3 Family Vacation Destinations You Can’t Miss

by Alyssa Daniells
Family Vacation Destinations 2018

Best family vacation spots that are easy to reach, with a beautiful beach!

The soothing scent of aromatherapy fills your nostrils, which were flared from tension only minutes ago. Hypnotic sounds of ocean waves deepen your blissful trance. With magic hands, the massage therapist works her way down your weary muscles. Carefree, it’s like you’re floating away… until the therapist suddenly yanks on your toe.

“We’re late! And I can’t find my hockey stick!!”

You bolt upright, only find your youngest at the foot of your bed, ready for her 7 am hockey practice.

Sound vaguely familiar? Escape to one of these amazing family vacation destinations and turn dreaming into a reality.

Unwinding at a spa at a Family Vacation Destination


1. Mexico Family Vacation Destinations

With nonstop flights from all major Canadian gateways, Mexico is easy to get to, including seamless transportation services to your resort or hotel. Mexico is generally a solid bet for year-round agreeable weather and promises a taste of culture (operative word taste—the food in Mexico is delicious.) If you’re travelling with small children, it’s likely that distance is a crucial deciding factor for you. With most flights under five hours, a family vacation to Mexico is a manageable length.

From any major Canadian gateway, you can fly to Mexico in 4 hours and end up in one of the country’s most coveted beach destinations:

  • Toronto to Cancun flight time is about 4 hours
  • Halifax to Cancun flight time is 4.5 hours
  • Vancouver to Los Cabos flight time is 4 hours, 25 minutes
  • Vancouver to Puerto Vallarta flight time is 4 hours, 55 minutes
  • Calgary to Puerto Vallarta flight time is 4 hours, 48 minutes

Personally, the reasons I’ve travelled to Mexico encompass work conferences, relaxation (mixed with partying), and destination weddings. In the price of your all-inclusive, you’ll get organized transportation, access to rewarding activities, beautiful beachfront properties, delicious meals, and of course staff to clean up—so now, I view Mexico as the perfect place for a family vacation.

Mexico all-inclusive family resorts

Family vacation destination beach in Mexico


Mexico boasts some of the world’s best all-inclusives, hands down. Ask your travel agent about kids stay and eat free promotions, which are quite common. Some of the Mexico family destinations we’re particularly fond of are:

  • Mayan Riviera (Riviera Maya): resorts offer kid’s programs, while you can relax with a spa treatment or lounge with a good book. Take an educational day trip to ancient ruins, or for an experience like no other, snorkel in freshwater cave cenotes.
  • Puerto Vallarta: the resort beaches are not only beautiful, but you can walk far out into the ocean and it still only comes to your knees, which smaller family members may especially enjoy (of course, any children should always be accompanied by a parent or guardian near or in the water.) The best time to visit is April to June, when weather is especially pleasant and room rates are lower.
  • Los Cabos – listed as #11 on the New York Times’ “Places to Go in 2018”, Cabo as it is familiarly called, not only has gorgeous resorts, but an abundance of enriching activities, like snorkelling the vibrant waters of the East Cape & Corridor. Cabo San Luca is also a popular departure port for a family cruise.

Mexican culture

If you’re like me and wish explore beyond the all-inclusive, Mexico boasts a rich and varied culture, from Mayan ruins to Spanish colonial heritage to cutting-edge street style. A day trip to Tulum, for example, provides an educational and exciting experience for the kids and parents alike. An integral part of Mexican culture is the delicious food. While I would say Mexico all-inclusives provide the best food overall in terms of destination, don’t miss out on authentic flavours, too. Don’t be afraid to venture out to enjoy tacos from a food stand, or regional specialties at a local restaurant.

2. Hawaii Family Vacation Destinations

Hawaii family vacation destination on the beach


The islands of Hawaii draw millions of tourists annually from around the globe, making it one of the world’s most visited destinations. If Hawaii honeymoons spring to mind over Hawaii family vacations, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

Exotically familiar Hawaii

Looking for a getaway that is both amazingly different yet easy to get around? There are few better places to travel as a family than Hawaii. Its exotic scenery and culture make it a striking departure from the everyday, yet the 50th state is familiar enough to ensure your holiday is worry-free.

While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend renting a car in Mexico (besides, resorts commonly offer shuttle bus services), consider car rental in Hawaii. Roads are not only well-maintained, but offer stunning views of Hawaii’s famous coastlines. Talk to a Flight Centre travel agent to get the best car rental deal.

Mountains of Maui

Family activities in Hawaii

From volcano trekking, submarine adventure tours and learning to surf, Hawaii promises unique and unforgettable experiences. A traditional Hawaiian luau is an absolute must, taking your family dinner to a whole other level. As you feast on Hawaiian barbecued delicacies with a warm tropical breeze (and preferably cool tropical drink), everyone will be entertained by hula dancers, fire eaters and more. What’s not to love? (Except for maybe the poi.)

3. Caribbean Family Vacation Destinations

The varied islands of the Caribbean, from Antigua to Cuba to St. Lucia, have one thing in common – beautiful stretches of powdery beaches. If you’re looking for some time away to rejuvenate, relax and reconnect with your family, destinations in the Caribbean allow you to do as much—or as little—as you like. Choose from beachfront properties equipped with kitchens and the comforts of home, to family-friendly all-inclusive resorts. Or, take in several Caribbean destinations in one trip on a cruise ship.

Boy runs into the water on his family vacation


Caribbean family cruises

Remember that earlier dream? With supervised kid’s programs and onboard spas that rival the most luxe on land, it’s well within reach on a cruise vacation. We love Caribbean cruises for families because of the range in itineraries, from three-day getaways to week long adventures. Among the reasons our clients cite choosing a family cruise vacation are:

  • excellent value
  • state-of-the-art ships
  • entertainment, from magic shows to lounge music
  • seeing more parts of the Caribbean in less time
  • family-designed staterooms
  • onboard activities and shore excursions
  • child care and kid’s programs
  • broad variety of dining options that please even the fussiest palates

The last two points also apply to many Caribbean all-inclusive resorts. With so many choices, a Flight Centre expert can help you explore your options based on your family’s needs and wishes.

This spring, get a jump start on summer! Don’t miss our current sun destination promotions, to Hawaii, the Caribbean, Mexico and more. Visit us in-store, online or call 1 877 967 5302.