Once your children leave home to pursue higher education, planning a vacation can be a bit of a challenge. Coordinating their breaks with your schedules and finding a destination that appeals to everyone can be daunting. But never fear, there are plenty of great options for family vacations with college students. We have compiled a list of places that we believe will be perfect for making lasting memories and having a great time together. These destinations will be sure to interest your college-aged children while still being enjoyable for the whole family. So don’t let the challenge of planning a vacation with your college student discourage you, these options will guarantee a wonderful time and memories that will bring a smile to your face for years to come.
Costa Rica is an ideal destination for families who love to travel. The country is teeming with exotic wildlife, such as colorful birds, monkeys, and the beloved sloth. It offers a variety of activities for all ages, from the beautiful beaches and lush jungles to scenic hikes, swimming under waterfalls, zip-lining, kayaking, and more. Even the youngest members of your family, as young as six years old, can safely enjoy a “safari float” ride, a gentle river excursion on Class I and II rapids. Additionally, if you are lucky, you may have the opportunity to witness a mother turtle laying her eggs on the beach, an unforgettable experience that will be cherished by travelers of all ages. Costa Rica offers something for everyone and promises to be an unforgettable family vacation destination.
The Black Hills, South Dakota
The Black Hills region of South Dakota offers a wealth of experiences beyond the iconic Mount Rushmore. Young and old alike will delight in the opportunity to uncover ancient mammoth bones, splash around in water parks, and explore the vast Wind Cave, one of the longest in the world. Custer State Park is a family-friendly paradise, offering a range of activities such as taking a paddleboat on the picturesque Lake Sylvan, which was famously used as a backdrop in several films, fishing, horseback riding, and wildlife watching. Visitors can also take a scenic drive on Wildlife Loop Road and encounter the famous burros, as well as bison, elk, deer, pronghorn, mountain goats and more.
New York City, New York
New York City is a great place to teach kids about American history in an engaging way. Visiting iconic landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, where millions of immigrants passed through for a better life, allows them to learn about the nation’s history and symbols of freedom in a more interesting way than just reading about it in books. Visiting Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, allows them to connect the events they have learned about with the actual location and pay their respects to the victims by reading their names etched on the bronze panels surrounding the twin reflecting pools. Along with the historical sites, there are also plenty of fun activities to enjoy, such as watching street performers in Central Park, visiting the zoo, and exploring the bright lights of Times Square.
Yellowstone National Park
All children should have the opportunity to experience the wonder of Yellowstone National Park before they grow up. As one of America’s most spectacular national parks, it offers more geothermal features such as hot springs, mud spots, and geysers than anywhere else on Earth. Children will be amazed by Old Faithful and other lesser-known geysers, as well as the gurgling mud pots, colorful paint pots, and brilliant multi-colored hot springs. It’s a great chance for them to witness the power and beauty of nature and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.
London is a great destination for families who want to experience a major European city while speaking a familiar language. The city is also known for its many famous movies, Harry Potter included, which will fascinate children and teens. The Tower of London, Europe’s first fortress, is a must-see for older kids and teens with its ghoulish tales and history, including the famous beheading of Queen Anne Boleyn in 1536. Buckingham Palace, home to Queen Elizabeth, is also a great attraction for princess lovers. The Changing of the Guard ceremony is a great opportunity to see the soldiers march out in their traditional red coats and black hats, accompanied by music and royal horsemen. London offers a unique blend of history and culture that will leave lasting memories for the whole family.
Hawaii is a great destination for families who want to experience not only stunning natural beauty but also a multicultural environment and the true spirit of Aloha. The nearly constant sunshine and the many activities offered in Honolulu on the island of Oahu, such as surfing, boogie boarding, parasailing, and paddling an outrigger canoe at Waikiki, make it a perfect place for older kids and teens. Families can enjoy staying in beachfront hotels while also learning firsthand about the Aloha spirit, which is more than just an expression, but a way of treating others with kindness and generosity. This unique blend of natural beauty and culture, along with the warm hospitality, makes Hawaii a perfect family vacation destination.