Canoe in Canada with the family

The 10 best family vacations to book this 2020

Family travel has never been so stress-free.

Creating the perfect family vacation can sometimes prove tricky, but that’s exactly why we’re here. Our team of lovely Travel Experts with kids, grandkids and families of their own, have tried and tested each of our experiences and hotels, to bring you only the best. They know where to go, when to go, what to see and what to miss. They know families come in all shapes and sizes. They have the inside scoop on almost every place you can think of. Whether it’s a milestone birthday, bucket list adventure or celebratory spin, don’t worry you’ve come to the right place.

From the glistening lakes of Canada and zebra-scattered plains of Botswana to the lava fields of Iceland, these are our top 10 family vacation destinations. 

Browse our family travel page to browse by age and calendar month.

Reindeer sleigh in Finland

1. Ride with reindeer in Finnish Lapland

There’s a lot of reasons to love a family vacation to Finnish Lapland. But for us, it’s got to be the wealth of outdoor activities on offer. Whiz around snow-covered forests on reindeer sleighs, chase the Northern Lights on snowmobiles and venture across frozen lakes via husky. Armed with an expert guide every step of the way, we’ll make sure you reach that perfect spot in Metsäkyly Forest in time to catch the waves of green dance in the sky. We’ve also handpicked the cosiest cabins in Finland for you and your family to hunker down in, whether it’s huddled around the log fire or looking out over the skylit night with a professional telescope.

When to go: December – April
Where to stay: Watch the Northern Lights flicker from the wide windows of your Sky Suite at Javri Lodge.
Must-do experience: Nothing says Christmas like meeting Santa Claus in his very own workshop.

2. Become a Roman gladiator in Rome’s mighty Colosseum

Ancient Rome; the place where anything is possible. Picture vintage Vespa rides through narrow alleys, gelato masterclasses and exclusive tours of the Vatican before opening hours. Our family favourite? Enrolling the kids in Gladiator School at Rome’s most iconic building. Almost 2,000 years old, the Colosseum is the perfect setting for kids to wrap their heads around the history of the Romans. Leave the Horrible Histories book at the hotel and instead sport a centurion helmet ready for battle. Armed with a toy sword and shield, you’ll battle it out against each other in a duel to determine the ruler of Rome. 

When to go: April – October
Where to stay: Dine alfresco in the rose-scented garden of Hotel de Russie; one of Romes friendliest hotels.
Must-do experience: Famous for its fabulous food, we’ll arrange a pizza-making class in Florence with a local chef.

Learn the way of the Ninja in Tokyo

3. Learn the way of the Ninja in Tokyo’s hippest karate Dojo

A country where ancient traditions meet modern technology and thrilling city vibes, Japan is one of our family favourites. From Sora who’ll teach you the art of sushi rolling to Eito who’ll take you backstage at Tokyo’s sumo stables; we’ve formed unbreakable bonds with guides on the ground who love nothing more than welcoming you into their fascinating world. Ask us nicely and we’ll arrange an exclusive visit to one of the most famous Dojos in Tokyo for your very own martial art lesson. A place of peace and the training grounds of many martial arts legends, together with your Ninjutsu teacher you’ll learn all about the spiritual side of Ninja, donning an authentic costume, checking out their trusty throwing star weapons and giving spiritual meditation a go. Great for all ages, this is the perfect introduction to Japan’s much-loved culture. 

When to go: All year round
Where to stay: Take in the panoramic skyline views from the top floor of the Aman in Tokyo.
Must-do experience: Hop on one of the world’s fastest trains to Kyoto: The Bullet Train.

4. Hike across the jagged Rockies in Canada

This is it. The end of the ‘are we there yet’ moans and the start of the ‘can we stay longer’ pleas. Road trips have always been one of our favourite ways to dive deep into a country, and in western Canada we’re that and then some. We’ll take you to the perfect spot to see humpbacks breaching, the perfect forest for tracking grizzly bears and the perfect lake for fly-fishing. Follow twisting trails through the mountains of Banff National Park and lose yourself in the foodie markets of Granville Island in Vancouver. The world is your oyster. 

When to go: May – October
Where to stay: Cosy up by the log fire on the waters of the Great Bear Rainforest at Nimmo Bay.
Must-do experience: Head out on a zodiac at sunset to catch a glimpse of humpback whales breaching.

Ready to book?

Let us take the stress away and plan the perfect family adventure tailored to your every need. Ramen masterclass in Kyoto? A ride on the Rocky Mountaineer in Canada? Get in touch with our Travel Experts to start the journey.

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5. Dive with manta rays in Indonesia along the Makassar Reef

A private charter in Indonesia is the best way to discover the wildlife-rich Coral Triangle, and with the luxurious Dunia Baru Yacht sleeping 14, it’s the ultimate water hotel for all the family to enjoy. Sail past untouched archipelagos, underwater worlds and pink sand beaches whilst anchoring down for as many water sports you can think of – paddleboarding, kayaking, jet-skiing, banana boating and diving with turtles. One of the best places in Komodo National Park to see manta rays is Makassar Reef, and better yet, with our marine expert to guide you, you’ll don some flippers and get the chance to snorkel alongside these gentle giants. A truly unforgettable experience.

