Best Vacations You've Had!

Updated on April 21, 2012
L.G. asks from Hollywood, MD
19 answers

Hey There!

So, I am looking for some vacation ideas... What are the best vacations you have taken with young kids (5 yo and under)? We wouldn't use a babysitting service (if they had one), so we're looking for fun things to do with the kids.

Where are some places to go and things to do for a FUN family vacation?

Thanks in advance!

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answers from Albuquerque on

We went to an all inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic with kids under 5 and loved it. No kids club or anything, just a super fun family oriented resort. The pool was great, there was a beach to play on, and we never had to worry about cooking meals.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Until my son was about 6-7, vacations are really just "home" somewhere else.
It seems like moms don't really get a vacation--even on vacation, right?!

So, until then, I'd think about things that are:
Close by (withing 6-7 hrs)
Family friendly (beach resorts that welcome family groups)
Offer conveniences (kid activities, pool, beach, other easy entertainment options that never put you far from accommodations for nap time!)

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Santa Fe on

We rented a house in Maine for a week one a small town near Acadia Nat'l Park. We were right on the ocean where the kids could play on the beach in the sand. We were by a trail through the woods where you could walk to a rocky beach and at low tide could cross over to an island to explore. And we hiked in Acadia. It was sooooo relaxing and fun. When our son was 3 we went to Hawaii (Maui) for a week...again rented a house with family members. That was completely awesome. Once my husband had a conference in Monterrey Bay CA, so we went there for a few days. We took the kids to the beach and to the Monterrey Bay aquarium. It was really pretty there. Once he had a conference in Sacramento, CA. We stayed there, rented bikes, went to the train museum and rode a train. We went to Disney World once, but our son (who was 5) was moody all day and refused to do most rides. He hated the lines. There were huge crowds of people. Our daughter was very tiny so she was easy. I did not think it was very fun, personally. The lines and numbers of people were crazy there. I just had friends who returned from a week vacation in the Florida Keys. They rented a house, canoed with their young kids in a refuge, swam, snorkled and hiked. It sounded nice.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We love to travel with our kids, and my oldest son will be 5 this month. We've been to Hawaii twice (Maui and Kauai). We really only went to the beach in Maui and didn't explore the island too much. My husband is too freaked out about the Road to Hana and all the parking on the side of the road to see sites with our kids so young. We went with 3 kids this past February (youngest was 11mos), and it was one of our best trips. Kauai is small enough that you can really get around and see the entire island. Also, our boys are crazy about "sea creatures" so they got to see humpback whales from the shore and giant sea turtles at the beach. Of course, they love Disney but they loved Sea World even more. Disney is really just another amusement park to them. We've been to all-inclusives in Cancun. We don't ever leave the property and they swim, go to the playground, play in the sand forever. Meals aren't very stressful because if they don't eat, there's always other food available. I am actually pushing to go to Los Angeles and San Diego this summer. Cars Land is opening, and my oldest is almost too old for Cars so the boys would LOVE it this year. Also, there's the Santa Monica Pier, La Brea tarpits and the beach. There is a giant octopus at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Then there's Sea World in San Diego, so we'd get Disney and Sea World without having to deal with Orlando and being in a city. The only time we used a kids club was on a Disney Cruise; other than that, the kids are always with us.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Kauai -- so much outdoor stuff to do there with kids and the beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world, IMO

Costa Rica -- what an adventure and Costa Ricans adore children! PM me if you want suggestions ...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

We've had some nice ones renting houses near beaches - in San Diego, in Southern Maine, and then one time in Williamsburg, we rented someone's time share - that was incredibly nice. Very good deal, and super fun!! Best advice: Keep it simple, not too much overplanning.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I love Disneyworld:)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bismarck on

Virginia Beach! I would take my kids there every year if I wasn't so far away!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albany on

We have rented a house in Cape Cod the last few years. It's family friendly and easy. There's a lot of exploring to do. And it's relaxing. My 5 year old D loves it.



answers from Detroit on

Cape Cod, MA
Block Island, RI
Myrtle Beach, SC
Northern Michigan - Lake Michigan, Traverse City, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Mackinac Island, etc.

