As the most anticipated holiday of the year, there’s a lot riding on the summer break. Will there be activities to suit every member of the family? Can we pace it so that there’s some rest and relaxation as well as exciting things to see and do? And, with so many destinations on the travel map, how to choose where to go?

If you’re one of those who need guidance, advice, and a sense check of what’s suitable for YOUR OWN FAMILY, you’re in good company. To start you off, we’ve put together a handy guide to give you some insight into our top family summer holiday destinations across AsiaAfricaEuropeLatin America, and North America.

Are you in the summer family holiday mood? We can’t WAIT to have you with us!

Our top family summer holiday destinations

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Belize & Guatemala

Kids on family boat trip in Belize at sunset

Fabulous boat trips, swimming, snorkelling, and diving make Belize a paradise for kids

Why?
The Central American destinations of Belize and Guatemala make for the perfect family summer holiday combination. For Belize, think coral reefs, crystal clear waters, and jungle. For Guatemala, indigenous culture, volcanoes, and Mayan ruins. Both countries work exceptionally well on their own, but combine them and you have an unforgettable summer family holiday!

How?
Opt for our Belize Adventure Highlights or combine it with neighbouring Guatemala in our Belize and Guatemala Highlights sample itinerary. For further inspiration, take a look at our Top 10 activities in Belize with Kids and our Belize & Mexico Photo Blog.

Borneo

Spotting wildlife in Borneo with kids

Search for wild elephants, proboscis monkeys and orangutans on a river trip

Why?
The flight might be long but the rewards on Borneo family holidays are rich! See Orangutans in the wild, snorkel with turtles and watch pygmy elephants from the river. Laze on tropical island beaches or, if you’re feeling adventurous, climb Mount Kinabalu for incredible above-the-clouds-views.

How?
Choose from Active Borneo (2 weeks) or 3-week Borneo in Depth or combine Borneo with Mainland Malaysia. Read our Top 10 Borneo with Kids blog for further inspiration!

Brazil

Rio, Brazil. Visiting cities with kids. Stubborn Mule Travel

Home to both thrilling cities and the unique Amazon Basin, a family summer holiday in Brazil is a top choice

Why?
For the ultimate in FUN family summer holidays, look no further than Brazil. Get the beach vibe in Rio, search for jaguars and giant anteaters in the Pantanal and meander the gorgeous colonial cobbled streets of Paraty.  Re-enact your inner Tarzan in the tropical waterfalls of Bonito – Brazil’s eco-tourism adrenalin capital. Swimsuits a must!

How?
Our Highlights of Southern Brazil itinerary covers it all, as well as the magnificent Iguazu Falls. Or head over to the Amazon on our Rio, Amazon & Salvador sample itinerary. Check out our Brazil with Children blog or how about combining Brazil and Argentina.

Cambodia

Cambodia family holiday - brother and sister posing with dance troop

Meet traditional dancers at world-famous Angkor Wat

Why?
There’s so much more to Cambodia family holidays than the largest religious complex in the world – Angkor Wat. Travel here and you’ll discover gorgeous beaches in the south and remote jungles in the north. An incredibly wallet-friendly option, too.

How?
We have two sample itineraries to inspire: Cambodia Highlights and Vietnam & Cambodia Highlights. You might also want to check out our Top 10 Cambodia Activities with Kids.

Canada

Parents and children in the Canadian Rockies on a family summer holiday

Active families will love the spectacular hiking scenery

Why?
A road trip to the Canadian Rockies has to be on every family’s bucket list. Kayak with bears and whales from Vancouver Island and hike on glaciers at the Icefields Parkway. You can gaze at the exquisite mountain reflections in Lake Louise and enjoy the freedom to stop as often as you like on a self-drive family summer holiday from Vancouver to Banff.

How?
Our Western Canada for families itinerary takes you from city to island to mountains, in just two weeks.  Or enjoy the quieter charms of the Lakes, Falls & Cities of Ontario. Canada is perfect for a self-drive family holiday and we can easily extend either route if you can stretch to a longer trip.

Costa Rica

Arenal, Costa Rica with kids adventure

Fly through the skies on ziplines past Arenal volcano, hike along the canopy walks, and spot rainforest wildlife

Why?
It’s not surprising that Costa Rica is one of your favourite family summer holiday destinations. Packed with untouched jungle and cloud forests, peppered with smoking volcanoes, and teeming with wildlife (hello, sloths!), this relatively small country has exciting experiences by the bucketful.

How?
Take a look at our 2-week Costa Rica Summer Tour or Costa Rica & Panama sample itineraries and our Top 10 Costa Rica activities with kids blog. Costa Rica is a great self-drive destination, too.

