Deciding which 10 destinations across the globe deserve a spot on TPG’s list of top vacation spots for families to visit this year was no easy task.
We pulled from our own extensive travel experience, researched new resorts and activities and compiled data from travel sites like Priceline and Vrbo to find the spots your family will still be talking about years after you return home from your trip.
Of course, we had to throw in a few of our dream destinations, too.
Whether your family prefers cities, beaches, theme parks or the great outdoors, you’ll find your perfect family vacation on this list.
With four major theme parks in the area, Orlando bills itself as the “theme park capital of the world.” Because those parks are always competing for the top spot in travelers’ hearts (and their wallets), there’s always something new to do.
2022 was a big year for Orlando's theme parks, and 2023 looks to be just as thrilling. In early 2022, Disney opened Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind coaster at Epcot and the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser two-night hotel experience that includes a visit to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
In December 2022, Universal Orlando changed the escape room game with the opening of Universal's Great Movie Escape. The attraction has two different experiences, one themed to "Jurassic World" and one themed to "Back to the Future."
SeaWorld Orlando opened its first launch coaster, Ice Breaker, and the nearby town of Winter Haven, Florida, opened an entirely new park themed to Peppa Pig.
Orlando's theme parks aren't slowing down in 2023. This spring, Disney World and SeaWorld Orlando are scheduled to open new roller coasters.
At Disney World, Tron Lightcycle Run will come to The Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland area and at SeaWorld, Pipeline: The Surf Coaster will give guests the experience of standing up to "surf" along the tracks. Journey of Water — Inspired by Moana, a walkthrough attraction coming to Epcot, is also scheduled to open late in 2023.
Related: Why Epcot is now Disney World’s must-do park
The Orlando area is also home to the headwaters of the Everglades, which provides ample opportunities for outdoorsy families to explore the flora and fauna that call the Everglades home.
Both Wild Florida and Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures offer airboat tours where you're almost guaranteed to spot a few alligators. Or, you can take it slow on a kayak tour in one of Get Up and Go Kayaking’s clear kayaks.
Orlando International Airport (MCO) serves as a focus city for Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest and Spirit Airlines, making quick, budget-friendly domestic flights easy to find.
If you're staying at a hotel in or around Walt Disney World, you can use the Mears Connect or Sunshine Flyer airport shuttles to reach your resort. You can also rent a car or book a private transfer via Uber or Lyft.
The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resort opened its new Swan Reserve tower in 2021 and the nearby JW Marriott Bonnet Creek hotel (which opened in 2020) recently unveiled new family suites with bunk beds, chalkboards and sound machines for kids.
Looking for a central location between Disney World and Universal Orlando? The JW Marriott at Grande Lake Orlando recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation, including the addition of family suites with bunk beds, an expanded water park with a waterslide tower, lazy river and full-service cabanas and new dining venues.
All of the above-mentioned hotels participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program and you can book standard rooms from 40,000 to 60,000 points per night.
A few miles down the road from Disney, Universal recently opened its first two Value hotels, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort Dockside Inn & Suites and Surfside Inn & Suites. Both have standard rooms that start at less than $100 per night, as well as spacious two-bedroom family suites.
Dubai is often thought of as a hot spot for the rich and famous. However, its inclination toward over-the-top experiences like skiing indoors and snorkeling in the world’s deepest swimming pool also makes it a fitting playground for families.
Dubai is home to numerous theme parks and they aren’t just international versions of parks you can visit in the U.S. IMG Worlds of Adventure, for example, is an indoor theme park with attractions based on characters from Marvel, Cartoon Network and more.
Related: Dubai was just named the ‘most popular destination’ — here’s where to stay on points
Dubai Parks and Resorts is a sprawling theme park complex with a Legoland theme park and water park, as well as parks dedicated to Bollywood and blockbuster films like “Ghostbusters,” "The Smurfs” and “Hotel Transylvania.”
When you aren’t riding roller coasters, you can lounge like a VIP at the Sole Mio Beach Club on Kite Beach, explore a tropical indoor rainforest at The Green Planet and shop at the Dubai Mall, one of the largest malls in the world.
Emirates Airlines is your best bet for quick(ish) flights, with nonstop flights from major U.S. cities like New York, Dallas and Chicago. Emirates is also one of the best airlines for flying with kids. It offers complimentary strollers to help you get through the airport with ease, specialty meals and travel-themed activity packs for kids.
Keep your eyes open for deals and you may be able to find flights for under $600 round trip on airlines like Lufthansa, Swiss and United from major U.S. cities, including New York and Miami.
Opened in April 2022, the W Dubai – Mina Seyahi is a five-star boutique hotel overlooking the Arabian Gulf. All 318 guest rooms and suites offer private balconies with unobstructed ocean views. A family of four can expect to pay a minimum of around $600 per night. Marriott Bonvoy points redemption for more than two guests per room is not an option.