Disney World!
Disney Cruise!

Coming up though, is our biggest vacation yet - 2 week Disney Cruise to Hawaii, then 5 days at Disneyland in CA! :D It better be the best vacation we've ever had!



answers from New York on

Our best vacations with the girls when they were that age, Cape Cod in mid-Sept. Kids love the beach, there's so much to do, collect shells, observe creatures in tidal pools, build sand castles.



answers from Norfolk on

Disney World is my #1 choice. I could write a book about how wonderful it is.

Second place for my family is probably Great Wolf Lodge. It was great when my husband missed a whole summer with our kids because of a deployment, but we were able to have water fun as a family without worrying about weather issues.

My husband and I went to Massanutten Resort in the mountains of Western Virginia during the last week of snow skiing season. It was awesome! They are an All Seasons resort, so there are great family activities all year round. (Including an indoor-outdoor water park.) We plan on taking the kids there at some point, but have not yet.

I don't live far from Virginia Beach, so perhaps I am jaded. To me, it just seems like a pale imitation of Myrtle Beach. Sorry.



answers from Washington DC on

Loved going to Turks & Caicos (with our two -- one was under 1, and the other was 4.)
San Diego
Disneyland (though this was an exhausting trip too)
Paris! (Europe actually has a ton of child-friendly places)


answers from Kalamazoo on

Well, obviously Disney! We went when the kids were 2 and 4. We just went to magic kingdom and also to sea world in Orlando. It was a blast! Beaches are always fun with little ones, they can just play in the sand forever! If you are planning for this summer, you could look into places along Lake Michigan here in Michigan. Beautiful sandy beaches and dunes with crystal clear freshwater - not salt water! We went to Mammoth Cave in KY is cool too. We went there when kids were 3 and 5. I had to carry my youngest up and down some flights of stairs in the cave, but other than that the kids thought it was awesome. So, depends on what you want to do - an adventure? a relaxing time? theme park? What do you guys like to do? Some families would be contect chillin at the hotel pool - not us!! Oh, Niagara Falls is fun for little ones too! But you have to get a passport now I think and all the cool stuff is on the Canada side. Maybe rent a cabin in the mountains and just enjoy nature hikes?



answers from Los Angeles on

When my kids were that little, a trip to visit grandma and grandpa was the "cat's meow".

They lived about 60 miles from Knott's Berry Farm, Disneyland, the beach, and all the other "attractions" southern California had to offer. Southern California and Orlando would both be wonderful for little kids.

I would take them on a cruise ship. Lots of the modern cruise ships have multiple pools, water slides and kids clubs. They always have lots of food choices and entertainment for the "little ones."

We stayed at an all inclusive for those 16 and older, but there are lots of all inclusive resorts that welcome little kids. We had a wonderful time and the food was GREAT and abundant.

For all inclusive resorts in the caribbean, go to

I hope you have a wonderful time. Good luck to you and yours.



answers from Washington DC on

Lancaster, PA. There is a lot to do in the area. There is the Strasburg Railroad and train as well as toy train museums. It is Amish country, so there are many things to see and do about that. There is a great place called Hands On House. It's a children's museum that is all Hands On. In the city is a hands on science museum. My 5 year old and 2 year old both found things to do there. My oldest's favorite was building a dam.



answers from New York on

ONe think I would love to do it go to the Dells - so many water parks!

We went on a cruise. We put my daughter in camp a few times (so we could go to dinner and a show or the comedy club or to the spa) and she would cry because she didn't want to leave! Best vacation ever for all of us!

Disney was AWESOME!

I am hoping to do Atlantis in the next year or so.



answers from Waco on

Disneyworld and Grand Cayman! Those are my 2 favorites!



answers from Dallas on

#1 was Disneyworld and #2 was Sea World in San Antonio. They were both a blast!

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