Crete

Father and son on Crete summer holiday

Enjoy some family time on the island of Crete, with active days and delicious food eaten al fresco

Why?
As the largest island in Greece, we’ve allowed Crete its own individual section because of the huge number of family-friendly activities. Wander the atmospheric streets of Chania, go hiking in a spectacular hidden gorge, enjoy sea-kayaking, or try your hand at cycling, slow-travel style, through picturesque villages.

How?
Want to know more? Take a look at our 10-day Crete Adventure for what you could be doing this summer. You may also be inspired by our Top 10 Crete with Kids blog. Parakalo!

Croatia

White-water rafting on Croatia family summer holiday

The kids will love rafting, river kayaking, and cliff jumping on a family summer holiday in Croatia

Why?
Croatia has fast become one of our most popular destinations for a family summer holiday – and with good reason. From the Game of Thrones walled cities of Dubrovnik and Split to gorgeous coastal towns, mountains and islands, there’s endless scope for active adventures, too. Stunning.

How?
We’ve three sample itineraries to choose from; Highlights of Croatia (2 weeks), our 7-day Croatia Short Break or you can combine Slovenia and Croatia. Check out our Top 10 Croatia with Kids blog too!

Ecuador & Galapagos

Family wildlife holidays in the Galapagos - girl on white sand beach with relaxed sea lion

Swim with sea lions, spot weird and wonderful birdlife, and get up close to giant tortoises

Why?
Ecuador & The Galapagos Islands are the perfect combo for a family summer holiday! First of all, experience the incredible Amazonian wildlife and jungle, colonial market towns, and volcanic landscapes in mainland Ecuador. Then head 850 miles off-shore to The Galapagos Islands, the world’s most unique wildlife destination.

How?
Check our 2-week Volcanoes & Jungles or 14-day Ecuador & Galapagos Highlights sample itineraries. For further inspiration, look at our Top 10 Galapagos with Kids blog, The Ultimate Galapagos Guide and A Typical Day on a Galapagos Island Cruise

Greece

Parent with kids on Greece trip

With rafting, sea kayaking, hiking, and eating al fresco, what’s not to love on a family summer holiday in Greece

Why?
If you’re wanting a more adventurous Greece family summer holiday experience than those offered by the usual fly-and-flop, we’d love to help you. Explore sea caves by boat. Gorge on delicious fresh calamari. Go white-water rafting in crystal clear waters and discover ancient ruins.

How
Our popular Athens and Cyclades trip combines the mainland with the best the islands have to offer. You can also take a look at our Peloponnese Adventure  and check out our Top 10 Greece with Kids blog, too!

Iceland

Iceland boat trip on family summer holiday

Share epic family adventures in Iceland – read our Iceland reviews

Why?
For jaw-dropping, mind-bending scenery, look no further than Iceland for your summer holiday. Sunshine is not guaranteed, but dramatic (sometimes erupting) volcanoes, raging waterfalls, icebergs-on-the-beach, puffins, hot springs and more are all on the cards.

How?
If you’ve got two weeks, our Iceland in Summer trip is the answer. Circumnavigating the island, you’ll tick off all the highlights and more. Don’t have that long? Stick to the south and west of the country, and you’ll still spend most of your time goggling out the window at the ever changing drama.

Indonesia & Bali

Boys going canyoning in Bali

Enjoy some adrenaline-fuelled white-water rafting on the Ayung River

Why?
Lush rice-terraces, oodles of fun family-friendly activities, live volcanoes, and mouth-watering food – Indonesia is a microcosm of Asia. Most of our families concentrate on the well-known island of Bali and the snorkelling paradise that is the Komodo Islands, home to the famous dragons. But you can also add in the beaches of Lombok and the temples of Java – even the orangutans in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) if you’re really up for adventure!

How?
We can create a bespoke itinerary to any island or combination of islands, but take a look at our Relaxing Bali or Active Bali & Komodo for a flavour. You might also want to check out our Top 10 Bali with Kids blog, too.

Japan

Youngster trying Japanese snacks in Tokyo on family summer holiday

Kids will be fascinated by the mix of neon-lit, futuristic cities and traditional ways of life

Why?
Japan offers an experience like no other. From snapping geishas as they waft by on the ancient streets of Kyoto, to soaring up to the top of a skyscraper in Tokyo to admire the sea of neon below, this is a place of contrasts, where the children will be always agog.

How?
Check out our Top-10 things to do on a family holiday in Japan blog for inspiration then choose our Highlights of Japan trip if you’ve got 14 days, and our Japan in 9 Days if you’ve got a shorter duration.

Kenya

Teenager taking photo of elephant herd in Kenya

With superb child-friendly safaris and palm-fringed beaches, Kenya is a top choice for a family summer holiday

Why?
There’s no better time to visit Kenya, the quintessential African safari destination, than the summer holidays!  Scan the rolling plains for the Big 5, share stories around the campfire, and sleep under canvas. Kenya has a long and beautiful palm-fringed coastline too, for perfect R&R.

