Where to go and what to do on the best trips for kids

There's a great deal to consider when planning a family vacation with kids, and choosing a destination is dependent on both their ages and your budget. Luckily, we've got plenty of tips and ideas to help you choose the best trip for you and your brood, whether you're looking to book a budget-friendly getaway in the sun, head for the mountains on an outdoorsy adventure, or splash out on an exotic overseas trip. And whatever you choose to do, you'll easily find a vacation home to suit your needs.

Inspired picks for affordable trips with kids

Need a family vacation but don't want to blow the budget? Our ideas for cheap trips with kids will help you plan a relaxing break without worrying about the costs. You could keep the expenses down, for example, by choosing a cabin rental in a national park, or plan a low-key beachside vacation where relaxing in the sand with the kids takes precedence over flashy villa rentals or expensive theme parks. Either way, you'll see that you don't have to spend a fortune to have quality vacation time with the family.

Head to Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park's 3,500 sq ft of wild landscapes will leave your kids wide-eyed with wonder. There are canyons, plains, mountains, and forests, as well as steaming, bubbling geysers and hot springs that look as if they've been plucked straight from another planet. Then there's the wildlife: wolves, grizzly bears, elk, moose, and herds of bison all call Yellowstone home. This is an extremely popular family destination, especially during the peak summer and winter vacations, so you'll need to book your vacation rental home, cottage, or cabin well in advance.

A trip to Myrtle Beach won't break the bank

Both brash and busy, Myrtle Beach isn't the place to go for a relaxing couples vacation, but both kids and teenagers will have a blast here. First there's the long string of beaches, with soft white sand and calm water that's perfect for paddling in. Then, there are the water parks if you'd like to cool off somewhere other than the ocean, as well as amusement parks where kids both big and small can get their kicks on the rides and in the arcades. Family-friendly vacation rental homes in Myrtle Beach come in the form of condos, cottages, and villas.

Take a vacation overseas with the kids

For a top-notch vacation with kids, hopping on an international flight can be a good choice—learning about the culture, history, and food of another country is always an enriching experience for both little ones and teens. Where should you head for? Well, while a trip to Paris or Hong Kong sounds exciting, a vacation home rental in the Caribbean or Mexico delivers exotic vibes by the bucketload, without the long-haul hours (or jet lag) involved on a trip to Europe or Asia.

Trips with kids in Jamaica

The Caribbean island of Jamaica packs a big vacation punch, especially for families. The locals are welcoming, the food is excellent and kid-friendly, and there's a wide range of vacation rental homes to choose from, most of which have access to a shared or private pool. What's more, the island is lined with beautiful beaches, from the wild waters of laid-back Treasure Beach to the bustling sands of Montego Bay, which has more to offer for teenagers. Head inland and you'll find lush green hills, coffee farms, and hiking and biking opportunities aplenty.

South of the border, down Mexico way

You can't get much better than Mexico when choosing a vacation rental. There's warm weather, delicious food, gorgeous beaches, and plenty of ancient Mayan sites to keep you happy. It's a big country so head for the pint-sized Yucatán Peninsula where you can either stick close to the the bright lights and high-rises of Cancun, or chill out in laid-back Tulum. Either way there'll be swimming, snorkeling, and plenty of beachside antics to keep you occupied, plus colonial towns and age-old ruins if you tire of the sands.

Best vacations for toddlers

If you're vacationing with a toddler, there there are special considerations you'll need to bear in mind to make your trip fun for all the family. Going somewhere closer to home can make the experience less stressful, and you don't want to have to worry about vaccinations, malaria tablets, or sky-high temperatures. Similarly, you'll need a vacation rental that's toddler-proof, without steep steps, sharp drops, or too many breakables—and preferably with space for their little legs to burn off steam, too. Read our destination tips to find out more.

Fun under the Florida sun

The Sunshine State is a good bet for a family vacation with kids. Go for a villa rental on the Florida Keys and you'll have all the clear seas, white sands, and laid-back vibes you can want, while further inland, your kids will be charmed by a certain world-famous mouse. Head for Orlando and not only will you be able to see Mickey in Walt Disney World, but you can also check out Universal Studios, Sea World, and a host of other kid-friendly attractions.

Hit the beach in California

With balmy temperatures year-round and plenty of activities for energetic little ones, California is deservedly popular with families. Vacation home rentals near the beach offer either gently sloping sandy beaches and safe shallow waters, or wilder shores that are better for teenagers and grown-ups. But holidays with kids here aren't just all about the beach. There's everything from theme parks to nature reserves to cosmopolitan cities, so that your kids will never run out of things to do, whatever their ages.