Related: How to get to (and stay in) Dubai using points and miles
Located on Dubai’s manmade Palm Island, Atlantis, The Palm is another of the city’s upscale accommodations designed with a bevy of family-friendly activities and rooms starting at around $500 per night. Of those, the Aquaventure water park and the Lost Chambers Aquarium should top your list. In March 2023, Atlantis, The Royal will join Dubai's Palm Island lineup with luxury accommodations starting at around $900 per night.
Quieter and more laid back than other popular Hawaiian islands like Oahu and Maui, Kauai feels like a remote, tropical paradise. Families can play on the beach, traverse the coastal hiking trails and get a taste of authentic Hawaiian culture.
When it comes to beaches, Hanalei Bay, on Kauai's north side, has breathtaking mountain views and beginner-friendly waves if you want to break out the boogie board or surfboard.
You can also explore the island via horseback, helicopter or boat, hike the family-friendly Kuilau Trail and attend a luau and pig roast at Smith Family Garden.
American Airlines often has economy flights to Kauai’s Lihue Airport (LIH) for less than $700 per person from major cities, but the best way to travel to Hawaii is on Hawaiian Airlines.
Its first-class cabin is outfitted with lie-flat seats so you can rest up while en route to Hawaii; you’ll spend a minimum of around $2,000 per person from cities on the West Coast or between 40,000 and 130,000 points when redeeming Hawaiian Airlines miles.
Related: Best ways to redeem points and miles on Hawaiian Airlines
The Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort is our top pick for family-friendly amenities you can only find in Hawaii.
The resort hosts a twice-weekly luau with a torch-lighting ceremony, hula dances and a traditional Hawaiian feast. It also offers a package that allows families to borrow bikes for a ride along the resort’s oceanfront bike path, complete with a gourmet picnic. Rates start around $400 per night.
The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas near Hanalei Bay has four pools, including a children's splash area, kids club and accommodations ranging in size from a studio to two bedrooms.
Pricing starts at around $300 or 56,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. Awards availability is scarce, but you can book through the Amex Travel Portal starting at around 70,000 Membership Rewards points per night.
If you visit Punta Cana, you are likely to stay in an all-inclusive resort where every activity, experience and meal is right at your fingertips. However, there's quite a lot to see if you venture beyond your resort.
You can swim with dolphins or snorkel with sharks and stingrays at Dolphin Island Park or commune with nature at the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park & Reserve. At Bavaro Adventure Park, go zip lining, swim in a cenote, float along a lazy river and more.
Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) is the largest airport in the Dominican Republic, offering many nonstop daily flights from major U.S. cities on airlines like Spirit, American, Delta and United. You'll find the best prices — sometimes under $300 — from southern cities like Orlando, Atlanta and Miami.
Two all-new family-friendly resorts will grace the beaches of Punta Cana in 2023.
Dreams Flora Resort & Spa is slated to open in February 2023 with four sparkling pools (including a kids' pool), a full-service spa, eight restaurants and 520 guest rooms with private balconies or terraces.
As part of Hyatt's AMR Collection, you can book your stay using cash or World of Hyatt points. All-inclusive pricing for a family of four starts at around $500 per night.
Also new to Punta Cana, Falcon's Resort by Melia introduced an all-inclusive "resortainment" experience with access to an on-site theme park included in the price of your stay.
This all-suite resort also has a water park, multiple pools, beach activities, unlimited dining and more. A stay here starts at around $371 per night for a family of four.
Other area all-inclusive resorts geared toward families include Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana, Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro and Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana.
Paradise Island is less than a half-mile from Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. Connected to Nassau by a bridge, Paradise Island is dominated by two massive family-friendly resorts — Atlantis Paradise Island and Baha Mar.
With so many amenities at these two resorts, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy when you aren’t lounging in the sun. Both resorts have on-site water parks (including a waterslide that travels through a shark tank at Atlantis) and kids clubs.
At Baha Mar, you can visit a marine wildlife sanctuary and at Atlantis, you can swim with dolphins. You don’t need to stay at the resort to book these encounters or to visit the respective water parks.
Getting to Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) from most major U.S. airports is simple (and quick if flying from the East Coast). American Airlines offers nonstop flights from cities including Charlotte, Miami and Philadelphia that you can book with cash or British Airways Avios.
Related: The best ways to fly to the Bahamas with points and miles
Jet Blue, Delta and United have widespread availability in other U.S. markets, but be prepared for layovers because nonstop flights can be hard to come by. Some flights from Los Angeles to Nassau have up to a 12-hour layover before taking off for the Bahamas.
Both Atlantis Paradise Island and Baha Mar are made up of multiple hotels — six at Atlantis and three at Baha Mar.
