It’s has been close to two years since we could freely travel the globe without much worry. Before 2020 our biggest concerns were how to find the best possible vacation for a reasonable price and how to work around school schedules. Although the budget is still one of the main restraints when considering travel with families, everything else went out the window when the global pandemic hit.
Although life hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic times, many of us are feeling the travel bug and could use a break from our current norm.
I came up with a few prerequisites when considering the best places to travel with families in 2022.
- Family Friendly
- Lots of Outdoor Space
- Fairly easy to get to
- Good Food
This list is in alphabetical order as we think all of these destinations are perfect for traveling with your family in 2022.
Alaska is hands down one of the best places to visit with family and has everything you need to travel safely. It is known for its expansive wilderness, seemingly untouched national parks, and unmatched culture.
Back when the world was somewhat normal, as in no Covid-19, we took an Alaskan family cruise. We took our then two-year-old son, parents, and siblings on a week-long adventure. It turned out to be one of the best vacations we have ever had. While taking a cruise might not be at the top of your mind during this pandemic, you may feel comfortable on a cruise, and if so, Alaska doesn’t disappoint. Celebrity and Holland America cruise lines are well known for cruising the coasts of Alaska; however, there are other options. Small ship adventure cruises get you closer to the action if you want an intimate look at Alaska. These small vessels carry fewer passengers, are agile enough to get up close to glaciers and visit less crowded ports.
If you aren’t ready for a cruise, fly into Anchorage, take the Alaska railroad, and experience coastal and inland Alaska. Enjoy the scenic views from Anchorage to Seward and from Anchorage north to Fairbanks. Stop along the way to experience the mystique of Mt. Denali and Denali national park.
With so much outdoor space and endless excursions, Alaska is the perfect place to start experiencing travel again with your family.
Anguilla is one of my favorite islands and is now easy to get to, thanks to the new American Airlines direct flight from Miami. If you’re traveling with younger children, you know how important a direct flight can be. Anguilla’s friendly locals, low-key vibe, and luxurious feel make Anguilla perfect for family travel. This chill island has an abundance of luxury resorts along with budget-friendly options. Not to mention Anguilla is the Caribbean food capital and lives up to its name with excellent restaurants, some helmed by the top chefs in the world.
For a family-friendly experience, stay at the Four-Seasons Anguilla. Well known for its family-friendly environment, the Four Seasons Anguilla doesn’t disappoint. Three pools, including a children’s pool, countless children’s activities, and a kids club, will keep children entertained for hours.
If you are traveling with older children or adults, one of my favorite hotels is the Belmond Cap Jaluca. Offering pure oceanfront luxury, from the spa and opulent restaurants helmed by some of the best chefs in the world. If you need an escape from everyday life and can indulge, the Belmond Cap Jaluca is your ideal destination.
We cant mention Anguilla without talking about its 33 white sandy beaches. While there, try your hand at snorkeling, wind sailing, scuba diving, and just about any other water sport you can think of.
With its easy accessibility for American travelers, the Bahamas has long been a top travel destination for families. Just about 50 miles off the coast of Florida and loaded with sandy beaches and crystal blue waters, the Bahamas makes for a perfect family vacation. Located on the island of New Providence, one of the top-rated hotels, Baha Mar, just opened a brand new water park perfect for family entertainment. They even offer day passes for guests not staying at the resort.
The Bahamas offers so much to choose from—family-friendly and budget-friendly hotels to luxurious villas and everything in between. With 30 inhabited islands in an archipelago of over 700 islands, your choices are unlimited. Enjoy pink sand beaches and swimming with pigs or diving. The Bahamas has something for everyone, especially when traveling with family.
Located in Central America and the Caribbean, Belize has a unique mix of cultures ideal for an adventurous family vacation. Also known for its rainforests, blue hole diving, and expansive barrier reef, Belize is slowly becoming a favorite for travelers. With direct flights from Atlanta, Houston, and Los Angeles, it’s never been easier to get to Belize.
