The desire to create memories with those you love has always been a fantastic inspiration for travel. Savoring and sharing time together in new and scenic destinations continues to be a huge motivator, according to 2024 Virtuoso travel trends, and demand has been through the roof for broadening those travel plans to include multigenerational family groups.
Factoring in the dynamics, personalities and abilities of trip participants is key to planning a successful getaway for extended families. We’ve culled from a huge variety of destinations to create a list of multigenerational family vacation ideas that offers fresh experiences, comfortable terrain and varying levels of activity that are sure to tempt even the most skeptical traveler, no matter the age.
Compact and relatively flat (read: simple for those with limited mobility to navigate), Amsterdam is chock-full of museums, dreamy canals and a thriving cultural scene. A fabulous European city destination for every age, Amsterdam is easy to traverse by foot or bike as well as public transport. Families can enjoy the vast green spaces of Vondelpark, take in the world-class offerings of the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, get perspective at the Anne Frank House or spend the afternoon on a canal boat ride. There’s also the colorful Jordaan neighborhood and the Nine Streets district in the Canal Ring for shopping. Or, let your taste buds be your guide and enjoy an Amsterdam food tour — favorite treats include Dutch apple pie, caramel-filled stroopwafels and poffertjes (silver dollar-size pancakes). If you happen to be in Amsterdam in the spring, a day trip to the nearby Keukenhof botanical garden is a must for its stunning array of tulips as far as the eye can see.
Cape Town is a beacon for its magnificent outdoor lifestyle. Getting there is a journey, to be sure, but families are handsomely rewarded with beautiful landscapes, the seaside, mesmerizing wildlife and a magnificent explosion of cultures. Enjoy walking, hiking and picnics at the beach as well as whale watching, penguin watching and the extensive nearby vineyard culture. Although the latter may seem like an adult-skewed option, the vineyards have become quite synonymous with family travel, with child-specific experiences such as apple picking that make for a fabulous day out for everyone. Cape Town also offers an abundance of water sports at various activity levels, such as fishing, boating and jet skiing. Its warm locals and plentiful luxury accommodations make it a must-experience destination as well as a perfect stepping stone for larger itineraries, such as those that include safaris in South Africa, Botswana or Zambia.
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Vancouver lures visitors for its distinct urban vibe amid abundant natural beauty. It is known for its stunning parks and wildlife as well as its food and arts scene and charming variety of neighborhoods (cobblestone Gastown is a favorite). Massive Stanley Park is a destination unto itself, with diversions from beaches to botanical gardens and an aquarium — and don’t miss the famous and scenic paved seawall path. Families can go whale watching from April through October with the chance to see these majestic animals and learn about their migration and conservation. Or catch a ride on the Aquabus to Granville Island for its popular public market and food halls. Hockey fans will be eager to round out time in Vancouver with a Canucks game at Rogers Arena.
Nearby Vancouver Island is also a hit with families. Don’t miss the new Malahat Skywalk, a spiral tower offering 360-degree views of the surrounding forest, sea and islands. It’s topped by a trampoline (!) and complete with a slide that can take you back to the bottom. Two of our favorite luxury hotels on Vancouver Island are Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge and the Wickaninnish Inn, both ideal for family groups of any size.
TIP: In many cases, our CB Family Travel Advisors can pass along exclusive benefits and amenities at the properties mentioned in this post when you book through us. Reach out for more information or to start the process.
Home to Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, Oahu is a stunner for its luxurious beaches, world-class cuisine, and extensive history. From the Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum to the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park and the Polynesian Cultural Center, your family will be spoiled for choice (if you can drag yourselves away from the beach!). Marine life is brilliantly on display at every activity level, from whale watching to snorkeling with sea turtles. Don’t miss the UNESCO Heritage Byodo-In Temple, a stunning recreation of the original in Uji, Japan, which pays homage to Oahu’s multicultural history; or the beautiful Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens. For the young and young at heart, the surf is always up in Oahu and surf lessons make a memorable day out.
There’s no shortage of great places to stay, but one of the best is Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina, with a prime beachfront location that offers easy access to the best of Oahu sightseeing. CB is a member of Four Seasons’ preferred program, allowing our clients access to special perks at the brand’s properties.
Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands offer families the option to travel and explore via either land or sea, each with its own advantages. Small-ship cruising through this wildly biodiverse region is particularly appealing for multigenerational groups, as it easily accommodates people with varying activity levels. Made up of almost 20 islands, the Galapagos give families the chance to get up close with wildlife such as sea lions, iguanas, tortoises and, of course, penguins. Expert naturalists and guides are key to bringing this area to life, especially for kids; the slate of immersive experiences is nearly endless, including hiking, kayaking and even volunteering to help restore animal habitats.