Of the Atlantis hotels, The Coral, The Royal and The Cove are bookable through Marriott using cash or Marriott Bonvoy points starting around $300 or 50,000 points for a family of four (plus a daily resort fee and an extra guest fee for the third or fourth guest over the age of 12).
Related: Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas is getting a multimillion-dollar renovation
Baha Mar boasts a Grand Hyatt, Rosewood and SLS. Of these, the SLS Baha Mar is generally the least expensive and participates in Accor Hotel’s loyalty program. However, the Grand Hyatt is the top option for travelers with Hyatt's elite status. Cash prices start around $400 or 17,000 World of Hyatt points per night (plus a daily resort fee of $59) for a family of four.
The better question may be, "What isn’t there to do?" There’s more to do in the Big Apple than you could ever accomplish in one trip (or even if you moved there permanently), and lots of visitors want to take a bite. Hotel searches are up nearly 350% from last year, according to Priceline.
Of course, there are the must-dos like visiting the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Times Square and the Empire State Building — but there are other sights families won’t want to miss.
Little Island is a floating public park with family activities and play spaces where you can spend a leisurely afternoon. At John F. Kennedy International Airport’s TWA Hotel, families can roller skate at the Roll-A-Rama, an outdoor roller skating rink on the old TWA tarmac. In the winter months, it sometimes doubles as an ice skating rink.
Though New York City has three major airports (if you count Newark, which is technically in New Jersey), La Guardia Airport (LGA) is the closest in proximity to Manhattan. It is also a hub for American and Delta airlines with nonstop flights from many major U.S. cities, including Chicago and Orlando, often for under $300 per person.
You’ll love the Loews Regency on Park Avenue because Loews loves families. Through its Loews Loves Families program, kids under age 18 stay for free. The hotel can also provide cribs, baby bath amenities, board games, art supplies and video game consoles (for loan only — sorry, kids).
Rooms start around $575 per night for a family of four.
The Peninsula is conveniently located near Central Park, Rockefeller Center and Broadway’s famed theaters on Fifth Avenue in Midtown.
Rooms that sleep four start at around $995 per night. For an additional $200 per night, you can add on the hotel’s Camp Peninsula package, which includes a kids' tent set up in your room, a robe and slipper for the younger guests, a hotel scavenger hunt and a s’mores welcome amenity.
With the Sonoran Desert to the south and the San Francisco Peaks mountain range to the north, you can experience the full range of Arizona's topography in and around Flagstaff. From there, it's only about a 90-minute drive to the Grand Canyon, but there are other scenic natural wonders that are even closer.
Related: What to pack and where to stay: TPG's ultimate Grand Canyon family vacation guide
Meteor Crater Natural Landmark, the best-preserved meteorite impact site on earth, is less than 40 miles away in Winslow, Arizona. You can venture underground to explore lava tubes at Lava River Cave or discover wonders of the night sky that may not be visible in your hometown at Lowell Observatory, both within Flagstaff's city limits.
Williams, Arizona, is only about 40 minutes from Flagstaff and looks much the same as it did when it was a popular stop along the historic Route 66. Among the diners and gift shops, you'll also find a zip line, an alpine coaster, a wildlife park and a historic train that makes daily trips back and forth to the Grand Canyon.
Flagstaff does have a small airport, but it's much more economical to fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) and rent a car for the scenic two-hour drive into Flagstaff.
PHX is an American Airlines hub and serves as a focus city for Southwest Airlines. Both have ample daily nonstop flights to Phoenix, often for less than $300. Denver-based low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines recently added 10 new nonstop routes, including Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), Nashville International Airport (BNA) and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).
If you want to be within walking distance of downtown Flagstaff's restaurants and breweries, the Residence Inn Flagstaff has apartment-like suites and a complimentary daily breakfast starting at around $150 or 43,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.
Looking for a stay that harkens to the heyday of Route 66? The recently renovated High Country Motor Lodge is also close to downtown and has a retro feel with modern amenities starting at around $119 per night.
Don't let Las Vegas' not-so-family-friendly monikers fool you – there's a surprising amount of activities that are geared toward kids and families.
Ride a roller coaster at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino, observe live flamingos at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino and marvel at the daily fountain shows at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino.
If you venture off the strip to the Downtown Container Park on historic Fremont Street, kids can soar down a 33-foot-tall slide, traverse bridges and climb around an interactive play system at the Treehouse. There are also spots within the park for dining and shopping.
Related: Why families are (again) betting on a trip to Las Vegas
Area15, an immersive retail, dining and entertainment complex just off the Strip, is home to Meow Wolf's 52,000-square-foot Omega Mart installation, an "extraordinary supermarket that bursts into surreal worlds and unexpected landscapes," according to the attraction's website.
Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport (LAS) is only a few miles away from the Las Vegas Strip and you'll find wide-open nonstop availability on Southwest, American, Delta and United Airlines from most major U.S. cities, often for less than $200.
Related: Getting to Las Vegas on points and miles
If you opt for an ultra low-cost carrier like Breeze Airways, you can find one-way flights for as low as $29.
It pretty much goes without saying that every Las Vegas hotel caters to adults. However, some also have features like large pool complexes and arcades that make them fun for kids, too. Circus Circus has an indoor Adventuredome amusement park with rides, arcade games and carnival games. Rooms start at around $25 per night (plus a resort fee of nearly $40 per night).
For outdoor entertainment, Mandalay Bay has an 11-acre pool complex with a wave pool and a lazy river. Standard rooms at Mandalay Bay start at $199 or from 17,000 to 23,000 World of Hyatt points per night, depending on the dates of your visit.
Related: 18 things to know before staying at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas
Tamarindo is a fun-filled town in the province of Guanacaste where families can combine lazy days on the beach with outdoor adventures in Costa Rica’s lush, tropical rainforest.
Related: 6 adventurous activities in Costa Rica for families
Playa Tamarindo — along with nearby beaches Playa Grande and Playa Langosta – is well-known for its surf-ready waves, even if you have little (or no) experience on a surfboard. There are a number of local surf shops offering surfing lessons or boogie board rentals if you aren’t quite ready to brave the waves while standing.
If you can pull yourself away from the surf (and you should), there are ample opportunities to experience the jungles of Costa Rica.
You’ll need to travel a decent way inland, so the easiest option is to book a half-day or full-day tour that leaves from Guanacaste. Spend a day in the treetops of Monteverde’s Cloud Forest, see some of Costa Rica’s breathtakingly blue waterfalls or visit Arenal Volcano National Park.
If you book through Viator, you can get up to 10% cash back through the Rakuten shopping portal or earn miles through the Delta Skymiles or AAdvantage portals.
The closest airport to Tamarindo is Libera’s Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR). Tamarindo is only an hour’s drive from the airport, with taxis, car rentals and shuttle buses that can transfer from the airport to your hotel.
American Airlines flights from midwest cities like Indianapolis and Chicago typically run at least $600 per person. However, you can find flights for half that price on Frontier Airlines if you're willing to spend upwards of 18 hours getting to your destination.
Related: Frontier Airlines' unlimited all-you-can-fly pass now valid for kids, includes $200 flight credit
Prices at the Wyndham Tamarindo start at around $200 or 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points per night and the hotel has the same laid-back, tropical vibes as the beach right outside your balcony. Rooms can accommodate two adults and a child up to four years old and a rollaway can be added for children up to 12 (for a $20 fee per night).
The Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort tips the scale toward luxury with its beachfront location, delicious dining, gardened grounds and stunning pool. Rooms that sleep four start at around $230 per night, and breakfast is included in the room rate.
If your family is in the market for secluded luxury, Punta Mita, Mexico, will soon be your new favorite vacation spot.
This private community is home to multimillion-dollar residential homes and the luxurious Four Seasons and St. Regis resorts for visitors who want to experience this upscale beach paradise.
You can certainly spend your days playing on the beach. However, you can also spice things up at Punta Mita Ocean Sports which offers surfing lessons, bike rentals, whale watching and more. The nearby Isla Marietas National Park provides opportunities for whale watching, hiking, boating and snorkeling, which are easiest to book via a local tour group.
The closest airport to Pinta Mita is Puerto Vallarta’s Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR). From there, it’s less than an hour's drive to Punta Mita.
Airlines like Aeromexico, American, Delta and United often have flight deals to Puerto Vallarta for less than $300 from major U.S. airports if your dates are flexible.
The St. Regis Punta Mita is a lavish yet unstuffy beachfront resort with inviting pools, a sprawling stretch of white sand beach, a kids club, family cooking classes, bike tours, paddle boarding and more.
Room rates for a family of four start at just under $1,500 or 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. If booking with points, check with the hotel first to ensure you can add guests to the room after booking because Marriott’s website only shows award redemption rates for two guests per room.
Related: Battle of the 5-star hotels: Watch us compare 2 luxury beach hotels in Mexico
The Four Seasons Punta Mita is located a few miles north of St. Regis but similarly has a rugged beachfront location, multiple pools, oceanfront rooms and three exceptional restaurants. The Four Seasons also caters to families with its lazy river, kids club and amenities like specialty kids dining menus and robes. Standard casitas start around $1,000 per night.
At TPG, we are on a never-ending quest to provide travelers with vacation experiences that fit their budget, family size and travel style.
Families have endless vacation destinations to choose from, and we’ve compiled the best of the best to help you create your dream getaway.
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Deciding which 10 destinations across the globe deserve a spot on TPG’s list of top vacation spots for families to visit this year was no easy task.