How?
Check out our sample 15-day Highlights of Kenya itinerary or our 10-day Kenya Safari & Beach trip. You might also want to look at our Top 10 Kenya with Kids or read our family safari overview.

Madagascar

Black and white lemur, spot on family summer holidays

Wide-eyed lemurs, tropical beaches, and extraordinary vistas are just some of Madagascar’s attractions

Why?
Bigger than Spain or Germany (a fact that comes as a surprise to many of us), this fourth-largest island in the world has an amazing variety of landscapes and wildlife to encounter, from rainforest to rice paddies, from wide-eyed lemurs to dainty butterflies. The activities available in Madagascar are incredible, too. Think night walks to seek out nocturnal creatures, whale-watching, canoeing, and swimming and snorkelling off tropical beaches – to mention just a few.

How?
For the classic wildlife-and-beaches combo (including some brilliant beach hotels), we have a fantastic Natural Madagascar itinerary. Or, as the name suggests, Landscapes of Southern Madagascar adds some more stunning scenery to the mix, including Isalo National Park with its rugged canyons and rolling plains. Note that this trip involves a certain amount of moving around, so with Madagascar’s limited infrastructure this is only suitable for more adventurous families.

Mexico

Mexico customer reviews - Stubborn Mule Travel

Mix Mayan ruins with cenote swimming, time on the beach, and spotting wildlife on a Mexican family summer

Why?
About as far away from package holiday hell as it gets, our family summer holidays to Mexico will fascinate and enthrall. Focussing on the Yucatan Peninsula you’ll explore Mayan ruins, gorgeous beaches, picturesque cenotes, enticing hacienda stays, exciting activities and jungle.

How?
It’s easy to explore on a self-drive basis but we can arrange a driver if you prefer – see our Best of the Yucatan Peninsula sample itinerary or our Best of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula & Belize. For more inspiration check out Top 10 Things to do in Mexico with the kids.

Namibia

Family holiday, on safari in Namibia, in dry landscape

Enjoy a serious family adventure in Namibia with visits to safari sanctuaries, huge sand dunes and boat trips

Why?
If you’re looking for a unique family holiday destination, look no further than Namibia. Go wildlife spotting in Etosha National Park, climb the world’s highest sand dunes, camp out in the Namib desert, and descend into the second-deepest gorge in the world. This is a great destination for a self-drive family road trip.

How?
Look at our Highlights of Namibia (2 weeks) and Highlights of Namibia (3 weeks) sample itineraries and be inspired by our Top 10 Activities in Namibia with Kids blog.

Norway

Family in hot tub with s stunning view over a Norwegian fjord

Our favourite tub-with-a-view, the perfect way to soak up Norway’s spectacular fjord vistas

Why?
For the active outdoor family, Norway is the perfect destination. It offers cheap short flights, jaw-dropping fjord scenery, waterfall hikes, glacier exploration, body rafting, kayaking, incredible cuisine, remote lakeside hotels, and floating saunas. Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy a blissful lack of crowds even in the height of summer.

How?
Where else can you take one of the world’s most scenic railway journeys high into the mountains to zip wire back down through the valley, then hop on a mountain bike and cycle to your exquisite fjord hotel? That is just one morning in our Norway Summer family holiday.

Peru

Family holiday in Peru - kids zip-lining

Peru’s Sacred Valley is an exciting base for outdoor activities including zip-lining with incredible views

Why?
Peru offers an incredible range of activities and adventures: hike (or train) to Machu Picchu, fish for piranhas in the Amazon, raft or zip-line in the Sacred Valley and wander the streets of Cusco for a magical family holiday. This is not your destination if you want heat – our summer is Peru‘s winter, but July and August offer beautiful blue skies and magnificent Andean views.

How?
We’ve got a two-week and a three-week option depending on how long you can eke out your holiday for. If you need more inspiration have a look at our Top Ten things to do in Peru with Kids blog.

Slovenia

Group of young people canyoning in Slovenia

Adventurous kids will love the canyoning experience with easy slides and jumps into crystal-clear pools

Why?
Staggeringly beautiful mountain landscapes and fantastically family-friendly activities make tiny Slovenia a paradise for outdoorsy parents and kids – hiking, cycling, kayaking, SUP paddleboarding, and white water rafting are just some of the great sports you can sign up for, and you can also explore caves and experience all the fun of truffle hunting.

How?
Slovenia has a tiny Adriatic coastline with a pretty little seaside town, Piran, stuck out on a peninsula. The country is so compact that you can enjoy the interior and coast in one day. Our Highlights of Slovenia itinerary combines the mountains with a short trip to Piran. However, if you want more beach action, we advise you to hop over the border to Croatia where there is a greater variety of good beach accommodation, as on our Slovenia and Croatia holiday.