The Caribbean island of St. Lucia is alluring not only for its laid-back luxury and extensive beach culture, but also for its ease of access — direct flights are plentiful from a number of airline hubs on the U.S. East Coast. You can do as much (or as little) as you want on this verdant isle, which is known as much for its adventure activities as for its sandy beaches. Visitors of all ages can appreciate the lush rainforest habitat from the Rainforest Aerial Tram near the capital of Castries, dive or snorkel amid the wealth of coral reefs, or take in the highly photographed twin cones of the Piton Mountains with a boat trip on Piton Bay. Pigeon Island National Landmark, which includes remnants of an 18th-century fort, is a history buff’s dream, with beautiful beaches to boot. To get a true taste of St. Lucia, opt for a visit to a cocoa plantation; the crop has been cultivated on the island since the 1600s, and you can learn about the chocolate making process and even try it for yourself.
There are numerous well-appointed hotels across the island eager to cater to everyone in a larger family, many with extensive activities for kids and teens. We especially love Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, for its secluded feel and exceptional service. Private villas are also popular on St. Lucia; our Advisors can book these for you via our connections with vetted local rental agencies.
Sicily wows with its dramatic scenery, abundant history and authentic people and vibe. Within a relatively small geographic area, families can enjoy beaches, local-led artisanal experiences such as cheese making or truffle hunting, and mind-blowing historical sites. Perhaps more than any other place on this list, Sicily seems tailor-made for multigenerational travel as respect and admiration for the older generation is baked into their culture (just look to any nonna who holds pride of place in the family). Sicily also offers the benefits of easy travel and ample amenities without feeling as touristy as some more-traveled Italian hot spots. Highlights of a Sicily trip include Agrigento for its Valley of the Temples, Taormina on the East Coast for its views to Mount Etna and its Roman and Greco amphitheaters, and welcoming beaches like Cefalu.
Verdura Resort, on the island’s southwestern coast, is a dreamy oasis for all ages to relax, with a private beach, stretches of green space and a wonderful spa. For family members who enjoy a round of golf on vacation, it also is home to a pair of the top 18-hole courses in all of Italy.
Sydney beckons a wide variety of ages for its adventurous appeal, superb beaches (Bondi is known across the world), parks and wildlife, as well as being an ideal launching point for other adventures in Australia or New Zealand. Treasures to be ticked off any sightseeing list include the Sydney Opera House; a visit to Sydney’s oldest neighborhood, the Rocks; the Royal Botanic Gardens; and a ride on the Manly Ferry to experience the amazing views of the Sydney Harbour and Bridge (plus a day out at Manly beach). For sports enthusiasts, there are a bevy of matches, including cricket, rugby and Aussie Rules Football. Sydney also boasts a wide array of world-class museums — the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, with its focus on criminal and judicial history, is just the ticket for museum-goers with niche interests. Top it all off with whale watching and wine tasting, and Sydney will not disappoint.
For natural splendor, rich cultural history and welcoming small-town appeal, Maine is a deserving (and stateside) spot for multigenerational family travel. From cities like Portland that put farm-to-table eating on the map, to the majesty of Acadia National Park, Maine extends an invitation to slow down and enjoy the abundant natural beauty and bounty. There is plenty to see and do throughout the year, with multigenerational appeal being strongest in the summer — think iconic festivals like those devoted to blueberries and lobsters — and fall for the famous leaf-changing season. Highlights of any Maine itinerary veer toward the nautical: puffins, whale watching, lighthouses and lots of boating possibilities.
Upscale accommodations abound in Maine and take advantage of the coastal vistas and thick forests. We’ve had excellent stays at Goose Rocks Beach House in Kennebunkport as well as its sister property nearby, Hidden Pond Resort.
For the epitome of exotic beach vibes, head to Koh Samui, Thailand. Known for its breathtaking beaches — Chaweng, Lipa Noi and quieter Maenam are popular — crystalline waters and warm hospitality, Koh Samui earns top marks for the chance to while away the days in tropical paradise. It also offers plenty of cultural appeal from night markets (the Fisherman’s Village in Bohput is the place!) to its famous giant Buddha at Wat Phra Yai and the almost otherworldly red terra-cotta Wat Ratchathammaran temple. Beach and pool time will factor heavily into any Koh Samui vacation, but perhaps a visit to an elephant sanctuary will be enough to tear your crew away for the day.
Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui works nicely for multigenerational groups as it has villas in addition to typical rooms. As with Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina, our preferred status allows us to pass exclusive benefits to families who book through us.
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