Five Bucket List Family Vacations

Five Bucket List Family Vacations
Today's travelers place more value on collecting extraordinary experiences rather than things. This is particularly true for family and multigenerational travelers who want to make lifelong memories and share special places with their children and grandchildren. Many avid family vacationers spend their time searching for stunning destinations and exceptional adventures to enjoy together. These families are seeking inspiring journeys that offer opportunities for enrichment as well.

If you’re in the market for an amazing family vacation, put these five options at the top of your list:

1. Highlights of the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean is a wonderful choice for an enriching luxury vacation, particularly for families and multigenerational groups. This region delivers a tantalizing buffet of learning, adventure and cultural experiences suited to the interests of every family member. The idyllic Mediterranean is the perfect place to introduce children and grandchildren to Europe. There are captivating cities to explore, ruins of ancient civilizations to discover, and gorgeous sun-drenched beaches to enjoy. Europe’s Mediterranean is a patchwork quilt of histories, art and cultures. It’s no wonder, then, that luxury cruise lines are seeing more families with kids, teens and young adults on their summer Mediterranean itineraries. Crystal Cruises offers families meaningful experiences for guests of all ages and a number of appealing itineraries in the Mediterranean on their luxuriously appointed ships. Crystal’s ocean-going ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, are the only luxury ships providing dedicated facilities and enriching comprehensive programming for children ages 3-17. Junior Activities Directors are on board during summer and holiday sailings to ensure that kids enjoy their cruise experience as much as their parents and grandparents. Families and multigenerational groups can explore the ancient wonders of Rome together, climb Dubrovnik’s famed old city walls, tour Italy’s Amalfi Coast, explore the waterways and treasures of Venice, and experience the art and culture of Florence. Other Crystal Cruises family-friendly Mediterranean cruise itineraries take guests on dream-filled journeys to Barcelona, Monte Carlo and the sunny beaches of Ibiza and St-Tropez. Crystal Cruises offers group programs that can apply to families and multigenerational groups of at least ten full fare paying guests/five double occupancy staterooms or more. Check with your travel advisor or Crystal Cruises for complete details. For more information on Crystal's sailings and family amenities, visit

2. Magical Ireland. There are many reasons why a trip to the Emerald Isle consistently ranks at the top of family travelers’ bucket lists. Ireland is filled with amazing experiences, stunning scenery, fascinating history, unique cultural traditions, and some of the friendliest people on earth. Vagabond Tours of Ireland takes families off the beaten path in Ireland, allowing them to see Ireland like a local, soak up Ireland’s culture, and discover hidden gems that most visitors never see. Vagabond’s award-winning small group tours are led by outstanding expert guides who help customize each trip to their group’s interests, delivering a highly immersive experience while still offering guests plenty of private time to make memories of their own. Vagabond’s regular small group tours are well-suited for families with children ages 8-10 or older. Families can choose from a number of exceptional itineraries. Tours depart from Dublin and primarily focus on special spots on the west coast of Ireland along a beautiful coastal route dubbed the Wild Atlantic Way. While Vagabond’s tours include well-known sites like the Cliffs of Moher and Blarney Castle, they also offer exciting multi-sport activities and options. Families are likely to make some of their most vivid memories horseback riding on Ventry Beach, sea kayaking in Dingle Bay, cycling in Killarney National Park and taking a boat trip out to explore Skellig Michael, an incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site. Private tours for families and multigenerational groups are also available. For more information, visit

3. Portugal’s Spectacular Douro River Valley. While some cruise lines have changed their policies to restrict children on their ships, family owned CroisiEurope welcomes families with children of all ages on their fleet of ships sailing on rivers, seas and canals throughout the world. As a leader in European river cruising, CroisiEurope offers a wide variety of enticing itineraries. CroisiEurope’s Douro River cruises are particularly appealing, showcasing culturally-rich locations in both Portugal and Spain. On these cruises, families can enjoy Portugal’s perfect climate while exploring the region’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The historic cities and towns on this itinerary are fascinating and the scenery is breathtaking, too. Kids and adults alike will be captivated as their ship navigates through steep vineyard-covered hillsides and Europe’s deepest river locks. Add a pre- or post-cruise visit to one of Portugal’s beautiful beaches for even more family fun. CroisiEurope’s river cruise ships are well appointed and intimate, with wonderfully attentive staff. In addition to their regular family-friendly departures, CroisiEurope offers special FamilyClub sailings that provide an excellent value for families on cruise itineraries including Portugal's Douro River. FamilyClub cruise benefits include free cruises for children under 16 years of age, free cabin supplement, family-friendly cabin location, children’s entertainment, adapted children’s menus and more. For additional information, visit

4. Stunning South Africa. When you think of wildlife viewing in South Africa, think big. South Africa's Kruger National Park, approximately the size of the entire state of New Jersey, contains well over 10,000 elephants and 20,000 Cape buffalo - not to mention tons of lions and other big cats, rhino, hippo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, and so much more. Over 200 mammal species can be found in South Africa, making it a natural for family safaris. And while you may come for the wildlife and cultural experiences, the people here will win your heart. South Africa's Eastern Cape Province is a malaria-free zone filled with wildlife and boasting scores of family-friendly accommodations and attractions. The five-star Samara Private Game Reserve caters to families with spacious suites and extensive children's activities. Addo Elephant National Park, a reserve of almost 445,000 acres, is home to elephants, lions, Cape buffalo, endangered black rhino, leopards, spotted hyena, zebra, antelope and more. Head over to Inkwenkweze to walk with the elephants. In addition, the Eastern Cape's 500 miles of coastline are laden with sun-drenched beaches - the perfect complement to any family safari. For more information on South Africa and its Eastern Cape Province, visit

5. Untouched Panama and Costa Rica. While Costa Rica and Panama are two of today’s hottest destinations, few travelers are able to spend their entire vacation visiting these countries’ most pristine places. UnCruise Adventures takes guests on memorable voyages of exploration to these places aboard Safari Voyager, a beautifully refurbished exploration vessel with just 32 guest cabins. The expedition guides and crew on this ship are exceptional. An UnCruise Costa Rica & Panama Canal adventure connects guests with nature, wildlife and extraordinary places. Guests spend their days hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and wildlife watching in some of the Central America’s most stunning spots including Panama’s Coiba National Park, Costa Rica’s Osa Conservation Area and Curu National Wildlife Refuge. Snorkeling around Panama’s spectacular Granito de Oro is one of the many highlights of this voyage. The waters around this isolated islet in Coiba National Park have been named one of the top ten diving destinations in the world. Travelers on these cruises enjoy the biodiversity of this region and its abundant wildlife including multiple species of monkeys, sloths, tapirs, coatis, crocodiles, toucans, scarlet macaws, blue-footed boobies, sea turtles, dolphins, whales and more. For more information, visit

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