Family Vacation! AAA Travel’s Top 10 Destinations

While most of the world has been off-limits thanks to pandemic restrictions, this summer looks poised to make up for all the missed opportunities. So whether you’re still daydreaming of that perfect family trip, or you’re ready to pack a bag now, AAA Travel has rounded up our Top Ten Family Vacation Destinations. (In no specific order, although Hawaii is a current crowd-pleaser).

 1. The Bahamas

Why the Bahamas:

Family vacations are all about making unforgettable memories, and Nassau Paradise Island delivers! Spend a day building sandcastles on a stretch of pristine white sand beach and splashing in crystal-clear, shallow waters. Dive into one of the countless pools or zoom (no, not the video conferencing app) down a waterslide. Where else can you get cozy with a dolphin, saddle up for a horseback ride, and strut with flamingos, all in one day? Family-friendly resorts and restaurants, activities kids and parents alike will love the sunny skies–it all adds up to the perfect destination for your next family vacation. 

Where to Stay:

Grand Hyatt Baha Mar: Nassau’s newest luxury resort on Cable Beach overlooking the sparkling ocean with 707 opulent rooms & suites, 6 swimming pools, 5 restaurants, casino, 18-hole golf course, fitness center, world-class ESpa, tennis facility, watersports and 24-hour room service. BEACH Sanctuary (Home to numerous indigenous species, this intimate wildlife experience is curated for feeding the animals, and your curiosity); Kids Club.

Upon arrival to the resort, a Rapid Antigen Test will be administered to all guests age 11 and above, by trained medical professionals from Doctor’s Hospital. Guests will be escorted to a semi-private setting for the complimentary test. Once completed, guests can check-in and await results in the comfort of their room. Results take approximately 30 minutes. For guests who test positive for COVID-19, they will have the option for a private courtesy return flight to the U.S., or a 14-day complimentary stay and a daily resort credit of $150 per person, per day.

2. Italy

Why Italy:

Italy has it all: history, art, scenery and culinary delights. Activities for all ages abound and the cuisine is decidedly kid-friendly. The locals are very family-oriented and super friendly.

Where to Stay:

Tauck Bridges, The Sweet Life: Rome & Sorrento
When in Rome… go to gladiator school! This family-friendly tour of Italy brings Roman history into focus as you visit ancient ruins, learn gladiator skills and wander underground catacombs. You’ll also tour the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel after hours. Pompeii reveals its mysteries as you walk its ancient streets and excavated buildings. And how sweet it is to see Sorrento, where you’ll take a pizza-making class on a family farm… hop aboard a high-speed ferry to the enchanting Isle of Capri for further exploration via convertible and funicular, and break for gelato!

3. Costa Rica

Why Costa Rica:

A country that boasts incredible biodiversity and landscapes, Costa Rica makes an ideal family spot. Highlights include Manuel Antonio National Park, Monteverde’s cloud forest, Arenal Volcano and amazing beaches.

Where to Stay:

Club Adventures, Colorful Costa Rica Family Holiday
This adventure takes you into the wild heart of a country many visit but few truly know. Pick produce and make dinner with a local family during an agricultural homestay, look for three-toed sloths in the thickets of the Manuel Antonio National Park and walk through the canopy of Monteverde’s cloud forest on a suspended bridge. Take a break from active adventure by soaking in springs heated by Arenal Volcano and lying beneath swaying palms on pristine beaches while the kids play nearby.

4. New Zealand South Island

Why New Zealand:

With a huge variety of experiences available year-round, there is always something to keep younger travelers entertained, whether wildlife spotting, 4WD trips, walking, kayaking, Maori cultural shows, aquariums and interactive museums or boat trips. There is also a wonderful variety of family-friendly accommodations with excellent facilities available.

Clean and safe, New Zealand is also a stress-free destination. Apart from a few pesky sandflies, there are no creatures to worry about and no malaria. Endless stretches of pristine beach and countryside allow you to spend as much time outdoors as you like enjoying the sea or mountain air.

The food is excellent and restaurants cater very well to children, and the general Kiwi way of life means kids are welcome to join in with almost any activity.

Where to Stay:

Audley: New Zealand Family Explorer
Visit the scenic Abel Tasman National Park and keep your eyes peeled for seals. A visit to Rainbow Springs will bring your family up-close and personal to meet the local kiwi birds. A stay in stunning Queenstown brings you into the backdrop of The Lord of the Rings. You’ll immediately understand why this region was selected for filming. Friendly locals, endless activities and incredible natural wonders abound.

5. Alaska

Why Alaska:

Much of what makes Alaska such a popular travel destination also makes it a perfect place for families to travel. Destinations like Denali National Park and Seward are known for their wildlife, living history abounds in Fairbanks, and in Talkeetna there’s a wealth of outdoor activities all within the shadow of Denali.

The best family-friendly Alaska activities are those that provide a little hands-on fun. Kenai Fjords day cruises offering the popular National Parks Junior Ranger program, gold-panning in Fairbanks, and visiting a sled dog kennel are some of our family favorites. There are also casual hikes and shorter guided kayaking trips well suited to active families.

Where to Stay:

Club Adventures: Explore Alaska Summer Family Holiday
See the best of icy Alaska in the summer seasons on a seven-day family-focused adventure from Anchorage. As you travel through America’s northernmost reaches, take in spectacular scenic viewpoints across Flattop Mountain and Cook Inlet, learn of rich First Nations cultures and stroll lifelike villages. Cruise the extraordinary Kenai Fjords National Park, hike to see the toe of Exit Glacier, and take to the snow for a dog sledding experience alongside adorable huskies! With an ideal balance between active inclusions and plenty of family time, this Alaskan exploration is a perfect fit for all types of families.

