The Best Countries to Visit With Kids

8 July 2023 Posted by: Lake Lawn B&B Travel Tips

What are the best countries to visit with family?

An international family vacation is not just a great way to bond with your children, making unforgettable memories, but you’ll also encourage them to explore different cultures, broaden their horizons and help them to become more open-minded.

Of course, before you can pack your bags and hit the road, everyone has to have their passport, even the youngest of the bunch. Fortunately, getting a child’s passport is simple, and you can even expedite the process using passport agency services.

Once the paperwork is sorted, you and your kiddos are ready to jet off to far-flung corners of the globe.

Whether you’re looking for a tropical beach, historic cities to visit, or lots of outdoor adventures, this list offers a range of countries to fit different interests and children of different ages.

So let’s get to it and look at some of the best destinations for families.

10 Best Countries to Visit With Kids

Even if you are an experienced traveler, traveling with kids is often a more complicated story. Parents want the best for their little ones. So, taking them to a place where they could get hurt, or worse, become ill, is an understandable concern.

Naturally, you want to take your children to the perfect vacation spot where they can run free, and you can rest easy knowing they are safe and sound.

You might ask, does such a place even exist? Actually, quite a few places fit into the category of the best countries to visit with kids.

1. Iceland

A father with his young daughter on his shoulders, with a large waterfall in the background
Iceland, one of the best destinations for families

Do your children like action and adventure? Then, Iceland is an excellent choice.

As the Game of Thrones backyard, Iceland has lots of options for families to choose from.

First of all, this destination is extremely safe, so you can focus on exploring without worry. That’s why it is at the top of the list of the best countries to visit with family. Plus, it has lots of outdoor fun to enjoy.

Families can cycle outdoors, have picnics in natural forests, visit the glaciers, tour the waterfalls, or even traverse the ocean on a whale-watching tour.

And let’s not forget the Northern Lights! Your kids will never forget those nights spent star-gazing under this natural wonder. In fact, they’ll likely remember this family trip for years to come.

Regarding eating out, restaurants in Iceland cater to families, and most even have a play area for children. So, families won’t struggle to decide where to eat.

However, I should note that while this country is one of the best destinations for families, it can also be expensive.

Also Read: Iceland on a Budget – How to Save Money in Iceland

2. Spain

Two boys under an umbrella on a beach in Spain
Spain has so many family friendly beaches

The Spanish are very family-oriented, which is why it’s no surprise that Spain is one of the best countries to visit with kids.

Camping (or glamping) is a popular option for families here, and most campgrounds have a pool, a restaurant, excursions, activities for children during the day, and entertainment for the whole family at night.

On the other hand, you can also visit stunning cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, or Seville to experience Spanish culture, cuisine, and architecture.

Most Spanish cities also have plenty of parks and activities for families to enjoy. Not to mention, this country is super safe, meaning parents can just focus on making memories with their little ones.

Whether you visit the bustling streets of Madrid or the rocky beaches of the Costa Brava, Spain has something for everyone.

Also Read:

3. Costa Rica

An aerial view of a white sandy beach with sun loungers and green jungle in the background
Tortuga Island, Costa Rica – great for a family vacation

Choosing the perfect location for a holiday is sometimes tough for parents. Usually, it’s a battle between an activity-packed destination and a relaxed option. Luckily, Costa Rica brings the best of both worlds!

Imagine not needing to compromise on your next vacation. Sound far-fetched? It’s not. The land of ‘pura vida’ is one of the best countries for families to visit for this reason.

What does this tropical destination have to offer kids? Well, Costa Rica is a haven for animal lovers. Additionally, it has lots of sightseeing activities like hiking up to volcanoes and touring the forest.

There are plenty of options for adrenaline junkies, including river rafting and ziplining through the forests.

On the other hand, there is an array of stunning beaches to enjoy, many of which are remote yet easily accessible.

This country is a great option for international family trips since it also has beach resorts with plenty of amenities for those looking to sit back and relax.

Also Read: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Seashells or Take Them From the Beach

4. Mexico

a resort with 2 pools and sun loungers with the beach and ocean in the bachground
Cancun, a popular destination for an international family vacation

If vibrant local culture, beautiful beaches, ancient landmarks, and delicious food are what you’re after, then Mexico is one of the best family travel destinations.

