Want to plan a trip your kids will never forget? Ask Tania Lebrija Swasbrook, who grew up in the travel industry thanks to her mother, who founded Travelworld of Coronado in 1978. After studying in Paris and living in London and working in finance, Swasbrook moved back to the U.S. and returned to her passion of working in the travel industry. She is now a luxury travel designer and vice president at Travelworld and a mother herself. She also believes in the importance of educating kids through travel. Here, this avid traveler shares her tips for the 10 most memorable family trips.
1/10 Costa Rica
For any family looking for adventure and eco-fun, Costa Rica is the place to be. There’s everything from tree climbing, hiking and surfing to rappelling waterfalls, tennis and rainforest adventures. What’s more, the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo has a comprehensive kids’ program called Kids For All Seasons, which leaves time for parents to enjoy the amazing spa or Par-72 championship golf course. Bonus: Four Seasons is one of the few chains to still offer complimentary kids’ programs.
2/10 Eastern Canada
Canada is an easy destination to visit and the luxurious Fairmont resorts are not only some of the most iconic properties in the country, but also have a great selection for the whole family. You can easily visit Eastern Canada by car and enjoy a change of beautiful scenery and pace at each destination. For example, you can combine the iconic, castle-like Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac — which sits atop the Cap Diamant Cliffs in the heart of Quebec City — with a visit to the rustic, yet luxurious Fairmont Montebello, the world’s largest log cabin.
Visiting the stunning private island of Mustique is like visiting your family summer home in paradise. Located in the Caribbean archipelago nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mustique is known for white-sand beaches, magical views and a warm welcome. Although there is a hotel on the island (the Cotton House), the reason you visit Mustique with your family is to stay in one of the impressive villas. Each is different and all are privately owned by the likes of Tommy Hilfiger and Mick Jagger. Mustique is also safe, beautiful and has many activities for the whole family, including water sports, tennis and more.
4/10 Riviera Maya
“All inclusive” is typically a bad word in the land of luxury travel. However, we’ve found an anomaly in Grand Velas Resorts. The property in the Mexican Riviera is split into three different areas: Family Friendly, Adults Only and Zen Grand Natural View. The resort itself has a plethora of activities, including a huge kids’ club, tennis club and activities such as swimming with the dolphins. The Rivera Maya itself has even more to do, from historical landmarks like the famous Tulum Ruins to water parks to natural cenotes and even a Cirque de Soleil show.
5/10 Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
The slogan at the Claqyoquot Wilderness Resort is “Experience Luxury Gone Wild” and it could not fit better. A 45-minute seaplane ride from Vancouver, Claqyoquot is located on Vancouver Island within the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests stay in safari-style tents with features such as wood stoves, but spend little time inside. Days are filled with hiking, birding, whale watching, bear spotting, mountain biking and more. This is definitely for the traveling family that is looking for the next level of adventure (perfect for those that have “been there, done that”).
6/10 Grand Cayman
The Cayman Islands are an easy escape from most of the United States and weren’t damaged at all in 2017’s hurricanes. The new Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa is located on the island’s famous Seven Mile Beach with spectacular views and calm turquoise water. Camp Seafire (the kids’ club at the hotel) features daily and evening programs for kids ages 4-12. If you’d like to explore the island, Starfish Point, the popular Stingray City and the Cayman Turtle Center provide loads of outdoor fun for the entire family.
7/10 Monarch Beach, Dana Point, California
Formerly a St. Regis, Monarch Beach was reborn after being given a $40 million renovation in 2016. Special attention was given to families: There’s a comprehensive kids’ club that includes treasure hunts and family classes at the famous spa. What’s more is the attention to detail: Child-size robe, mini slippers and other little details make kids feel special. It has championship golf links and a Miraval spa, with an extensive fitness program and treatments for mom and dad, too.
London is one of the most interesting and diverse cities in the world. There is so much to do with kids that you can keep coming back and always have a different experience. The attractions are almost as diverse as the city and extend far beyond your typical sightseeing. From the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, the Making of Harry Potter, and Paddington Bear pop-ups to behind-the-scenes at the changing of the guards, there is something for every age.
9/10 Machu Picchu
Peru is the third largest country in South America, with one of the most legendary archeological sites of all time, Machu Picchu, located just 5o miles from Cusco. For families that love trekking, the Inca trail — which leads to Machu Picchu — is one of the most famous treks in the world. It combines beautiful scenery, forests, jungles and tunnels. You have the option of doing the trek in as little as two days, and you can also combine luxury, sightseeing and adventure by taking a trip with guides and porters to assist with everything.
10/10 Les 3 Vallees, France
Home to eight internationally renowned ski resorts, including Courchevel and Val Thorens, Les 3 Vallees is perfectly set up for families. The area offers childcare for kids as young as 3 months, ski kindergartens and ski schools, adventure slopes, sledding hills and tobogganing for older kids. The larger villages offer even more amenities and pay particular attention to making sure children up to a certain size are accompanied by an adult on the lifts. For those wn do not want to ski, Courchevel is home to the massive Acqua Motion indoor waterpark.
By Laura Begley Bloom
Want more great bucket-list travel ideas? Check out “10 trips to add to your bucket list!”