The holidays are fast approaching and, sometimes, we spend more time online shopping or at the mall than we do hanging out with our family and friends. Sound familiar? It might be time to swap your wallet for a suitcase.
Instead of dropping serious cash on presents, travel journalist Oneika Raymond says you should consider taking a really great vacation.
When it comes to planning a vacation for the entire family, there are some things to think about. Consider which members are travelling. How old are they? Do they have mobility issues? What are their likes and dislikes?
With that in mind, here are some of Oneika’s recommendations.
For a large family…
Destination: Caribbean cruise or a beach destination
Carnival’s Western Caribbean cruise, for example, has something for everyone and is good for all ages. It’s super easy to keep kids occupied and engaged on-board and off-board with things like playgrounds and playrooms. Older kids can be kept busy with the surfing simulator or indoor skydiving.
Cruises are also great for elderly parents who aren’t as mobile, and there are a lot of opportunities for parents to steal romantic moments at the on-board spa.
If a cruise isn’t your thing, try a beach destination like the Bahamas, Mexico (Cozumel, not Cancun), or Montego Bay, Jamaica. All-inclusive resorts are great because they are one-stop shops; everything is on site!
For a smaller family…
Destination: Universal Orlando
This is a trip every kid (and adult) will love, regardless of age. There are so many great attractions, like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, that will keep both parents and kids engaged. There are also a lot of great daycares. Parents can drop their kids off and then take to Universal Orlando’s City Walk which is packed with bars, restaurants and other adult entertainment hot spots.
For the empty-nesters
Destination: Costa Rica
It’s time for some adventure! Costa Rica will provide you with a great balance of beauty, nature, culture and fun. Rent a care in San Jose and do a loop of the central-west part of the country. Don’t forget to stop in La Fortuna to check out the Arenal Volcano. You should also visit Monteverde Cloud Forest, where you can zipline over the tree tops.
You can also hit the beaches on the Pacific coast where you can learn to surf.
Lastly, Manuel Antonio National Park is a must-visit destination. It’s renowned for its vast diversity of tropical plants and wildlife, from three-toed sloths and endangered white-faced capuchin monkeys to hundreds of bird species.
For the single-parent family
Destination: Mont Tremblant
There’s nothing quite like a winter wonderland during the holidays. You’ll be able to go skiing, ice-fishing, dog-sledding, and ice skating. Parents with younger children can drop the kids off at the daycare and enjoy some alone time at the casino (or hit the slopes).
For grandparents and grandkids
Destination: Their homeland
Travelling based off your ancestry is a big trend right now, so a great trip grandparents can take with their grandkids is their homeland. It can be a great educational experience for everyone. Easy to navigate destinations that are rich in history like Rome, Paris, and Lisbon are great options, too.
For a quick and cheap trip
This is a great way to “travel” without breaking the bank. Exploring your own city can be a lot of fun. Try renting a hotel in a part of the city you don’t go to often. When making accommodations, think of going to places with an indoor pool, playroom or other amenities that you don’t always have access to.