Cities like Tulum and Cancun are popular destinations, allowing you to find affordable flights for the whole family. Also, many of these locations boast stellar all-inclusive resorts. These are ideal lodgings for families with younger children since you can keep an eye on your spending and still please everyone.

Although, it is also possible to experience Mexico off the beaten path. There are plenty of local tours that take you to Mayan ruins, chocolate-making workshops, or outdoor excursions on four-wheelers.

While Mexico is safer than most think, it is important to keep a good head on your shoulders when you step outside of the resorts, especially if you don’t speak the language! Nonetheless, it remains one of the best countries to visit with kids.

Also Read: Important Travel Tips for Mexico

5. Canada

A mother and child hand in hand walking in a forest
Maple Ridge, Canada

Oh, Canada! Traveling through this country conjures images of snow-capped mountains, placid lakes, and the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls.

Alongside its famously friendly locals and the great outdoors, Canada has plenty for families to love and is often listed as one of the most family friendly countries.

As a colder country, Canada is perfect for a wintertime adventure, but it also has a mild summer for those looking to escape the heat.

In the event that your kids are fans of sports like surfing, snowboarding, or skating, Vancouver is a great choice for a day trip!

Montreal is another excellent destination, as this metropolitan French Canadian city has plenty to do, see, and eat.

Whether you prefer excursions in nature or a holiday in the city, planning a fun family vacation is possible in this part of North America.

Tip: when booking your visit to Canada, I highly recommend looking at the weather forecast ahead of time since that can seriously affect the success of your trip.

Also Read:

6. Indonesia (Bali and Beyond)

A girl leaning on the edge of a pool surrounded by tropical vegetation in Bali
Bali, a popular destination for international family trips

Travelers have been flocking to the archipelago of Indonesia for its natural beauty and relaxed way of life.

Although Bali usually gets all the attention and has even become a popular destination for remote workers to move to, there are also 33 other provinces to explore.

This tropical destination has won the hearts of many, including those traveling with children. Indonesia is one of the best international destinations for families looking for a down-to-earth vacation.

Whether your kids are toddlers or tweens, they will love Bali’s beautiful beaches, watersports, and even drinking coconuts by the ocean.

Plus, there are waterparks where families can enjoy more aquatic fun. These waterparks are well-maintained and totally safe.

But, you won’t have to spend your entire vacation in your swimsuit, because Bali also has plenty of culture in the form of tours through rice plantations, forests, and delectable local cuisine.

It may cost a bit to get to Indonesia, but once you are there, it is a very affordable destination!

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7. South Africa

8 penguins on a beach
Kids love visiting the penguins at Betty’s Bay

Just the word ‘safari’ will probably have your kids’ eyes wide in excitement.

Wildlife is a huge attraction for those traveling to Africa, but there are other attractions to see, too.

Of course, finding a kid-friendly location on the continent can give some a headache, but here’s a pro tip: head to Cape Town. Plenty of tours in Africa can be booked from this city.

Cape Town allows you to explore the wonders of Africa, but also keep your children safe and having fun, which makes it one of the best destinations for families.

What kind of fun, you ask? How about seeing elephants and lions up close? A safari paired with a bush dinner and ferry ride is guaranteed to have your children bragging to their friends about this vacation for months.

However, the adventure doesn’t stop there. You can also find Table Mountain in Cape Town, which gives you a view of the city and the ocean in one!

As for the adults on the trip, there are also family-friendly wine-tasting experiences. So, with the kids in tow, you can join a curated wine-tasting trip and see what the fuss is about.

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8. Thailand

several boats in a large bay with bright blue water surrounded by high rocks
A boat trip from Phuket – a great family activity

Thailand is one of those destinations that you often hear travelers describe as an all-time favorite.

From the delicious pad-thais to its cerulean blue waters, there’s plenty to love about this country.

Families can have a great vacation in the Land of Smiles!

The locals are extremely friendly and generally speak English very well. On top of that traveling around the country is incredibly easy with its numerous mini buses and cheap taxis. 

Phuket is an excellent place to start on your Thai journey because it has the most direct flights from other countries. Also, this part of Thailand has many resorts that are well-suited to families and offer babysitting services and children’s clubs. Outside the resorts, there are aquariums, beaches, and tons of fun boat trips you can book to take the kids snorkeling or island hopping.

