The Best Family Vacation Destinations of 2023, According to Experts


Updated: May 26, 2023 | 11:41

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There are two types of parents: those who like to travel with their children and those who don’t.

We get it, sometimes you just need a break, and in those cases, booking an adults-only all-inclusive vacation is definitely the way to go. On the other hand, if you are looking for some family time away from home, there are many options for you to include the whole clan.

While there are some obvious family vacation destinations like Disney World in Orlando, Florida and Atlantis in the Bahamas that are sure to have plenty of activities and accommodations for all ages, if you’re looking to avoid tourist traps and fewer crowds, you’ve come. to the right place.

The New York Post spoke to two travel experts about the best vacation spots for families in 2023 that offer kid-friendly benefits, without the walking animated characters and colorful roller coasters.

“Opting for a well-known family vacation spot often offers a reassuring guarantee of kid-friendly amenities and experiences. It’s like walking into a familiar cafe in a foreign city; it’s comforting to know what to expect,” Susan Zurbin-Hothersall, a travel consultant for the Travel Edge Network, told the New York Post. “However, with the right combination of curiosity and planning, the entire world can be your family oyster. Don’t lock yourself in, think beyond the obvious.”

In an effort to help you and your family become global citizens, we’ve rounded up eight of the best “out-of-the-box” destinations, according to the pros. From New York City (we couldn’t resist) to Costa Rica, there are vacations for all kinds of families on our list.

“[Family travel] it’s about building bridges between generations, creating shared memories and growing together. Whether it’s the awe of seeing a centuries-old monument or the joy of jumping on the waves of the sea, these shared moments become threads in the fabric of their family’s history,” said Zurbin-Hothersall.

1. New York City, United States

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While we may be biased, Manhattan really is the ultimate playground for all ages.

“This city is a kaleidoscope of experiences. Whether it’s a leisurely walk in Central Park, a Broadway show that sparks the imagination, or the world-class museums that make the city a learning arena, New York never ceases to amaze,” said Zurbin-Hothersall.

While there are countless hotels to choose from, Zurbin-Hothersall loves The Plaza Hotel, for a classic New York experience for just about everyone. “If it was good enough for Eloise, it’s good enough for her children,” she joked.

Where to stay: The Plaza Hotel is a fabulous option, but if you’re looking for something a little cheaper, consider the Freehand New York hotel in Flatiron.

To learn more about the best hotels in New York City, check out our expert list of the best places to stay in the Big Apple.

2. London, England and the English countryside

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“The combination of the urban bustle of London with the serene beauty of the English countryside offers a wonderful duality of experiences,” said Zurbin-Hothersall of his top family destinations. “Think royal palaces one day and enchanting castles amid rolling green landscapes the next.”

Where to stay: In London, Zurbin-Hothersall often recommends the Milestone Hotel & Residences in Kensington as it provides a warm, luxurious and welcoming environment for families. Some amenities really cater to the kids: kids’ bathrobes, baby gear, and a concierge to help with family activities and outings.

In the countryside, Zurbin-Hothersall likes the family-friendly Chewton Glen in the New Forest National Park, as it offers spacious family suites and cottages. The property also includes a kids’ club, outdoor play areas, and a dedicated family dining room. “[There are] endless opportunities for outdoor activities and explorations; like walking and biking trails, archery, clay pigeon shooting and falconry,” Zurbin-Hothersall said. The hotel also offers its guests the use of an indoor and outdoor swimming pool.

3. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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“This city combines urban charm with exceptional natural beauty. Bike rides through Stanley Park, a taste of local life on Granville Island, not to mention short trips to stunning sites like the Capilano Suspension Bridge – Vancouver is an outdoor classroom your family will love,” said Zurbin- Hothersall to The Post.

Where to stay: Zurbin-Hothersall’s best Vancouver hotel for families is the Fairmont Pacific Rim. “Truly a gem, it has spacious rooms and suites, some with amazing harbor views, babysitting services, a rooftop pool with children’s wading pool. Reserve your access to the Gold Level Lounge, which offers complimentary culinary delights throughout the day, which is ideal when you have a family,” said Zurbin-Hothersall.

4. tuscanyItaly

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With so much culture to absorb, exquisite food to eat, and sights to behold, Italy is a family destination for all kinds.

“Imagine yourself learning to cook pasta or pizza on a Tuscan farmhouse, or strolling through history on the art-drenched streets of Florence. Tuscany weaves culture, history and nature together into an unforgettable family tapestry,” said Zurbin-Hothersall.

Where to stay: “Many of my clients enjoy their time in the countryside at Borgo San Felice, which is kid-friendly and offers family-friendly amenities: spacious rooms with connecting rooms, a kids’ club, plenty of outdoor space, kids’ menus, and a pool for children. Zurbin-Hothersall said.

In Florence, Zurbin-Hothersall recommends considering the Four Seasons Firenze as the property offers babysitting services, cribs, high chairs, and extensive gardens where children can explore.

5. Reykjavik, Iceland

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While Iceland is geared towards those seeking adventure and scenery rather than luxury resorts, Zurbin-Hothersall highly recommends this country for a great family vacation with older children.

“Nothing spells adventure like Iceland. Between chasing the Northern Lights and soaking in geothermal lagoons, Iceland is an otherworldly family experience,” said Zurbin-Hothersall.

Where to stay: As a good starting point, the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, is a great place to enjoy the beautiful country. From personal experience, I highly recommend 101 Hotel for its amazing service, comfortable rooms, and excellent location.

If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, consider the Bubble Hotel Iceland, where you and your family (two guests in one “room”) can literally lie in bed surrounded by snowy forest, with a chance to see north . It lights up as you snuggle inside your warm and cozy bubble.

6. South Carolina, United States

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For a luxury experience in the United States, look no further than Bluffton, South Carolina.

Where to stay: “Luxury meets southern charm at [the Montage Palmetto Bluff resort]. It’s a treasure trove of activities for the whole family, all set against the backdrop of the stunning South Carolina lowlands. The resort’s nature programs are not to be missed, offering a fascinating introduction to the local environment,” Zurbin-Hothersall said of his favorite Bluffton property.

“They have a variety of activities like: kayaking, paddle boarding, boating, fishing, biking on miles of trails, kids camping, golf, the list goes on and on. I have enjoyed this property countless times over the years.”

Fun fact: Justin Bieber and Hailey Bieber got married at exactly this resort in 2019!

7. Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

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Recommended for those with children ages six and older, Lauren Doyle, travel expert for The Travel Mechanic, likes to send her clients to Arenal Volcano National Park in Costa Rica for a fun-filled, adventure-filled family vacation.

Where to stay: Doyle specifically mentioned staying at the Nayara Springs Resort when visiting this part of the country. “They have wonderful accommodations to meet your family’s needs and the ability to expand. The destination has many adventurous excursions to follow [everyone] happy,” Doyle said.

8.Alaska, United States

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Another top travel spot for families that Doyle highly recommends is Alaska, by cruise route. Alaska cruises, specifically lines like Disney and Uncruise Adventures, are geared specifically toward kids, but with a backdrop as beautiful as the state of Alaska, there’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy, no matter which company you go with.

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