Right about now, millions of parents around the world are eager to find ways to help their kids burn off lots of energy. Cooped up due to the pandemic, it might seem to some that spring will never arrive and that when it does, it will be time for planning family beach vacations.
Here’s the thing, you don’t have to wait to begin planning your best family beach vacations. In fact, some travel experts might argue that now is the perfect time to discuss such plans with the family. While we are going to give you a good list of the most affordable family beach vacations and the best beach vacations with kids, we’ll start with a bit of expert advice about travel planning with kids.
Include All Voices
As one parent who does travel writing explained, “Planning a family vacation can be enjoyable, but it can be overwhelming too. Usually, one person does all the work and everyone else shows up when it’s time to leave. Have you ever thought about giving kids a say in the process?”
If you immediately said, “No way!” you may want to reconsider. A survey indicated that roughly 87% of parents allow kids to participate in vacation plans, and if you are about to look for options in family beach vacations, it may be helpful to include yours.
Here’s how the experts do it:
Read about destinations. Thinking about beach vacations with kids means getting them excited about a trip to a specific area. Make a list of the locations you are considering, and then find reading materials that will inform and inspire kids. For example, if you are going to head to the Outer Banks, why not find some materials about the wild horses, the lighthouses, the historical background of the region, and the many cultures that exist there. Don’t forget to provide them with information about the activities they can enjoy when they are in the area. And most importantly, don’t forget to read through these materials with them.
Visit the Internet. When looking at options for family beach vacations, use the internet to give kids a visual introduction to the locations you are considering. Let them sit with you to browse travel sites and even sites like Pinterest where lots of visuals and creative ideas appear.
Zoom it. Have some of your neighbors, friends or family members been to one of the destinations? If so, book a conference call through a site like Zoom and see how enthusiastic they get when talking to someone who has already visited.
Narrow it down. Once you have some ideas for family beach vacations, start to narrow it down by the activities for everyone to enjoy. For example, you are going to look at a beach vacation, but will it be close to other activities? Maybe you have a few hikers? Maybe some cyclists? Perhaps there is a dedicated shopper? Maybe there is an adrenaline junky who wants amusement park rides or ziplines?
Look at accommodations as a group. Whether the emphasis is on affordable vacations for large families or more about “something for everyone,” you must include everyone in a discussion about accommodations. Where you stay is going to become a home away from home, and kids like to have a say in things like bedrooms, amenities, views, and more. Go over the options online and you might be surprised at the feedback kids give. They might not like the looks of a space or want a property for its pool or patio.
The Top Locations for Best Family Beach Vacations
And where are groups and families going on these best family beach vacations? The emphasis is often “coastal” and divided between east and west coast locations.
The top east coast family vacations include the Outer Banks and Hilton Head in North Carolina, the coastal areas just east of Orlando in Florida, Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, and Virginia Beach. While this is not a full list of the locations for the best family vacations on the east coast, it hits some of the most famous.
There are also many locations for family beach vacations heading west to California. In fact, it could be said that almost the entirety of California’s coast is worthy of a visit. However, the San Diego area is likely to hit the top of the list with your kids because it is home to so many amusement parks and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
Have you thought about copying the Brady Bunch and taking your family on a beach vacation in Hawaii? It is more affordable than ever and is likely to remain so. It has several islands, including Kauai that has appeared in such family-friendly films as the Jurassic Park series and at least one Indiana Jones film. It has several wonderful beaches and offers amazing hiking trails, sightseeing, and more.
If you are eager to introduce your children to the excitement of international travel, and yet still book cheap family beach vacations, you must turn your attention to the Caribbean. Family-friendly, the islands all have unique histories that kids will love to study or learn about before visiting, and you will find excellent beaches on every single island.
Additionally, many islands feature villas that will serve as destinations in their own right. For example, you can visit Barbados and stay close to the white sands while enjoying the privacy of a pool patio you call your own. You can go to St Barts and gaze down at a town like Gustavia from your pool deck, or even from the sands along the harbor. There are also many amazing options for a beach vacation on intriguing Turks & Caicos, where there is a diversity of beaches offering all kinds of conditions for swimming, snorkeling, diving, and more.
Now is a perfect time to make planning a beach vacation a family activity. Involve your kids in learning about the different locations, options and exciting places they can go!