Family Summer Vacation Ideas for 2019

When the weather warms up and the kids are let out of school for the summer, many families use the opportunity to plan a family summer vacation. But between finding the right location, transportation, accommodations, budget, and other details– the planning quickly gets overwhelming. We want to help you make your family trip planning go as smooth as possible. And that starts with the right summer vacation ideas that are sure to get the whole family excited. So when you’re ready to get started, look to the inspiration below.

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How To Plan The Best Summer Family Vacations

Before you go on vacation and start taking all those family summer photos, you have to finish planning. The tips below will help you make the most of your pre-vacation plans so that you can spend your family time relaxing and having fun.

Shot of an adorable little girl going for a walk with her parents on the beach during their summer vacation

  • Start Planning Early. Don’t wait until the last minute to make plans for flights, accommodations, and activities. Not only will the costs add up quickly, but you’ll find yourself unnecessarily stressed.
  • Start Saving as Early as Possible. Vacations aren’t meant to be financial burdens. So in order to keep yourself stress free all vacation long, set your budget months to a year in advance.
  • Balance the Family Interests as Much as Possible. Make sure your vacation activities have a little something for everyone. That might mean pool time, a hike in a National Park, or plenty of food variety.
  • Prepare the Kids Before the Trip. Prepare your kids ahead of time for the length of the flight or car ride, and address any safety concerns you might have. Prepared children will have an easier time transitioning into the vacation. Also, don’t forget to plan some fun travel games for kids to keep them occupied during the journey.
  • Manage Your Expectations and Goals. While it’s perfectly acceptable to set small goals before your family trip, such as spending time together, trying new things, or relaxing, you shouldn’t put too much pressure on those goals. Do your best to manage expectations so you can focus on having fun instead of living up to unreasonable plans.
  • Make Plans for a House/Pet Sitter. Don’t leave finding a house sitter or pet sitter until the last minute!
  • Pack as Light as Possible. Extra luggage quickly translates to extra stress. Pack light, make sure you have all the essentials, and then remind yourself that if you later realize you want something else– you can always buy it at your destination.
  • Remember to Enjoy! And don’t forget to take plenty of family photos to make a travel photo book to remember the special times you had.

Where To Go For Summer Vacation

Choosing the right place to go for summer vacation often means balancing multiple family member’s schedules, interests, and restrictions. However, it’s important to pick a location that everyone can enjoy. For example, if some family members aren’t fans of heights, a trip to the Grand Canyon or London Eye might not be the best choices. Alternatively, if some family members love the beach, and others don’t like the beach but love the pool, and all inclusive resort might be the best choice. Additionally, it’s best to try and remain within your budget as possible.

Family Summer Vacation Ideas

The following family summer vacation ideas and destinations don’t just look good with your travel photo book ideas– they have plenty of things to keep the whole family happy. Find your favorite spot below or use these summer vacation ideas to plan a unique family trip of your own.

1. Yellowstone, Wyoming

Parents Giving Children Piggyback Rides On Walk By Lake during Summer Vacation trip.

Pack up the family and visit Yellowstone National Park this summer. With it’s massive natural landmarks, room for activities, and plenty of educational and interesting opportunities, it’s difficult to run out of things to do. Just make sure to plan as far ahead as possible, as many campsites fill up months to years in advance.

2. New York, New York

Explore the Big Apple this coming summer. From Broadway shows, to unique culinary experiences, to biking through Central Park– you can do it all here. New York is an especially great place for families because it has a little something for everyone.

3. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee isn’t just one of the best music centers in the world. It’s full of plenty of beautiful parks and cultural sites. You can take the family to an exciting concert, visit some museums, or explore some of the state’s most historical sites.

4. Disney World, Florida

Children around the world dream of going to Disneyland, making it a perfect summer trip destination to surprise them with. Just make sure to prepare them ahead of time for waiting time and lines, and have fun in the Magic Kingdom.

5. San Diego, California

San Diego is known for its beaches, rich cultural and art scene, and distinctly nice weather. If you’re looking for a relaxing summer vacation spot that still has a little something for everyone, this might be the perfect spot for you. Just don’t forget your sunscreen.

6. Washington D.C.

If you don’t mind the humidity, Washington D.C. is well known as a great vacation spot for families. With so much history and monuments to visit, it’s an interesting destination for the family who wants to know more about their country’s heritage.

7. Cinque Terre, Italy

A family is at an airport getting ready for their fun family summer vacation ideas.

Cinque Terre, which means “Five Earths,” is a group of five coastal towns in Italy. It’s well known for its centuries-old history and architecture, as well as for its food, beaches, and hiking trails. It’s perfect for the more adventurous family.

