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What is the most fun family vacation you have done?

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What is the most fun family vacation you have gone on?

Where did you go?  What did you do? 

 

I am the official travel planner and I am trying to think of something fun.

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When the kids were younger - Hawaii (we rented a condo across the street from a beach in Kihei on Maui for part of the time, and stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa on the Big Island for part of the time).  

Now that kids are older - cruise.  On a big, mega ship (Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas) so everyone has tons of things they can do (or not do) and no one complains.  My only "rule" for them was they had to join us for dinner, and they had to stay for at least part of whatever show we were seeing in the evening.

Lower key, closer to home - we went to the Jamestown/Yorktown area.  We did both Jamestown places, one historic mansion, and Busch Gardens.

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We also had a great family vacation to Hawaii! We rented a condo in Waimanolo in Oahu. Far from the crowds but close to the beach. Our kids were 8, 9, and 16 then. This was the first vacation where we literally did not want to go home. 

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One summer we spend about a week in Yellowstone and the Tetons. We did all of the usual things like see Old Faithful and hike, etc, but we also did a horseback ride to a cowboy steak dinner at Yellowstone and white water rafting in Jackson Hole. We took a tram ride up at a ski resort in Jackson Hole, then hiked around for most of the day and took a Gondola ride down. We rode across Jenny lake and hiked more in the Tetons. The wildflowers were incredible, and the weather was perfect all week (early July)

 We stayed in an RV at a place between the two parks (which was a little annoying to have a pretty good drive to either park) and that worked okay. We have camped in Yellowstone a few other times, but this was our best family vacation, and also one of the last ones before our older kids went to college/got married.

We had gone to Disneyland the summer before and we had a good time there, but during our Yellowstone-Tetons trip the kids said how this was even better than Disney. 

I had forgotten until reading a post above, We spent a week on Kauai and that was pretty awesome, too. We were there with my sister and her family which made it a little more complicated, but it was a totally different and wonderful vaca in a condo with beaches and shave ice! 

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We had a blast at our big Disney World trip this January. We've never done Disney before and won't again for many years, but we spent 9 days in the parks. I planned for hours and hours and it totally paid off. It went so smoothly and we made a bunch of great memories. This was definitely our most expensive trip to date, but it was a ton of fun for us.

We also do a lot of little one-week road trips and always have fun. Once, when we lived in NC, I found a last minute airbnb cabin near Gaitlinburg and Great Smokey Mountain NP for about $30/night after fees for a few nights. We had a blast hanging out in a nice, 2 bedroom cabin and keeping everything low key, playing in the creek and watching Great British Bake-off on the day it rained.

Oh, we also really enjoy renting a condo in Sep/Oct at Myrtle Beach for a week, right on the beach. Its family friendly, we can walk out and play, then walk back when we're tired. At that time of the year, the water is still warm enough but it isn't hot outside. Its perfect. We've done it a few times and I love it.

Now that we have our newly renovated pop-up camper, I imagine we'll do a lot more inexpensive trips. When we can stay somewhere for $20/night and it only costs gas to get there, why not?

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DH and I used to work for a timeshare company and as a result....traveled a lot.  We have taken plenty of different types of vacations, and "the most fun" really just depends on the type of vacation.  For example, a few months after DH and I got married, DH and I and DD23 (who was 6 at the time) we all went to Disney.  That was great, but it was a different type of vacation than when we went to Williamsburg, and that's different again than when we took all 4 kids to Disney with my whole family back in 2013.  

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We do Florida every year. We've done both Disney and Universal and my family preferred Universal by far. This year we are planning a low stress Air BNB, where we just hang out, swim, go to the water park and otherwise just eat drink and be merry. Next year my hubby and I are going on a cruise on one of Royal Caribbean'a big ships to celebrate our 30th anniversary. 

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Gosh, so many. For us, beaches. Although that's more "relaxing" vs "fun" (but to me, same thing....). So, Key West/Florida Keys - we stayed at a resort and drove up/down to what we wanted to see and do.  Pensacola Beach, another time. That was nice, with the Naval Museum and stuff, besides beaches. Another time we stayed in Sarasota, and zipped over to Legoland for a day.  Gobs and gobs of beach trips in Brazil where we just went to a little hotel near a beach and swam, built sand castles, etc. Sometimes we did "tours" where we saw extra stuff; not always. 