One of the best things about Belize is the abundance of reasonably priced family-friendly hotels. One of the newest hotels, Alaia Belize, an Autograph Collection hotel located along the Belize Barrier Reef, is perfect for relaxing and adventure. Take a PADI dive refresher or full PADI certification to take full advantage of diving in the reef.
Bonaire is the often unheard-of sister island of Aruba and Curaçao and is well known for its majestic diving. Planning a family vacation to Bonaire may be a little off the beaten path from your more well-known Caribbean islands. However, it might be precisely what your family needs to regroup.
After diving and snorkeling until your hearts are content, visit Washington Slagbaai National park for quiet bird watching and hiking.
Although small, there are excellent choices for your stay. Book a luxury villa if you are looking for privacy or book a stay at Harbour Village Beach Club, a small resort nestled on the only private beach in Bonaire.
Charleston, South Carolina
It’s no secret that Charleston is one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S. Charleston has it all, great culture, food, unique experiences all set on quant cobblestones streets reminiscent of the past. Beauty isn’t the only thing Charleston offers, however. Charleston’s culture is also one of its best qualities. This year, Charleston will honor its African roots when the long-anticipated International African American Museum is set to open. The exhibits will tackle Charleston’s role in housing one of the largest slave ports in the U.S. The museum will be a learning experience that tackles centuries of complicated history and thus is the perfect place to add a teaching opportunity while traveling with your family.
Charleston’s food scene also can’t be missed. Try Leons Fine Poultry and Oyster Shop or SNOB (Slightly North of Broad) if you need a southern fix. Charleston also has its share of James Beard-winning restaurants like Husk, FIG (Food is Good), or Rodney Scotts BBQ.
Charleston offers accommodations in every style, budget, and preference, especially if you choose the right time of year to visit. To get the full Charleston experience and ditch the car, staying in the historical district is ideal. Centrally located and budget-friendly, the Francis Marion Hotel is an excellent option for families as you can walk to the nearby children’s museum, Aquarium, and more. The Hyatt Place Charleston is also budget-friendly, near the children’s museum, and is highly walkable. If you want a more historic Charleston experience, try staying at Wentworth Mansion, a landmark home-turned hotel from the gilded age. Or experience the only Stateside Belmond hotel, the Belmond Charleston Place.
Check It Out: Best Places to Travel for the Holidays
If your family is ready for international travel, you may want to move Greece to the top of your list. Traveling with your family to Greece might seem daunting; however, getting to Crete is manageable, with travel restrictions easing. If you are visiting Crete from the U.S., the easiest way is to fly to Athens or Heraklion and take a ferry to Crete. Once you arrive in Crete, the possibilities are endless.
The largest of the 227 islands in the archipelago, Crete offers all of the swoon-worthy photo ops you can imagine, along with the history and culture you need to explore when visiting Greece. Visit the culturally rich cities of Chania and Heraklion to stroll around the old towns and visit museums and galleries. With Crete being the birthplace of Zeus and having previously been ruled by Arabic, Venetian, and Ottoman rule, you can expect to take a deep dive into cultural history.
You can’t visit Greece without indulging in its world-famous cuisine. I won’t begin to tell you this is an exhaustive list of places to eat; however, here are a few. Try Lemonokipos, a modern Greek restaurant that serves incredible fair and literally means lemon-tree garden. Located in a 16th-century Venetian villa, Avli doesn’t disappoint with its fantastic food and architecture.
The Elounda Penninsula hotel offers family-friendly accommodations, kids club activities, and beachfront activities. Try the Creta Maris Beach resort, which boasts a water park and 15 pools for an all-inclusive stay. For a bit of luxury, and the perfect place to use your Marriot rewards, try Blue Palace Elounda.
Wide-open spaces? Endless activities? Check. These reasons alone make Montana perfect for traveling during this precarious time, not to mention it has so much to offer.
