a large family photo in front of the rocky mountains

Top 5 Family Vacation Styles

Family vacations are a cherished time for bonding, creating memories, and expanding horizons. With a myriad of options available, finding the perfect style to suit your family’s preferences and interests can be an exciting beginning. Knowing what type of vacation you’re looking for is the first step in planning the perfect family vacation! Here’s our guide to the top five family vacation styles:

1. All-inclusive Resorts: For Families Seeking Relaxation

All-inclusive resorts offer a convenient and stress-free vacation experience, catering to families who prioritize relaxation and pampering. These resorts provide everything you need under one roof, from accommodations and meals to a variety of activities and entertainment.

For large multi-generational groups, this is a great way for everyone to enjoy different activities while having a central home base. Those with little kids will enjoy the chill beaches and easy-access pools. While the hard-to-please tweens and teens can find more adventurous experiences like zip lining, water parks, and snorkeling. Destinations like Punta Cana, The Riviera Maya, Jamaica, Turks & Caicos, and the Bahamas are a perfect place to start.

[Photo Credit: Megan & Jim from Shared Adventures]


  • Effortless planning and budgeting
  • Endless options for activities and entertainment
  • Childcare and kids’ clubs for worry-free relaxation
  • Diverse dining options to suit all tastes


  • Limited exploration of the surrounding area
  • Potential for feeling confined to the resort
  • Higher cost compared to other options

2. Cruises: For Families combining Adventure and Relaxation

Cruises offer a unique blend of relaxation and adventure, allowing families to explore multiple destinations while enjoying the amenities and activities onboard. They are a great way to see multiple destinations while only unpacking once. Like all-inclusives, cruises are great for multi-generational families where everyone can do their own thing while still having a central home base. But they have an added sense of adventure and multiple unique destinations in one trip.

[Photo Credit: Clare via Shared Adventures]

a large cruise ship wth a colorful design on the side in Alaska


  • Variety of destinations and attractions
  • Amenities and entertainment onboard
  • Dining options included in the package
  • Opportunities for sightseeing and excursions


  • Limited time at each destination
  • Crowds
  • Confined Spaces

3. Theme Parks: For Families Seeking Excitement and Entertainment

Enter a world of excitement and entertainment, catering to families who love thrilling rides, captivating shows, and immersive experiences. Theme parks always have something new to do since they are always opening new rides and experiences.

the water, ferris wheel and roller coaster of Disneyland's California Adventures Theme Park

With endless entertainment options for all ages from heart-pounding roller coasters to enchanting shows – there’s something for everyone to enjoy.  A theme park vacation is perfect if you don’t want to take a week-long holiday or are looking to include it with other activities in the area.

[Photo Credit: Brandi Alexandra via Unsplash]

Depending on the ages and interests of the family, you can enjoy more character-centered parks like Disney and Universal or amusement parks with lots of great big-kid rides like Bush Gardens. Theme parks provide a setting where families can connect, create lasting bonds, and experience the magic of storytelling and imagination.


  • Endless entertainment options for all ages
  • Opportunities for character interactions and themed experiences
  • Variety of dining and shopping options within the park
  • Accessibility and adaptations
  • Convenient accommodations & amenities


  • Crowds and long wait times for attractions
  • Lots of walking throughout the day
  • Higher cost of admission and food
  • Potential for overstimulation, especially for younger children

4. Nature Adventures: For Families Seeking Connection

Nature adventures immerse families in the wonders of the natural world, offering opportunities for hiking, wildlife encounters, and outdoor exploration. Perfect for families with tweens and teens, visiting a destination like Costa Rica provides a little bit of everything from family resorts to adventure activities like kayaking, zip-lining, and wildlife encounters.

Nature adventures offer experiences that will captivate and inspire every member of the family. Whether you’re visiting the rainforests of Costa Rica the marine wildlife reserves in Florida or the wonders of an African Safari.

[Photo Credit: Ann via Shared Adventures]

two guys snorkeling in the bright blue water of the Galapagos


  • Connection with nature and appreciation for the environment
  • Opportunities for physical activity and outdoor education
  • Memories of shared experiences in nature


  • Requires adaptability to weather conditions and potential challenges
  • Limited access to amenities and technology
  • Safety considerations and proper preparation are essential

5. Cultural Adventures: For Families Seeking Immersive Experiences

Cultural adventures expose families to different cultures, traditions, and historical sites, fostering global understanding and appreciation. Many international destinations are family friendly and even geared towards the younger generations, like Portugal, Spain & Italy.

A family at a wine tasting table with views overlooking the sea in Santorini Greece

From ages ten and up– picking a city or two to explore not only creates long-lasting memories but also exposes the family to new cultures, unusual experiences, and diverse foods! It’s also a perfect way to enjoy a family vacation when everybody’s all grown up.

[Photo Credit: Alicia & Jay from Shared Adventures — read about their family trip to Greece here!]


  • Broadening of horizons and cultural awareness
  • Opportunities to learn about different languages, customs, and traditions
  • Memories of unique experiences and connections with people from diverse backgrounds


  • Requires adaptability and openness to different cultures
  • Potential for language barriers and cultural sensitivities
  • The cost of travel and activities may vary depending on the destination

Which style of vacation fits your family? What kind of vacation sparks your imagination and fits with your family’s needs? Let us know when you’re ready to discover the perfect destination based on your family’s travel style!


You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

Carli (Italy and Spain)