Wherever we go, we eat local restaurants only (no chains), as much "traditional to the region" as possible (ex: Key Lime Pie in the Keys, for ex, and usually seafood at beaches). We don't plan, other than hotel. 

But we've also had fun on camping trips, near & far, visiting family, (St Louis is all kinds of fun, depending on kid ages/interests), and "food tours" or such. Last year for Spring Break we went to St Louis, because youngest didn't remember our favorite spot there, and then to Memphis for BBQ. (we stayed a few days in Memphis, and saw lots of stuff, but the reason we went was to try the BBQ).  We like what I consider "discovery trips" -- go to a place, discover what's cool/fun/interesting about it, and do it. 

We all greatly enjoyed the 2 cruises we've done, and we're going to Disney this summer (we meant to go in December but life got too crazy so we moved it) and I'm looking forward to that; it'll be the first time for everyone but me, so should be fun. I hope. It's very different from what we've done before. 

So much of "most fun ever" is going to be so subjective, though....if you asked each of my 3 sons, they'd all answer different things, I think. Or they'd remember different aspects of the same trip(s) as being the most fun part. So, a lot is just....what kinds of activities/places do you & your family like the best and then where can you find that w/in your budget & time frame, and go from there. 

For instance, "lounging on the beach" is heaven for me........but my boys get bored if we don't throw in some non-beach time. That's why for them Pensacola Beach was a huge hit (we went to a fort, a lighthouse, the naval museum, rented a boat for a day, and, yes, hung out on the beach....) but for me it was nice, and I enjoyed them having fun, but as far as beach trips go, it was awfully busy for my taste, LOL! (don't get me wrong; I enjoyed it, but I've enjoyed others of our trips more). 

So....find what *your family* likes and ask us "where can we go that has x, y, and z, within x hours of this place, and costs less than abc?" and we can help better. 

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10 minutes ago, TheReader said:

Gosh, so many. For us, beaches. Although that's more "relaxing" vs "fun" (but to me, same thing....). So, Key West/Florida Keys - we stayed at a resort and drove up/down to what we wanted to see and do.  Pensacola Beach, another time. That was nice, with the Naval Museum and stuff, besides beaches. Another time we stayed in Sarasota, and zipped over to Legoland for a day.  Gobs and gobs of beach trips in Brazil where we just went to a little hotel near a beach and swam, built sand castles, etc. Sometimes we did "tours" where we saw extra stuff; not always. 

Wherever we go, we eat local restaurants only (no chains), as much "traditional to the region" as possible (ex: Key Lime Pie in the Keys, for ex, and usually seafood at beaches). We don't plan, other than hotel. 

But we've also had fun on camping trips, near & far, visiting family, (St Louis is all kinds of fun, depending on kid ages/interests), and "food tours" or such. Last year for Spring Break we went to St Louis, because youngest didn't remember our favorite spot there, and then to Memphis for BBQ. (we stayed a few days in Memphis, and saw lots of stuff, but the reason we went was to try the BBQ).  We like what I consider "discovery trips" -- go to a place, discover what's cool/fun/interesting about it, and do it. 

We all greatly enjoyed the 2 cruises we've done, and we're going to Disney this summer (we meant to go in December but life got too crazy so we moved it) and I'm looking forward to that; it'll be the first time for everyone but me, so should be fun. I hope. It's very different from what we've done before. 

So much of "most fun ever" is going to be so subjective, though....if you asked each of my 3 sons, they'd all answer different things, I think. Or they'd remember different aspects of the same trip(s) as being the most fun part. So, a lot is just....what kinds of activities/places do you & your family like the best and then where can you find that w/in your budget & time frame, and go from there. 

For instance, "lounging on the beach" is heaven for me........but my boys get bored if we don't throw in some non-beach time. That's why for them Pensacola Beach was a huge hit (we went to a fort, a lighthouse, the naval museum, rented a boat for a day, and, yes, hung out on the beach....) but for me it was nice, and I enjoyed them having fun, but as far as beach trips go, it was awfully busy for my taste, LOL! (don't get me wrong; I enjoyed it, but I've enjoyed others of our trips more). 

So....find what *your family* likes and ask us "where can we go that has x, y, and z, within x hours of this place, and costs less than abc?" and we can help better. 

 

I think that is what is hard.   I am just trying to figure out what would be fun for us.  So I am just looking for ideas.  I guess that is why people go to Disney (or Universal) and cruises over and over.  There is something for everyone.