Montana culture could be considered a mix between old and new. From the Indigenous tribes that originally inhabited the land and thankfully still inhabit some areas. To ranching, farming, and everything in between, there are endless experiences to be found when traveling with your family. Take a Native-led guided tour to experience culture and tradition that has been passed down for generations. Visit one of Montanas many ghost towns that make you feel like you’re stepping back in time to the gold rush and the wild west. Make a stop at the Museum of the Rockies, where you will discover some of Paleontology’s most significant discoveries. From museums to national parks, every family member is sure to find something they love.
When choosing dining options, look for the Taste Our Place logo. Members of Taste Our Place have committed to using locally sourced ingredients and top-notch quality. Try Montana Ale Works, specializing in locally sourced food and drink if you find yourself near Bozeman, Montana. The Burger Dive in Billings consistently wins awards for its burgers. Try family-owned Loula‘s in Whitefish for its mouthwatering local pies.
Montana has become well known for its luxury ranch resorts in recent years. While they aren’t the only option, your family won’t be disappointed if you can afford the experience or find a deal. The newly opened Montage Big Sky is a luxury ski resort, a first of its kind in the area, located just 45 minutes north of Yellowstone National Park. Golf, ski, explore, bike, fish, and adventure until your heart is content. If resorts aren’t your thing, try one of the many top-rated Air BNB’s or VRBo rental homes. Don’t miss the local B&B or camping grounds.
Savannah might conjure up pictures of cobblestone streets, historic mansions, and the ocean. While it certainly has historic charm, it’s also a growing city ripe for a family trip. An abundance of outdoor tour offerings, culture, food, exceptional accommodation options only add to why visiting Savannah is a must.
Past and present converge beautifully in Savannah. With historic cobblestone streets mixed with modern art, museums, and music, Savannah offers something for everyone. Visit the Jepson Center for modern and contemporary art and a hands-on interactive children’s museum. Book a historical tour to visit the Bonaventure cemetery, civil war era landmarks, and Victorian landmarks. Take a day trip to beautiful and historic Daufuskie Island. Most native residents of Daufuskie Island are Gullah, descendants of freed slaves who have cultivated their own unique culture.
You can’t visit Savannah without indulging in its food scene. Whether it’s al fresco dining, authentic southern shrimp and grits, brunch, or high tea, Savannah has everything you want for your family vacation. Try Savannah favorite, Vics on the river, which offers classic southern cuisine, daily live music, and top-notch views. Equally enticing, head to Tybee Island for the day, learn about the island’s history and enjoy one of the outdoor restaurants.
Choosing between a hotel, historic inn, or rental might be challenging, considering the many unique options. Stay in the historic district if you want to meander through cobblestone streets, Victorian architecture, and manicured lawns. The Drayton Hotel offers classic accommodations and an epic rooftop. At the same time, The Gastonian is an award-winning historic B&B. While the modern newly opened Thompson Savannah in the Eastern Wharf neighborhood, an up-and-coming arts district.
There haven’t been too many positives that have come from Covid-19. However, one of the bright spots has been our return to the outdoors. Many city dwellers were able to experience wide-open spaces for the very first time. Some loved it so much they left big city life for places like West Virginia, which offers an abundance of outdoor activities.
The New River Gorge has recently been designated as America’s newest and West Virginias first national park. With over 73,000 acres, the park features monolithic sandstone cliffs for climbing, around 50 miles of river perfect for white water rafting, and a new bridge where you can take a guided walk on its 2-foot wide catwalk.
A culturally rich state, West Virginia is the only state born from the Civil War and the only state entirely within the Appalachian mountain range. Because of its mountainous terrain, West Virginia is home to small spirited towns and rich and diverse history. Visit one of the many museums such as the West Virginia Culture Center State Museum or the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine with an onsite hands-on youth museum.
Steeped in history, The Greenbrier Resort, also known as America’s resort, has been around since 1778. Stay at the Greenbrier for a history lesson and experience plenty of family-friendly activities. From horseback riding to an aerial course, Greenbrier has something for everyone. There are countless hotels along with resorts and AirBNB’s to consider when traveling with your family. West Virginia is also an excellent state for camping.