and kayaking, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the sunshine as a family. For the daredevils in the crowd, try bungee jumping or skydiving. Animal-lovers can swim with dolphins, go whale watching or get an up-close look at the adorable kiwi bird. New Zealand’s small, and easy to get around, meaning that it’s easy to incorporate everyone’s favourite activities into one trip.
Best immersion experience: Home
But not the home you’re thinking of. There are a number of organizations dedicated to orchestrating international house swaps (check out www.homeexhcange.com or www.homelinkinternational.co.nz) that would allow you to trade your home for a house somewhere else in the world.
If you’re looking for a way to really immerse your family in another culture, calling a new country ‘home’ for a few weeks or a month. House swaps are a great (and affordable) option for vacation, and because you have all the amenities of home (closets, a kitchen, a living room…) it’s much easier to keep the team organized.
Whitney Cox is a New Zealand-based travel writer and blogger, who loves to write travel tips and about tourist attractions in New Zealand.
This post was submitted by Whitney Cox.