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9 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

 

I think that is what is hard.   I am just trying to figure out what would be fun for us.  So I am just looking for ideas.  I guess that is why people go to Disney (or Universal) and cruises over and over.  There is something for everyone.

In that case, we look for areas that offer a lot of different things. Like the Pensacola trip I mentioned; beach for me, pool for when the boys didn't want sand, fort to explore, boat to ride, aircraft at the navy museum, etc. 

It can definitely be hard with lots of people in the family, especially if there's a wide age range of kids.  St Louis has a lot that's fun -- the zoo, City Museum (which is not a "museum" per se but a giant playscape that is indescribable and incredible fun), all kinds of different museums of varying interests, close to Eckert's Farm (pick-your-own orchard), river cruises, the Arch, botanical gardens, parks, sports stuff, good food, etc. A lot in/around there that's interesting to everyone. 

Or, we often pick a topic or a food. So, one trip DH is planning is our "Food Tour" where he wants to eat Philly Cheese Steaks in Philadelphia, Boston Baked Beans in Boston (and New England Clam Chowder), try BBQ in both North *and* South Carolina and see what we like better.....stuff like that. Then we'd find stuff to do in/around/between each of those places and make sure there's something for everyone. 

We never aim for "everyone LOVING it, every single minute" because mostly that's not realistic, but we do aim for "no one so bored they are making the rest of us miserable" and "everyone gets to pick one day" so DH & I will pick the primary destination based on what we want, then we start researching "things to do in....." and reading about these ideas to the boys, and each boy gets to pick a thing. We look at the info a little before making firm plans, just to be sure there are options, but then the specific planning we let them have input and all, and we just keep a balance of it being fun for different ones at different times (and make sure the "down time" activities for the hotel, whether amenities in the hotel itself or stuff we bring from home, are appealing to those who will be most bored with the vacation activities; so, laptop with DVDs to watch, or favorite board games, or a pool, or whatever). 

Best of luck; I know it's complicated. 

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Switzerland for us. I just love Europe. It's where I want to be always and many of our vacations over the years involved a jaunt over the Atlantic. And we love the mountains. My girls absolutely loved all of the gondolas and various mountain lifts. We just like being outside, hiking and enjoying the scenery and the cute towns. Our favorite was Murren, a small town perched on a mountaintop that is car free. The views were just stunning. And of course all of the Swiss chocolate! 

Closer to home we had a great time at the Outer Banks one year and Cape Cod another. 

Edited by tdbates78
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Well I wouldn't do this with younger kids...  We did it with kids ranging from 11 to 17.  

We flew to Budapest, Hungary, and spent about a week there, trained to Vienna for a few days, then trained to Croatia, spending time from Split to Dubrovnik.  

At the end we trained back up to Budapest (in one shot) and returned home from there.

The mix of cities was perfect, and because most of it was Eastern Europe, prices were affordable.  That was definitely our top trip.

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19 minutes ago, J-rap said:

Well I wouldn't do this with younger kids...  We did it with kids ranging from 11 to 17.  

We flew to Budapest, Hungary, and spent about a week there, trained to Vienna for a few days, then trained to Croatia, spending time from Split to Dubrovnik.  

At the end we trained back up to Budapest (in one shot) and returned home from there.

The mix of cities was perfect, and because most of it was Eastern Europe, prices were affordable.  That was definitely our top trip.

 

We actually have traveled all over Europe with young kids.   Most likely we will go back this summer. 

 

I am kind of thinking of doing an resort with a kids club.   A cruise sounds good too, but dh doesn't want to do that. 

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We love Disney World and have been entirely too many times. 

Chicago was a lot of fun. We did The Field Museum, Architecture Museum, lots of walking to parks and of course The Bean, Navy Pier, Sears Tower, and of course deep dish pizza and Ghirardelli's. 

Starved Rock State Park was a great outdoors vacation. Smoky Mountains National Park is wonderful also, but we never did take the kids. 

 

 

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Other trips we've really enjoyed have been midwest National Parks.  One year we drove through the Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, etc., and then continued on to Yellowstone for a week (We stayed at the Old Faithful Lodge and also cottages in Mammoth Hot Springs).  

Another year we took a train to Glacier National Park.  That was pretty amazing!

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We took the kids to Boston a few Decembers ago (cheap flights!) and made a lot of really great memories.  The next year we did NYC (but drove—through Philadelphia and then on up to Niagara Falls) and despite the cold of both trips, I daresay they’ll be the trips they remember. My little boys still talk about them!

