Growing up, my family took a vacation every summer. At the crack of dawn, my parents would load me and my three sisters into the back of our minivan. We were crammed in there with a big cooler and all of our luggage, and we would drive for hours.
Sometimes our destination was the Wisconsin Dells, the vacation mecca of all families growing up in the Chicago suburbs, so we only had to endure a few hours in the car. Other times, we would head to the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina or to Florida, which would take FOREVER! I’m not sure how any of us survived those trips!
Family vacations today are a little different. Many of my clients choose to forego the wonderful bonding time (note the heavy sarcasm!) of a long road trip and instead hop on a plane and fly to their destination. There are so many wonderful family resorts that have plenty of activities that your entire family can do together. At the same time, they also have kids clubs so that your children can spend time with other kids their age and you and your partner can spend some relaxing adult time together. Here are some of my favorite family vacation resorts.
Montego Bay, Jamaica - Hyatt Ziva
My clients love Hyatt Ziva, and for good reason. This is a beautiful and well-cared for resort with good food choices. The beach is protected, which is nice for little ones who want to swim in the ocean. The staff here goes above and beyond to take care of guests and make sure that they are having a great time. There is a lot of entertainment, day and night, and the younger crowd love their kids club. An added bonus is that you are about 10 minutes from the airport, and if you have Club MoBay privileges (ask me how to get this), you can be off the plane and at the resort in about 30 minutes!
Turks and Caicos - Beaches Resort
Beaches Turks & Caicos has been one of the most sought after family resort for many years - for good reason. There are few other places that compare with the scope of activities offered for every age. Not only is it on the beautiful Grace Bay beach but it is home to a 45,000 square foot water park. There are over 20 restaurants, including food trucks, so even the pickiest of eaters should have no problem finding something to eat. They offer a kids camp, a teen club, and a nightclub (along with babysitting service) for after the kids are in bed. With plenty of land and water sports included, including scuba, you’ll have to work hard to be bored at Beaches T&C. They also have room options to accommodate larger families without worrying about a connecting room.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic - Nickelodeon Resort
Nickelodeon is a newer resort in Punta Cana and is another great option for large families since it has rooms that will sleep up to 6 people. As its name implies, there are Nickelodeon characters for the kids to interact with, including Dora the Explorer and Paw Patrol. Along with everything going on at Nickelodeon Place, there is a kids club, a waterpark, and land and water sports available. They offer 10 restaurants along with room service as part of their “Gourmet Inclusive” plan. As if all of this wasn't enough, you can also get slimed!
Riviera Maya, Mexico - Hard Rock Resort
Hard Rock Resorts are just plain fun. They are rock and roll focused, so there is great music playing everywhere and a lot of music memorabilia. There are great family activities, including great pools, fun kids clubs, the Music Lab (for those 12 and up), where you can live out your rock and roll dreams, along with the usual land and water sports. There are two sides to this resort - one that is all-ages and one that is adults-only. If you are staying on the all-ages side and the kids are busy, you can hang out on the adults-only side. There are seven restaurants on the all-ages side, plus another five on the adults-only side, along with room service, so you have a lot of options. Along with all of the activities offered on the resort, there is also Camp Woodward next door. Here there is an skate park, indoor skiing and snowboarding, obstacle courses, trampoline park, BMX biking, cheering and much more.
Florida - Club Med
Not everyone in your family has their passport? No problem, Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Port St Lucie, Florida has you covered. Club Med has an amazing kids program that will keep children engaged and having fun all day. Plus they have childcare options for all ages, including newborns. They have their sports academies, which include golf, volleyball and tennis. If you have future acrobats, they will love the flying trapeze lessons. You’ve also got options on the water, including stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and water skiing. If you want a more in-depth look at this resort, check out this previous post.
I hope I’ve given you some great ideas for your next family vacation. When you are ready to book, contact me here. I’d love to help you with your planning!