6. Orlando

Why Orlando:

No family travel list is complete without the family-favorite Orlando. Exciting theme parks, amazing hotels, eco-adventures and more make this a top choice for families.

Where to Stay:

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resorts
Location, location, location. From this base, your family is within walking distance from Epcot and a short boat ride to Hollywood Studios. This location makes it easy to go between parks especially with young children in tow. Plus, you can also take advantage of the Disney bus transportation between Disney’s them parks and waterparks.

7. Iceland

Why Iceland:

Wide-open spaces, fresh air, and friendly people in Iceland make a perfect vacation spot for the family. Activities include whale & puffin watching, experiencing mighty geysers in the Golden Circle and swimming in the geothermal waters of their famous hot spring spas. Your kids are sure to get their science credit for this visit!

Where to Stay:

Hotel Ranga is located in the Icelandic countryside with a variety of rooms and suites for families. With nearly zero light pollution, the Hotel Ranga is arguably the best place to chase the northern lights. On clear nights, join a local astronomer and explore the night sky. You will learn about constellations, galaxies and distant planets. The Rangá Observatory is stocked with two high-quality telescopes to enhance your journey through the cosmos.

Learn more: Join AAA Member Choice Vacations as we discover otherworldly wonders and captivating cultures on a fascinating Icelandic journey.

8. Our National Parks

Why the National Parks:

A playground for the young and young-at-heart, Utah has something to excite the whole family. The stars are brighter, the air is fresher, and the landscapes are simply out of this world. Round up your nearest and dearest to explore secret trails and pine forests from your Zion ranch, venture out to walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs and uncover some of the country’s most remarkable scenery. Discover unbelievable sandstone hoodoos in Bryce Canyon, weave through the magical walls of a secret slot canyon and kayak across the magnificent Lake Powell.

Where to Stay:

Club Adventures, Zion Family Ranch Stay
If you’ve got your eye on Zion, this is the adventure for you. Follow a beautiful family-friendly trail through Zion National Park, arriving at a waterfall tumbling into an emerald green pool – have fun walking through the waterfall’s mist and take in impressive views. Explore the otherworldly landscapes of Bryce Canyon National Park and marvel at the weird and wonderful collection of sandstone spires known as hoodoos. The kids are sure to be amazed when you meet a local expert to learn about the remarkable Grand Staircase-Escalante monument and its fascinating connection to dinosaurs. Discover the unusual waves and contours of a lesser-known slot canyon – a quintessential Utah experience and a great opportunity to take some memorable snaps.

9. Cancun

Why Cancun:

Cancun is recognized worldwide for its spectacular beaches of fine white sand, its fascinating turquoise blue sea and unparalleled weather. The wonderful natural attractions such as the majestic mangroves, the lush jungle and the mystic cenotes stand out where you can enjoy countless adventure activities.

Where to Stay:

Dreams Natura
This family-friendly beachfront resort offers guests an Unlimited-Luxury® vacation, where everything is included: 24-hour access to unlimited food and beverage options, à la carte dining, endless activities and more. Cool off in one of four swimming pools including an activities pool, infinity pool, adults-only pool and children’s splash pool. Soak in the view and take flight on the resort’s Rollglider aerial ride. Drop the kids at the Explorer’s Club – a fully supervised children’s program with lots of fun activities or keep your older ones entertained at the Core Zone Teens Club. Zipline over the jungle, go on a cave expedition, discover a hidden cenote or island on an excursion, or even tee off at a nearby professional golf course with complimentary green fees.

10. Hawaii – the Big Island

Why Hawaii:

Volcanoes National Park, jet-black sands of Punaluu Beach, whale watching! With more miles of coastline than any other Hawaiian island, the island of Hawaii is a haven for marine life. The calm and clear waters of Kona are shielded from the winds by Maunaloa, making it a perfect place to snorkel, scuba dive or go on a manta ray dive at night.

Where to Stay:

Hilton Waikoloa Villiage
Discover new experiences all around at Hilton Waikoloa Village. With so much to do, see and enjoy, you’ll want to stay forever. Whether you’re visiting for relaxation, leisure, or family time, you’ll find it all at this oceanfront resort. Dine at the Legends of Hawaii Luau, or swim with the dolphins at Dolphin Quest – the resort’s onsite dolphin experience. Lounge aside two sparkling, oceanfront pools, featuring wild slides, a winding river and also a secluded adults-only pool.

Did you know?

Working with a AAA travel advisor makes planning your next trip easier than ever. No matter the destination that catches your eye, allow a AAA Travel advisor to help you plan the getaway you deserve, today. Be sure to ask for the AAA Triple Check.

AAA Triple Check Certified Agents review itineraries and ensure that travelers are ready for their journey and understand the road ahead.  Agents compare travel plans against the AAA COVID-19 impact map, which highlights areas under restrictions for travel across the United States. Here, agents will inform members on how their plans could possibly be impacted by travel regulations.

But the review doesn’t end with COVID-19 navigations. Triple Check Agents will also assure members are aware of AAA Diamond-rated experiences along their journey. This includes rated and reviewed hotels, rental cars, and preferred partners who are available to make your vacation even more memorable. In addition, the review will dive deep into savings and add-ons, checking for AAA member exclusive pricing, rebates, future travel credits, and more. Your AAA membership entitles you to these perks and benefits, and AAA Travel is dedicated to finding you every opportunity to utilize these features and benefits.

Visit and meet an agent in our AAA Northeast directory.