Great family trip ideas in the USA and beyond

Whether your family is looking for a different kind of getaway or new ways to enjoy your favorite places, there are plenty of great vacation rentals that can help make your trip unique. Perhaps you’d all like a taste of living in the wilderness—with all the comforts of home. Or you might want to try a bit of big-city living while enjoying all the sights that the natives are too busy to see. Or perhaps indulging in a luxury family vacation with all the amenities, without necessarily breaking the bank, sounds appealing. Here are some ideas.

Roughing it in the Rockies with the comforts of home

Adventure-seeking families might enjoy a stay in the rustic Rocky Mountains, a year-round wonderland brimming with natural beauty, wildlife, and outdoor activities. There are challenging ski slopes, hikes and rock-climbing with breathtaking views, and mountain bike trails galore. The city of Boulder, Colorado in the foothills of the Rockies offers art exhibits, craft shops, and cozy dining spots. You can feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere in a rustic log cabin rental with elk and deer as your next-door neighbors, yet be close to civilization. Your mountain retreat can include amenities such as a fireplace, a creekside location, or loaner bikes. The peak season for visitors is April through September, with hot sunny days and cool nights. Prices dip when the weather turns cooler and wetter the rest of the year, and that’s when some of the best skiing happens to be.

Go native in the NYC

For a change of pace, your family might want to try a bit of big-city living while enjoying the sights that the natives are too busy to see. New York City fascinates millions of visitors of all ages with its iconic landmarks, entertainment, museums, and more. Bustling Manhattan draws the biggest crowds, but other boroughs boast world-class attractions. A vacation rental can help you feel right at home in the big city, whether it’s in a brownstone, prewar apartment house, modern condo, or high-rise. Midtown Manhattan prices are on the high end, especially from July–November, while other neighborhoods are easier on the wallet. January–February are cheapest, but dress warmly. In any borough, it’s easy to find rentals near restaurants/bars and transportation, with amenities including hardwood floors, gardens, and full kitchens. You can come home after a busy day to enjoy a movie on the flatscreen, enjoy a takeout meal in your dining room, or perhaps recharge in front of the fireplace.

Try something different in Southern California

Perhaps the family wants to visit a favorite place, like Southern California, but try something different besides beloved haunts such as Disneyland or the San Diego Zoo. You could spice things up with a visit to the vibrant desert oasis of Palm Springs in the Coachella Valley. Just a 2-hour drive from Los Angeles, it has top-notch restaurants, museums, and mid-century modern architecture. And everywhere you look there are serene mountains and unique desert scenery. Outdoor pursuits include tennis and golf, plus nature hikes and rock climbing in cool, shady canyons, on rugged high-elevation mountain trails, or in the bizarrely beautiful landscape of Joshua Tree National Park. Accommodations range from upscale villa rentals with panoramic views, private pool with waterfall, and hot tub, to chic cottages that are surprisingly inexpensive and boast amenities such as a private pool and stunning mountain views. The best weather is from October–April, but the best bargains are found in the hotter months of May–September.

Spoil the whole family in a luxury villa in Nicaragua

For a great luxury family vacation, the mountains and Pacific beaches of Nicaragua offer sumptuous tropical getaways and near-perfect weather year-round. Nicaragua is less well-known than Costa Rica or other Central American destinations, so vacations here tend to be easier on the wallet for the same level of top-notch amenities. Activities include mountain biking through rainforests, horseback riding near smoky volcanoes, surfing in turquoise waters, and relaxing on a pristine beach. Even the most secluded vacation homes are within an easy drive of the nearest town for dining, shopping, and sightseeing. Villa rentals on the oceanfront or in the mountains can pamper you with a private infinity pool, a hammock overlooking the beach, a smart TV, in-home massages, or a housekeeper who will also cook meals for you. The best deals can be found in January–February and April–September.