When to go: May – October
Where to stay: Sail away on the luxurious Dunia Baru Yacht stopping off at wherever your heart desires. 
Must-do experience: Search for mighty three-metre long Komodo Dragons in Komodo National Park. 

6. Tick off one of the New Seven Wonders of the World at Chichén-Itzá

The perfect balance of contrasts, on a family vacation to Mexico you’ll find yourself lying under palm trees one day and uncovering ancient aztec history the next. After some time on the golden shores of Cancun resting up at the beachside oasis of Be Tulum hotel, we’ll whisk you away to the Mayan ruins of Chichén-Itzá alongside our expert guide. One of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the queues are naturally long, but with our guide you’ll fast track through for an exclusive tour of the sacred pyramids, learning about the hand-built structures and 1,500-year-old history. Next up, pack your sunhat and suncream as you head to Merida and Riviera Maya. 

When to go: November – April
Where to stay: At Belmond Maroma on the coast we’ll take you diving to the amazing underwater caves.
Must-do experience: Home to thousands of wild species, tour the marshlands and mangroves of Sian Ka’an Biosphere.

Snorkelling in Iceland's Silfra Fissure

7. Swim between tectonic plates at Silfra Fissure in South Iceland 

Vast volcanic landscapes, flickering Northern Lights and icy glaciers; welcome to Iceland. Quad bike between lava fields and volcanic craters on Reykjanes peninsula, take a lesson in ice walking on Sólheimajökull glacier and bathe in the steaming geothermal water at the Blue Lagoon. For something really special, we’ll drop you deep in the crystal water of Silfra Fissure to snorkel between Europe and America’s tectonic plates; one of the most incredible experiences in Iceland. And we’ve you bagged you the best guide for it.  

When to go: All year round
Where to stay: Ringed by geothermal water, The Retreat at Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s hottest hotels.
Must-do experience: Stop at Gulfoss Waterfall for sunset and marvel at the gushing water falling below.

8.  Soar over Milford Sound in New Zealand on a private helicopter ride

Wildlife, waterfalls and wineries; what more could you want? Home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, every day in New Zealand brings a new adventure; whether it’s swimming with wild dolphins in Kaikoura, checking out explosive geysers in Rotorua or sipping your way through the vineyards of Palliser Bay. Pick a time and we’ll get your heart racing with a helicopter ride over Milford Sound to get the perfect birds-eye view of Olivine Ice Plateau below, before winding things down with a gentle amble around Lake Wakatipu. 

When to go: All year round
Where to stay: Hideaway from the rest of the world in the luxurious treehouses at Hapuku Lodge.
Must-do experience: Spy on sperm whales fluking in the whale capital of the world, Kaikoura.

Mokoro safari in the Okavango Delta

9. An exhilarating water adventure on the Okavango Delta in Botswana

Botswana has quickly become one of the most magical safari destinations in Africa. Whether it’s a safari on foot, via canoe or 4×4, toddlers through to grandparents are able to enjoy the thrills of an African safari in the grassy Okavango Delta. With a host of gorgeous family-friendly camps dotted across the plains, spend your evenings meandering along candlelit pathways and your mornings watching wild elephants stomp past your tented suite. One early morning, we’ll arrange for our guide to punt you and the kids around the delta on traditional Botswana canoes. Passing rich wildlife from rhinos to egrets; not many of your friends back home will be able to say they’ve been on a Mokoro safari. 

When to go: July – October
Where to stay: Surrounded by sycamore-fig trees, Machaba Camp in Khwai is a game-spotting hotspot.
Must-do experience: Tuck into a home-cooked feast prepped by your private chef under the stars.

10. Patrol Costa Rica’s beaches in search for green turtles

The ultimate adventure playground, Costa Rica is a breath of fresh air for all ages. Armed with our expert nature guides you’ll search for sloths, toucans and howler monkeys in the jungle and raft your way down the river towards Arenal Volcano. During breeding season from July – October, we’ll whisk you off to Tortuguero Beach on the Caribbean coastline for you and the kids to head out on night watch, patrolling the beaches in search for nesting green turtles. We’ll then take you to Pacuare Lodge, one of the best eco-lodges in Costa Rica. Sat on a bend in the Pacuare River, accessible by just cable car or raft, the luxurious lodge is quite literally a breath of fresh air. 

When to go: November – April
Where to stay: Deep in the depths of the jungle at Pacuare Lodge with a plunge pool overlooking the canopies.
Must-do experience: Get your adrenaline pumping on a zip-lining adventure through Costa Rica’s jungle.

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Whether its a milestone birthday in New Zealand or a birthday in Botswana, our Travel Experts know each country like the back of their hand. If your perfect destination isn’t listed above doesn’t mean we don’t do it. Use our trip finder tool to find your dream destination today.

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