8. Queenstown, New Zealand

New Zealand is home to some of the most beautiful views and outdoors experiences in the world, and Queenstown is no different. Located in the South Island, Queenstown is a ski haven by winter and picturesque adventure town by summer. However, because it’s on the other side of the Equator, the seasons are flipped, so keep this in mind while planning your next trip.

9. Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia is well known for being as relaxing as it is kid-friendly.  With plenty of family centered resorts, beaches, and animal safaris, there’s always something to do. With a little research before the vacation, you can make the most out of a trip here while also staying safe.

10. Kyoto, Japan

Japan is well known for being clean, having easy transportation and delicious food, and maintaining its history and culture. That helps make it a great destination for summer vacations for families. Kyoto is a must-see for any family who makes the trip with its rich history and many landmarks.

11. Prague, Czech Republic

There’s no end to the things a family can do or see while in Prague. As one of the world’s most historical cities, there’s plenty of sight-seeing to be done. On top of that, the city is well known for its food and drinks. And between tours, festivals, and boat cruises, you’re sure to have fun.

12. Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne is consistently rated one of the top cities in the world to live in, making it a must see for many travelers. With an unbelievable amount of restaurants or beaches, relaxation is easy to find. Just make sure to stay hydrated in the unforgiving sun.

13. Maui, Hawaii

Girl on summer vacation in snorkeling mask dive underwater with tropical fishes in coral reef sea pool.

Famous for warm weather in every season, fresh fish, luaus, and nice beaches, who wouldn’t want to visit Hawaii for their summer vacation? Whether you stay at a resort or other local accommodation, you can plan on soaking in the sun with a tropical drink in hand– every day.

Family Summer Vacation Ideas On A Budget

Going on summer vacation doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. These fun summer vacation ideas will make the whole family happy, while giving you plenty of extra room within your budget.

14. Newport, Rhode Island

There’s plenty of things you can do for free while still seeing plenty of rich culture and luxury in Rhode Island. For example, the Newport Cliff Walk features dozens of massive mansions along a long path that you can spend a whole day viewing. You can also make a day of walking around town, exploring the coast line, and otherwise enjoying early American history.

15. Big Sur, California

Mountain biking and camping are fun summer vacation ideas for this family.

Enjoy some coastal camping is this beautiful beach location. Full of redwoods and hiking trails, Big Sur is a top destination for active families who love to camp. So whether your family loves sleeping in tents or glamping, this might be the right low budget destination for you.

16. Seattle, Washington

Seattle is well known for its coffee, rain, and technological hubs, but it’s also a great summer vacation spot for families. Sights to see include the Olympic National Park and Kids Discovery Museum, as well as the famous ferry boats.

17. Arizona

If you’ve ever wanted to visit the Grand Canyon and more national parks, a trip to Arizona might be a great summer vacation idea. Just make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, because Arizona is known to get well into triple digit degrees in the summer. However, if you can stand the heat you’re in for a treat with the gorgeous Arizonian landscapes.

18. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Even with it its pristine beaches and water parks, the gulf shores are considered an affordable vacation option, especially for families. Additional attractions include golf courses, a zip line, and plenty of hiking trails.

19. Clearwater Beach, Florida

Cute kid having fun with his mother in the sea during their family summer vacation.

Similar to the Gulf Shores, this Florida Beach is well known for its white sand beaches, tranquil waters, and plenty of available activities. While the kids have fun with watersports, there’s also plenty of fun to be had shopping and exploring the local eaters, even while staying budget-conscious.

20. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Here, you can expect volcanic rocks, petroglyphs, mountains, and plenty of things meant to be explored by children. While also relatively inexpensive, Albuquerque offers a unique summer vacation experience for the whole family.

21. St. Louis, Missouri

From unique architecture, to baseball games, to botanical gardens– St. Louis has it all, and it doesn’t come with a large price tag. Take the family to enjoy the weather in this modern American city, and don’t be afraid to check out some of the local breweries while you’re there.

22. Minneapolis, Minnesota

There’s more to Minneapolis than just the Mall of America. In addition to it’s huge shopping epicenter, you can also find incredible art centers, parks, and affordable local prices. Just make sure to leave space in your luggage is you plan on shopping.

23. Williamsburg, Virginia

Along with its rich colonial history, Williamsburg also boasts being one third of the “Historic Triangle,” along with Yorktown and Jamestown. Visitors can visit the historic town and “living museum” where they can visit workshops and watch reenactments, making it perfect for the history-loving Family.

Resources Related To Summer Vacation Ideas

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