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We just went to Fiji for about three weeks. It was the most incredible place I’ve ever been! Not only beautiful scenery, but beautiful people. They took us under their wing and we made some wonderful friendships there. We are saving up to go back in a few years.

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1. Tulum... though I hear it got bad. Still, I'd go back to that part of Mexico. It really was a trip that had everything. We rented a car. We did tons of Mayan ruins and drove around the interior a good bit and went to lots of cenotes. We took the kids to a couple of the dopey Cancun geared eco theme parks and they had a blast doing zip lines and cliff diving and so forth. We chilled on the semi-private beach at our crazy cheap hotel and ate amazing food in town in Tulum (for cheap) and on the beach (for not cheap) at the beach hotels with their great chefs. Overall, the trip was pretty inexpensive so it had a very high bang for our buck. It was dramatically less than any of the other vacations I'm about to list except Williamsburg.

2. Namibia. They call it Africa for beginners. We also went to Vic Falls and South Africa just a bit on this trip, but mostly we drove around Namibia. And it was amazing. Gorgeous. Kids were 8. Food was great. People were so nice in Namibia. Sights were gorgeous. Wildlife was amazing. We did some great hiking and camping. It was just a magical trip.

3. Disney. I was a Disney skeptic. I'd been as a kid (on many divorced dad guilt trips on the cheap) but I was like, no. My mom took us all and we stayed on property when the kids were 8. We had an amazing time. Such an amazing time that I told them we'd do it once more, which we did when they were 13 and hit Universal too - that time we stayed at one of these much cheaper off property places, which was also fine.

4. Paris. It's great with little kids. There are carousels on every corner. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but there are a lot of carousels to keep your kids happy between museums. Also puppet shows with pyrotechnics. And playgrounds. And gardens. Kids were not quite 5. They had a great time. We all enjoyed ourselves. Very good trip.

5. Costa Rica. We went when the kids were tiny - just before they turned 2. The best thing was how nice all the people were. So nice. We hardly had a meal out that someone didn't come and offer to entertain our kids for us. I have a strong memory of sitting at a tiny roadside cafe outside, watching the light show of Arenal off in the distance while we ate dinner and the people who worked there were keeping the kids busy, amusing them with stuff. I mean, just a great trip. Frogs, butterflies, beaches, volcanoes. Great trip.

6. Williamsburg. We've gone a lot of times, but the combo of historic town all day, waterpark and Magiquest at Great Wolf all evening while the parents chill is a great one. On some trips, we also drove down and hit the beach for a day. So a perfect overall combo. I like trips that do multiple things like that. We did a similar version of this by staying in Niagara one time too. We did a day in Toronto, did all the various things at the Falls, enjoyed Great Wolf all evening. Good trip.

Edited by Farrar
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Zion. We rented a house in nearby Hurricane, Utah. It was great. Hiking the Narrows, thunderstorms, ahhhh!

Sequoias. Also rented a house. A ramshackle cabin. It was lovely.

 

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Well, I don't know about the "most fun ever". But we are currently driving back from spending a week in Branson, Missouri and we had an absolute blast! We did Silver Dollar City - a really great amusement park, an indoor playground type thing called Fritz's Adventure, we went on this beautiful nature trail where you drive golf carts and see gorgeous waterfalls, a cave, and beautiful views. We also visited the Titanic museum, saw a musical, shopped, and more. There are lots of outdoor/nature things to do, but we were with family that isn't really into the "outdoors". Oh, we also went on a cave tour. For some reason I really like caves and we do that whenever we get a chance! There were plenty of other things that looked like fun, but we just didn't have time.

St. Louis was another wonderful trip. We've been there several times and have loved it every time. 

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Best for everyone except ds22.....mountain cabin with deep snow in the winter and quiet lakes in the summer. There are a few lakes by the cabin that ban gas motors, so all boats are electric or human powered. Blissful nature :0)

My absolute least favorite is Disney. Too. much chaos.

Hawaii is blah to me. Too touristy. I've been, multiple times,  to different islands and aside from the warm weather, I don't get why everyone loves it so much. DD20 and Dh LOVE Hawaii. I honestly don't plan to go back.  DS doesn't like it either (aside from the art museums LOL)

Edited by Tap
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My kids would say our trips to visit our families are their favorite trips. They like trips that are more chill, and less rush to see and do everything.