South Africa

Family on safari in South Africa with three elephants beside the vehicle

The UK’s summer is the perfect time to go on safari in South Africa’s Kruger National Park

Why?
Year-round sunshine, zero jet lag, fantastic beaches, and stunning safari experiences make South Africa a perennial favourite for family holidays. In our summer months (South Africa’s winter), our trips focus on Kruger National Park, the mountains of Eswatini (Swaziland), the lush wetlands of St Lucia, and the beaches of Durban. (Note that Cape Town and the Garden Route are best saved for another time of year as July and August can be a bit wet and cold).

How?
Take a look at our Kruger & Beach Family Safari for a taste of what’s on offer here. And be inspired by our Top Ten Activities to do in South Africa with Kids.

Sri Lanka

Hats - included on family holiday packing checklist

Elephants, delicious curries, train trips, ancient ruins and gorgeous beaches – what’s not to love

Why?
Sri Lanka offers the perfect blend of culture, wildlife, historic sites, palm-fringed beaches and family-friendly activities. With so much variety on offer, Sri Lanka will always be a sure-fire, all-round family holiday winner. Some amazing hotels too!

How?
Our two-week Sri Lanka Summer sample tour offers a huge range of family-friendly experiences you’ll remember for years to come! Do check out our Top 10 Sri Lanka with Kids experiences, too.

Tanzania

Family learning bush survival skills

Spot the Big Five on safari and then learn bush survival skills with the Hadza

Why?
Tanzania is one of the greatest wildlife destinations on earth and the perfect location for the ultimate safari family summer holiday. Head here for The Big-5, The Little-4, and everything in between. You’ll take in the Serengeti Plains and Ngorongoro Crater as well as Mt Kilimanjaro and the spice island of Zanzibar for R&R.

How?
For world-class game viewing and world-class beaches see our sample Tanzania Safari and Beach itinerary. Active families with teens might want to experience our Kilimanjaro Family Climb or, at the other end of the activity scale, Top 10 Zanzibar with Kids. You can also check out our Top 10 Tanzania with Kids blog.

Thailand

Family enjoying a boat trip in Thailand

All the family will love Thailand’s glorious coastal scenery and beaches

Why?
If you’re wanting a quintessential Southeast Asia family holiday, Thailand is the perfect introduction. From trekking through the rainforest and visiting hill-tribe villages, to bustling, colourful markets, and paradise beaches, ‘The Land of Smiles’ (and it really is!) has it all.

How?
Choose from our Highlights of Thailand sample itinerary or our Southern Thailand Adventure – both 15 days. Take a look at our Top 10 Thailand with Kids blog for some of our favourite family-friendly activities.

Turkey

Family with teenagers exploring Capadoccia

Kids of all ages love exploring Cappadocia, where they can climb, hike or bike through the lunar-like scenery

Why?
There is far more to a Turkey family summer holiday than just the beach! Boasting a beautiful coastline, other-worldly landscapes, magnificent ancient ruins, amazing cuisine, and the intoxicating buzz of Istanbul, there’s something for everyone. Be as active or relaxed as it suits you.

How?
See our 2-week Highlights of Turkey sample itinerary or our 10-day Turquoise Coast Adventure.

USA

Family in front of Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, USA

San Francisco and its famous bridge is always a highlight of any California family holiday

Why?
Travelling across the States (or even just one state!) is for many families the ultimate bucket list family summer holiday – with something for everyone. From national parks like the Grand Canyon or Yosemite to embracing your inner cowboy, say ‘Yee-ha!’ to the USA!

How?
We can create many exciting combinations of routes but here are our tried and tested most popular USA family summer holidays: Classic California for Families and Western National Parks USA.

Vietnam

Mother and daughter take a ride in a crabbing boat in Vietnam

Take a ride in a traditional circular basket boat in Hoi An

Why?
One of the friendliest countries in South East Asia, Vietnam’s sheer geographical length delivers huge diversity in terms of landscapes, culture and food. We show you the best of it, from hill tribe homestays to overnights on traditional junks in Halong Bay.

How?
We’ve three sample itineraries to choose from: Highlights of Vietnam; Northern Vietnam and a combo trip, Cambodia & Southern Vietnam. For the best ideas of what to see and do there, take a look at our Top 10 Vietnam with Kids blog

Ask us about family summer holiday destinations for 2024 and beyond

As parents ourselves, we know exactly what each destination offers for the family traveller – because we’ve been there with our own kids!

Check out our blogs on Holidays with Teenagers, Multigenerational Holidays, and Holidays with Toddlers for more ideas. Or see our Around the World in Six School Holidays calendar for where to travel and when, or our Best Family Holiday Destinations summary.

And if you’d like to know more about these or any of our destinations, we’d love to tell you about them. Call us on 01728 752751 or use our contact form.

Liddy Pleasants, MD Stubborn Mule Travel

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