The Skylark Way

Trips Every Family Should Take — and When to Take Them

By: Staff

“So, where should we go?”

We get that question a lot from clients. Families who want to create lasting memories and bond over adventures of a lifetime. Where to start? The answer, of course, depends on many factors: where you’ve traveled before, how much time you have, what age the kiddos are, budget, and interests. We've put together a list of our favorites.

Call them the must-do’s, call them a bucket list, but these are the trips that we feel everyone should do in their lifetime. All you need is your wanderlust—and a good camera.  

Our Top Picks For Family Adventure

  • National Parks - The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion and Bryce, and the other great parks of the American West have inspired pioneers, artists and generations of American families. Check out more of our favorite National Parks here.
  • California Coast & Yosemite - It’s the ultimate road trip: the California Coast, taking in the sacred (the cliffs of Big Sur) and the profane (Hearst Castle)—as well as the natural grandeur of Yosemite. Read our itinerary for the southern portion
  • California Road Trips - Make a playlist, pack some snacks and coloring books, and hop in the car. These hotels are perfect for quick getaways.
  • Hawaii - America’s tropical playground provides thrills for all ages, from the black-sand beaches of Maui to the active volcanoes of the Big Island.
  • Alaska - If you want to see purple mountain majesty, this is the place—not to mention glaciers, fjords, bears, whales and the Northern Lights.
  • Italy - A tour encompassing Rome, Florence and Venice is a lesson in the glories of art and architecture, history—and, of course, incredible food. Read about a recent trip to Tuscany and our top hotels in Rome
  • Spain - Madrid is a must-stop for budding art historians, while Barcelona is an object lesson for architecture buffs. And anyone who loves food will be captivated by Spain’s culinary scene. 
  • Costa Rica & Nicaragua - A case study in biodiversity and sustainability, Costa Rica is also the source of non-stop family fun, with everything from ziplining to whitewater rafting to surfing. Nicaragua is similar but less developed and more “hidden.”
  • Galápagos - Darwin’s islands are an essential stop for students of evolutionary science, or anyone who’s ever been captivated by the strange wonders of nature. Read our recent trip report. 
  • Australia & New Zealand - Whether separately or together, the two nations are worth the trek down under, offering natural wonders (Milford Sound, the Great Barrier Reef), exceptional food and wine and the world’s friendliest people.
  • Japan - Culture shock guaranteed, but in the safest and friendliest way possible. Food, etiquette, shopping—everything in Japan is different, and everything is extraordinary. See our Japan itinerary. 
  • South Africa - The perfect introduction to Africa, South Africa is friendly, safe and English-speaking. Safaris are excellent and sustainably regulated; Cape Town and the surrounding wine country are stupendous. 
  • East Africa - Ideal for a second safari, Kenya and Tanzania have a vastly different terrain, wildlife and culture from southern Africa. Plus: Kilimanjaro is a mountain that most people can climb. 
  • Iceland - Like Yellowstone on steroids, the island nation is heaven for anyone interested in geology and the strange beauty of nature. Read about the trip we put together for one client. 
  • Israel - While the Holy Land is a must for Jewish families, it holds great fascination for history buffs, foodies, and anyone interested in current global events. Read a report from our recent trip.
  • Belize & Tikal - Jungle adventures, wildlife spotting and snorkeling and diving on the world’s best coral reefs… followed by a visit to Tikal, one of the largest and best preserved ruins in the Mayan world.