One of their favorites was staying at jelly stone at Mammoth Cave. I think they liked it because we did a lot of hanging out. We also enjoy beaches (again more hanging out). I think sometimes when we travel I try to pack too much in to the once in a lifetime opportunity and the kids get kinda whiny about it. 

Chicago and St Louis were fun. Further away, we loved the Netherlands-beach, tulips, a big city, cute little towns-something for everyone. 

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As a family, we love Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge and surrounding areas.  We also loved our Philly trip, but I think the main reason we loved it was because sil lived right in the middle of everything and we walked everywhere except when we went to Gettysburg. She’s now outside of Philly and we’ve never felt the desire to return (she comes here b/c she has the schedule to).    We love Cape San Blas and Mexico Beach (hurricane... MB is not open for business yet, I don’t think) and renting a boat or taking our own and fishing and snorkeling.   We’ve always loved Amelia Island.    St Augustine is a good trip, too.  Beach, historic, boat tours, Alligator Farm, lots to do. 

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Jordan.

i took a solo trip with DS to Vienna when he was still umbrella stroller age (3?) and that was a fabulous time. One thing for him(zoo), one thing for me (museum), coffehouse, rinse repeat.

HP world at universal was fun. 

Edited by madteaparty
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Hard to say, since we don't all like the same things.

I think my kids might say either Hawaii (the state) or Kalahari (the chain).  Or when they were younger, Disney World.  I think my kids' favorite thing to do on vacation is swim.  And eat ice cream.

I would say the vacations where we visited many exotic and/or natural places.  India is probably my favorite.  Iceland is also great.

This spring we are going to some really fancy resort in Abu Dhabi, which might meet both requirements ....

When my kids were about 6, we went to Disney World, then Guatemala (including Antigua and Tikal), and back to DW for my kid's birthday.  That was pretty great - except for those few days when my kid was suffering from a massive spider bite in the jungle.  😕

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We don’t vacation a lot. Our biggest ones have been renting houses with extended family and doing a little sight seeing. (Helen, GA, mountains of VA, and Poconos. I guess we have a thing for mountains.) Most of the time is spent cooking, eating, drinking, and enjoying the company.
My kids are constantly asking when we can go back to VA, where we did the least sight seeing and spent the most time just being in nature and having fun with family. 8 adults and 10 kids.

FTR, we don’t live near any family, so it’s not the people they see all the time, lol.

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Our most fun vacations have been the unplanned. 😄  They've been the mistakes and oopsies, like accidentally going to a quiet sleepy town the same day as their national bike race.  Or going to the only Mexican restaurant in town to find out they got their "salsa" from the Italian restaurant down the street. 

Our kids are excited to go back camping this summer.  Last year during our trip someone nearly took the mirror off the car, we were stranded in the road because another driver was fascinated by the local birds and refused to let anyone pass, I told everyone our shoes would be fine outside and that night it rained....it was a trip full of fun and stories to bring back. 😄

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I don't know that one is more fun than another, they are just different and have different memories.   We have done Disney (land and world) and Universal multiple times.  We have done the beach a few times.  Our trip to New York was fun.  We also went to Montreal for a week and Niagara Falls.  We have driven across the country a few times and gone to things along the way.  The kids liked Williamsburg when we went, and DC when we visited.  

So many places and things to do.  When they were younger, we didn't have much money, and so trips were attached to DH's work trips (Orlando, Montreal, and New York) or were attached to visiting family (His is in MI and mine in CA.)

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I suspect each of us might say something different. For me--

An almost month long road trip in our RV, taking our time working our way up to Cape Breton Highlands in Nova Scotia and back, or a two week long road trip to Key West, including several days in the Everglades.

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Ah, if Europe/outside the US is on the list, then Brazil. There's a little town called Paraty that we adore, with beach points, antique town, walking, waterfalls, some of the best food, cute little places to stay.....absolutely adorable. It's a little protected cove/bay and you can rent a boat (with a boat driver) for not too much and they'll take you out on the bay to snorkel, swim, stop on little accessible by boat only beach areas, it's my favorite little stop in Brazil. 

Other great places in Brazil.....we loved our Amazon trip, although oh my word, it definitely takes hot & humid to a whole new level. Still, worth it. 

