Traveling with kids may sound like a hassle, but it can be one of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences when planned appropriately. Kids often make great travel companions if you carefully choose the destination, adequately prepare them for the trip, and create an itinerary that keeps them occupied, entertained, and continually wanting to explore their newfound vacation destination. Let’s look at this year’s top five kid-friendly travel destinations to explore!
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
Perfect for kids of all ages, this destination is more of a snapshot in time than a traditional city. Visitors to the Great Hopes Plantation (a faithful recreation of the area’s original 1700s farm life) find “residents” who talk, dress, and basically act as if they’re still living life in the 18th century. Kids and adults alike will find the living history lesson fascinating, and rotating exhibits keep things fresh for repeat visitors. This provides great kid friendly activities because kids six and under are free!
Just up the coast from Williamsburg is Boston, and it is an incredibly fun city for kids. From watching a baseball game at storied Fenway Park to walking a part of the Freedom Trail to learning about colonial sailors and their exploits on the high seas during a visit to Boston’s waterfront, there is no shortage of things to do in Beantown. You can take your kids to a world-class museum, view the site of the Boston Tea Party, and do the Pirates and Patriots tour – all in the same day.
Las Vegas, Nevada
What was traditionally known as an adult destination has become a mecca for eager visitors of all ages, and has turned into one of the best travel destinations for kids. Adults have plenty to do, of course, but kids will find an incredibly diverse array of activities to participate in. Outdoor-themed destinations like Red Rock Canyon, Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Valley of Fire are great places to explore nature with family. And, there are also dozens of other venues like arcades, museums, water parks, and more to keep the kids entertained and interested. Affordable hotel rooms and just about every type of food establishment can be had in Sin City.
New York, New York
The city so amazing they named it twice, New York is a history lesson, a natural wonder, and an exciting, visceral experience all wrapped up in one. Ride the subway to the Natural History Museum on the Upper West Side. Or walk south through Central Park, then cut across to little gems like Dylan’s Candy Store on 59th and Lexington or Times Square just a couple of blocks to the away. The Statue of Liberty is at the south end of Manhattan, too. New York is a wild ride for kids with plenty to see and do, truly an experience for the perfect kid-friendly vacation they won’t soon forget.
San Diego, California
Whether you’re looking for a laid-back beach destination, an upscale urban experience, or a kid-centric week of theme parks and goofing off, San Diego has it all. From LEGOLAND, Sea World, and the San Diego Zoo, to natural spots like La Jolla Shores, Coronado Island, and the mountainous inland areas, San Diego is pleasant, the weather is almost always sunny, and the residents are among the most welcoming people you’ll find on the West Coast.
Traveling with kids can be a wonderful experience. The trick is to nail down the right destination – somewhere that offers a wide variety of attractions and things to do. Then choose a destination that takes less than a day to reach by car or five hours or less by air. Finally, select a location that fits your budget and is appropriate for your kid’s ages. Teenagers might be more adept at navigating airports and new cities, but they also demand a certain level of sophistication when it comes to kid-friendly travel destinations. Young kids are often more easily amused, but you may want to keep travel distances and durations shorter.
In the end, you know what’s best for your kids, but one thing is certain – traveling as a family lets you create memories that will last a lifetime.