Also Read: How to Snorkel – Simple & Practical Snorkeling Tips

Of course, as one of the best countries to visit with kids, the attractions don’t stop there.

Chiang Mai is a popular destination away from the famous beaches and islands, with several cultural options, including temples, museums, markets, and great cooking classes. In my opinion, the best Thai food is found in Chiang Mai!

Not far outside of the city, families can also partake in ziplining, rafting, trekking, or visiting an elephant sanctuary.

Bangkok has lots of family-friendly activities as well. Choose from theme parks, indoor playgrounds, go-karting, escape rooms and more to keep your kids entertained!

Also Read: Is Thailand Safe? 9 Things to Know

9. The USA

a smiling young girl with 2 hot air balloons behind her
Hot air balloons in Temecula – An easy day trip from San Diego

With 50 states to explore, the United States is a popular destination for families on vacation.

Natural wonders like Yosemite and the Grand Canyon are huge attractions for fans of camping, hiking, and trail running.

Also Read: What to Bring on a Hike – The Essentials

For families that prefer rollercoasters and theatre shows, a place you have to visit is Orlando, Florida. This city is often called the theme park capital of the world and has famous parks like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, and Epcot for kids to enjoy.

When it comes to visiting cities, New York City is another great option for families, as getting around is easy, there are plenty of family-friendly theatre shows and iconic monuments to visit, and you can always make a pit-stop at the famous toy store, FAO Schwarz.

If your family enjoys seeing historical landmarks, Washington D.C. is an excellent choice for your itinerary. In D.C., you can visit the White House, lots of kid-friendly museums, parks, and much more. Because this is such a popular place to visit, you may find hotels to be expensive. My advice is to look for somewhere in the suburbs like Virginia, Arlington, or Alexandria.

The US has destinations for every kind of traveling family, making it another one of the best countries to visit with kids.

Tip: do you want to see more than just the US with kids? Combine a visit to Florida with a Disney cruise to the Caribbean departing from Florida. Before you book that cruise though, read this article with things to know before going on a Disney cruise.

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10. The UAE (Dubai, Desert & More)

silhouette of 4 people riding 2 camels
A unique activity for the whole family: riding camels in the desert

One of the main challenges of traveling as a family can be different interests.

While some members of the family prefer adventure, others are interested in shopping, and others may just be focused on soaking up the sun.

The United Arab Emirates is one of the best countries to visit with kids because it provides all that and more. Its largest city, Dubai, has invested so much in its tourism sector, and it shows.

There will be no shortage of malls for your family members who love retail therapy. As for the children, they’ll have an array of activities to choose from including cruising around on ATVs, riding on a camel in the desert, splashing around in waterparks, or enjoying the view from the world’s tallest building!

As a multicultural destination, you’d be hard-pressed to find restaurants better than those in Dubai.

Additionally, the UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi is also well worth a visit, especially for families with older kids. From Ferrari World to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, you may have a hard time deciding what to do first.

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Final Thoughts About the Best Countries to Visit With Kids

two young kids looking out at sea, one pointing towards the horizon
Taking the kids to Mallorca, Spain

The countries listed above offer some of the best family travel destinations.

Whether you were looking for a tropical island, outdoor adventures for the whole family, a country with lots of culture and history, or a country with great all-inclusive resorts, there is something for every type of family trip on this list.

I hope you’ve been able to choose the perfect country for your next international family vacation!

International Family Vacation Tips

I’d like to share a few final tips before you book your next family vacation abroad:

  • Make sure you have the right travel insurance for your family before you travel. Of course we all hope nothing goes wrong during your trip but if it does, you’ll be happy you have the right insurance! I’ve written a detailed article about what to look for in travel insurance.
  • For the best deals on hotels and resorts all over the world I use But if I want to stay in one place longer, I often prefer to stay in a vacation home and use VRBO. Especially when traveling with family VRBO is a great option.
  • Before you travel internationally, do check travel advisories for the country you plan to travel to. Make sure you know if you need to apply for a visa before traveling and any other restrictions that may be in place.

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Author: Sanne Wesselman
A traveler, wanderer, digital nomad, and entrepreneur. Owner of marketing company A to Z Marketing.

I spend most of my time living and working abroad and use this website to share “the good, the bad and the ugly” of traveling and living abroad. Visit the About Me page for more info.

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