DH & I were just in Italy, in Florence/Milan/Varese and I definitely want to go back and take the kids. DH thinks too many museums for the boys....we'll see. We're planning a Europe trip with them next year, probably hitting somewhere in Italy (DH says Rome, which, sure, yes, but I say Florence again, pretty please....), Paris, and somewhere in Germany. There's tons more we'd like to see, and I'm all for just sticking to exploring one country at a time, but DH and the kids want to hit as many countries as possible. We're reverting to our "everybody pick a thing" on this one, so......we'll see where we end up. 

Cozumel was amazing; we've been twice on cruises and once we went for a short week and stayed in an all inclusive resort; nothing fancy w/a kids' club or anything, but the rooms were nice, there was a pool, a beach, a great little snack bar (well, bar-bar, but we used it for snack foods), DH & oldest DS were able to go on a scuba trip right from the resort, the restaurant on site was superb, and there's a lot there in Cozumel to go explore if you want to get out and explore. 

The place we stayed when we went to the Keys was a resort w/a kids' club and stuff....it's in a middle Key so less pricey than some of the others, but very nice, comfortable, etc. We stayed in one of the little "townhome" cottages with a kitchen and all, and we were literally steps from a pool just for that section, which was almost never occupied, but there was also a large kids area you could use as a family, mini golf, huge pool w/splash zone, another large pool area, food, etc. Tons of stuff. I'll have to look up the name of it.....we didn't do the all inclusive aspect at that place, because we knew we'd be eating everywhere else mostly, but it was nice even w/o that. 

Oh, we also went to San Diego one year, and that was fabulous, too; we flew to Phoenix (from Houston) then drove as that was a lot cheaper for some reason. TONS to do in San Diego. Tons. So that was super fun. 

Whatever you decide, enjoy! 

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There is no one best vacation. 

Visiting Gettysburg, our state capital (Harrisburg PA) and Hershey (amusement) Park during one trip was a great mix. Interesting (and sobering) history, lots of hiking and fresh air, the pure fun of an amusement park.

Thanksgiving weekend in a cabin in a state park. Kids were older teens but had a blast "playing" in the woods.  They had been getting on each others' nerves before that, so they reconnected well.

A staycation we had when our car broke down on the way out of town one year.  The car got fixed within the day, but our destination was too far and time-sensitive (a short family reunion) so we decided not to go. We discovered lots of interesting places in our own area that we'd probably never have found. 

Our biggest trip was a month in England and Scotland. There were un-fun moments (too much driving, being seasick on a ferry) but overall it was probably the best vacation we've had just because of the scope of it.

Edited by marbel
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2 hours ago, HomeAgain said:

Our most fun vacations have been the unplanned. 😄  They've been the mistakes and oopsies, like accidentally going to a quiet sleepy town the same day as their national bike race.  Or going to the only Mexican restaurant in town to find out they got their "salsa" from the Italian restaurant down the street. 
 

Love that! One of our favorite vacation memories is going to a Mexican restaurant in Oklahoma that had mayonnaise set out on the tables. 

No.

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Austria--renting an apartment and visiting some of the smaller villages.  The kids enjoyed doing things like going to the local park and tring different soft drinks at the grocery store.    

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My sons are both autistic and not a fan of disrupted routines.  As such, our best family trips are probably the ones where we go to the same place each year.  Which is driving to Idaho, camping at the same state park and going to the same small regional amusement park.  Destinations unknown usually resulted in them just wanting to read in the fluffy hotel beds and we don’t need to travel to read in a fluffy bed.  I am hoping they are more into it now that they are a bit older.  

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With just our boys, when they were little, we had two nights in a cabin in Arkansas, and a camping trip for two nights at Lake Ouachita. I don't remember a lot but I do recall it being happy. Another time was a beach vacation, but what made it the most fun was the family (sil and her fam) that came with us. 

Sadly, we dealt with a sick family member who couldn't live with us for a few years, and we didn't feel it was right to take a fabulous trip while he was away. When we did take a 3 month sabbatical he couldn't come, for various reasons. It hurt my heart to exclude him. 

So I guess my post is just to say, go make the memories, go take the family trip--it will help your family to have good memories when there was family unity and identity, in case there is ever a time when that is challenged. 

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So far--- road trips out west- first year Grand Canyon and that loop- up from New Mexico and over to Colorado; Next year we went all the year to CA hit the Sequioas, Yosemite, and the beach too. It was such a mix that it was a great time. 

Our next family vaca will be to a beach as that is what the kids are asking for- I'm thinking on the east coast somewhere as we've done south (Gulf Shores) and west.

