Vacation Ideas for Big Families
Traveling with a big family poses certain challenges, but it can also be a lot of fun. A vacation with a gaggle of kids can create lifetime memories, and trips with extended family can help everyone reconnect.
Which vacation ideas work best for big groups? These 21 amazing options can help you live your best vacation life regardless of family size.
Take a Cruise
Cruising is a fun and affordable way to see multiple destinations on a single trip. Plus, rooms can be tailored to different family sizes and groups, and there's something to keep everyone busy. Some cruise ships, like the MSC Meravigliaand MSC Seaside, even offer family suites with connecting cabins that sleep up to 10.
Book a Vacation Rental On the Beach
Renting a beach home is a popular vacation choice for a reason. Adults get to relax and unwind to the sound of the crashing waves, and the kids can spend all day swimming and playing in the sand. In beach resort towns like Edisto Beach, South Carolina and Destin, Florida, you can book beach houses that sleep anywhere from 6 to 30 people.
Book Condo-Style Accommodations at a Resort
Some resorts with upgraded amenities and perks have actual condo-style accommodations, which are ideal for big families who don't want to vacation in a cramped hotel room. Garza Blanca Resorts in Cancun and Los Cabos, Mexico both offer condos with up to 4 bedrooms and up to 5,000 square feet. You can even elect to make your resort getaway all-inclusive for ultimate convenience and comfort.
Camping can make sense for big families, extended families and even family reunions. Many campgrounds give you the option to tent camp, bring an RV or rent a cozy cabin, and big groups can select what makes them most comfortable. Camping also lets families enjoy the great outdoors, and it can be very affordable.
Rent a Houseboat
Renting a houseboat is a fun way to spend time on the water, and you may be surprised at the amenities some bigger boats offer. For example, you may be able to rent a houseboat with four or five bedrooms, a kitchen, and an expansive deck perfect for relaxation. Look for options on websites like VRBO.com and GetMyBoat.com
See the Big Apple
New York City provides so much for families to do and see, from Central Park walking tours to Broadway shows and the dazzling lights of Times Square. Families with kids can head to the Big Apple to explore historic museums or see an award-winning show like Hamilton or The Lion King.
Book a Multi-Room Suite at an All-Inclusive Resort
Some all-inclusive resorts have huge rooms and suites that can help big families feel less crowded. For example, the Grand Residences in Cancun, Mexico features spectacular three-bedroom suites that sleep up to 10 and a Presidential suite that sleeps up to 13. Many of their larger suites even feature private plunge pools.
Go to Disney World
Walt Disney World can be both educational and fun, and it's easy to get there by car or by plane. From the iconic Magic Kingdom to Epcot and Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, there is something for everyone. Not only that, but the Kissimmee, Florida area is home to a plethora of condos and rental homes that can make traveling with a big family much more comfortable.
Plan a European Adventure
Whether you have always dreamed of exploring the castles of the Loire Valley in France, the rolling hills of Tuscany or the romantic islands of Greece, consider making your trip a family affair. You'll have to be selective when it comes to lodging options, but Europe is brimming with roomy Airbnbs that make big family travel a breeze.
Reserve a Treehouse Resort
TreeHouse Point is a private retreat center in Fall City, Washington that's ideal for big family fun and exploration. You can book the entire property, with its many unique treehouses and lodges, for up to 40 guests. Your family will enjoy the magical forest and river on-site, and you can even book upgrades like yoga, Tai Chi or massage.
Vacation at a Dude Ranch
Dude ranches in states like Colorado, Montana and Wyoming can make vacationing with a big family a load of fun, but that's especially true if you love the outdoors. Many dude ranches feature activities like horseback riding, archery, hiking, kayaking and crafts, and some even include all your meals and activities in the nightly lodging rate.
Book a Vacation Villa
If you have some cash to burn, look into fully staffed vacation villas in destinations like Anguilla, Antigua or Jamaica. Many villas you can book are oceanfront, and they feature maid service and a private chef. This option won't be cheap, but vacation villas do let everyone in the family relax and enjoy some time off without worrying about cooking or cleaning.
Join a Guided Tour
Big families who don't want to do much planning can always join a guided tour in any part of the world. You can book multi-day guided tours of the United States or elsewhere with companies like Globus. These guided tours typically include transportation, lodging, some excursions and some of your meals.
Stay in a Peaceful Mountain Cabin
Want to get away from it all? Book a mountain cabin in a destination like Pigeon Forge, Tennessee or Beaver Creek, Colorado. Many cabin rentals feature huge kitchens and living areas, along with extras like hot tubs and pool tables. If you're up for it, you can plan a hiking trip, go kayaking or find a place to fish.
Charter a Yacht
If you've ever watched the Bravo television show Below Deck, you already know you can rent a luxurious yacht perfect for a big family trip. Doing so can be extraordinarily expensive, but it would be pretty nice to have a private chef, a staff catering to your every whim and a professional captain to drive you around.
Ask for a Group Hotel Rate
If you're planning a big family get-together or a family reunion, you may be surprised to find that some hotels and resorts offer discounted group rates. While policies vary by property, you typically need to book at least 10 rooms at once to become eligible for this kind of deal.
Reserve a Private Island
Yes, you can book a private island for your big family getaway. For example, Kanu Private Island in Belize is located just 15 minutes off the coast of Placencia. This island can be booked for your group alone, and it features 2.5 acres with five oceanfront villas for up to 10 adults and 10 children.
Plan a Volunteer Trip
Volunteering can be immensely rewarding on a personal level, yet there's no reason you have to volunteer your help for a cause in your hometown. "Voluntourism," as this is called, lets you give back in various destinations around the world, and having a big family just means you have more people to help.
Visit the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is vast and beautiful, and everyone young and old should see it in their lifetime. With that in mind, a big family trip to Arizona may be in order, whether you prefer to camp along the way, rent an RV or stay in a lodge within Grand Canyon National Park.
Plan a Las Vegas Getaway
Las Vegas, Nevada is also perfect for families of all sizes and age groups. While you'll definitely find adult-friendly activities front and center, kids will enjoy the sparkling lights of the Las Vegas Strip, Sin City's famous shows, and the many resorts with huge pools and water features. Consider taking your kids to see Jabbawockeez and booking the Mandalay Bay for its wave pool, lazy river and 11-acre aquatic playground.
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