This year we're doing a big couples trip so family vaca will be small but the kids are still excited, they want to go to the city, always lots to do there.

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I thought of another quality that makes our vacations fun: no cell service.  If no one's on their phones, it forces everyone to do other things. We have a couple of areas in the country that we like to go to because they're remote enough that cell service hasn't caught up yet.  In fact, our best Disney vacation was when they charged for internet in the rooms and smart phones weren't as popular.  Our last one I took a picture of both ds and dh trying to navigate fastpasses, meals, etc. but everything had to be done on the phone.  All around them people were doing the same thing.  It took away from the magic somewhat.

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If your kids are ten and under -- LEGOLAND, Florida or California. (There are eight around the world.)

Btw, older LEGO-fanatics will love it too.

The theme park was purposely built w/ pink-knuckle rides only -- it's a theme park just for elementary kids. And kids love it. So do the adults, again especially if you have LEGO-lovers.

If you want more into, pm me and I'll share the whole 9 yards!! 👍

Have fun!

Alley

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On 3/22/2019 at 8:18 PM, J-rap said:

Well I wouldn't do this with younger kids...  We did it with kids ranging from 11 to 17.  

We flew to Budapest, Hungary, and spent about a week there, trained to Vienna for a few days, then trained to Croatia, spending time from Split to Dubrovnik.  

At the end we trained back up to Budapest (in one shot) and returned home from there.

The mix of cities was perfect, and because most of it was Eastern Europe, prices were affordable.  That was definitely our top trip.

I would hands down do that trip with my younger kids. My girls were 7 when we went to Switzerland, France and Germany a few years ago. They are 9 and we are doing Venice, Berchtesgaden (near Salzburg), Piran (Slovenia) and the Istrian peninsula in Croatia in early May. We've always traveled with my kids and they are good travelers because of it. They were much better in Europe then they were on our Disney trip when they were 6. I've been to all of the places you've mentioned. Most kids like trains and I think so many people assume that they can't take their children to Europe for fear of them not getting enough out of it. Never understood what that meant but my kids have enjoyed all of our family vacations. 

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The most fun vacations I have have done were road trips with just my DS when he was middle school age. We stayed in KOA camping cabins and cooked outside a lot. The cabins are not as much work as tent camping, and by that age DS was more help than hinderance. There were no sibling squabbles, and I didn't feel like I was getting caught in the middle of DH and a kid. 

But the best whole family vacations have been to Disney. The longer stays we're better because we had more time to see and do things and didn't feel pressured to get a lot done in a short time. 

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44 minutes ago, tdbates78 said:

I would hands down do that trip with my younger kids. My girls were 7 when we went to Switzerland, France and Germany a few years ago. They are 9 and we are doing Venice, Berchtesgaden (near Salzburg), Piran (Slovenia) and the Istrian peninsula in Croatia in early May. We've always traveled with my kids and they are good travelers because of it. They were much better in Europe then they were on our Disney trip when they were 6. I've been to all of the places you've mentioned. Most kids like trains and I think so many people assume that they can't take their children to Europe for fear of them not getting enough out of it. Never understood what that meant but my kids have enjoyed all of our family vacations. 

Oh yes, I would have done any trip with my younger kids.  I was just thinking that with a more expensive trip like that, you want to be able to get as much out of it as possible.  The historical aspect was important to us and we felt like we got so much more out of that aspect of the trip with older kids, I guess.  And I guess five kids under 10 would have been a little more challenging for me.  🙂  It was nice to be able to just say:  "Pack your own bag and meet us at the train station at noon!"   Or even, "See you in the next town this evening!"  

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My kids keep talking about when we went to the World of Coke in Atlanta. 😄  Not a fancy vacation....not really even planned (we were driving back from a place in Northern Georgia).  But that's what they talk about still....two years later. 🙂

They also really loved Michigan (Detroit area).  Went to my niece's wedding....and we went to a cider mill and just kind of enjoyed the Fall weather.  Nothing really planned, but they loved it.

We got to Amelia Island a lot (which is northern Florida).  

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When the kids were young we did a five week road trip from our home in NJ through Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, then home through the Dakotas. We had a skeleton plan, camped along the way at parks, and found adventures every day. We hiked, fished, went white water rafting, got up early some mornings to see wildlife in the parks, found a castle in Colorado, rock climbed, and went to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Homestead (probably the most fun as dd and I had read all the books about a year prior and it was a very hands-on place). 

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