5 Unlikely Family Vacation Spots That Are Worth Every Penny

Last updated on: Nov 16, 2018

(Last Updated On: November 16, 2018)

Though summer is almost over, it’s never too early to plan your next family vacation. There are a lot of destinations to choose from across the world, and the main questions you have to answer are what is your budget, what sorts of things do you and your family love doing, and are you traveling domestically or internationally.

Here are top-rated places to go that should suit every taste and budget.


Once a hotbed of crime and drug trafficking, Colombia is emerging as a major tourist destination! Overall, the country is very family-friendly and offers a wonderful art and music scene as well as top-notch museums and restaurants.  You could go island hopping in the Rosario Islands, take salsa lessons, visit the Amazon, do coffee tasting, and explore modern cities and colonial towns.  There are so many regional subcultures, as the Pacific Coast, Caribbean, and interior of the country differ greatly from each other.

With amazing cities like Medellin and Cartagena, the country on a whole is very affordable with easy access from the U.S.


This is a fantastic island-country and city with the terrific Pan-Asian cuisine and some of the cleanest streets in the world. The accommodations range from tourist to five stars, all at affordable prices.

There’s so much to do that you won’t be spending time in your room. The public transportation is superb, so you can get anywhere you need to go. Buy a Singapore Attractions Pass when you arrive and head out for adventure. Changi airport is also not a bad place to hang out, either!

The tourist buses called “ducks” will take you around every attraction in the city center, plus onto the river. Nearly everyone speaks English, and the British influence is still strong. Try the chocolate buffet at the Fullerton Hotel on Saturdays and the original Singapore sling at the world-famous Raffles Long Bar. Don’t forget to check out Gardens by the Bay, Sentosa Island, and the rooftop pool at the Marina Sands Hotel! And one of the most amazing experiences is the night safari at Singapore Zoo.

New Zealand

If you get a good deal from Air New Zealand during the “off-season”, which are the spring and fall in the Northern Hemisphere, you can head down under for a song. They also offer multi-airfare passes so you can get up to six internal flights for only a bit more than the cost of the international ticket. You will usually fly into Auckland on the North Island and branch out from there.

For those who love the tropics, head north to the beautiful Bay of Islands for a beach holiday. If you want a spa holiday, head to the middle of the island, Rotorua.

Are you a fan of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit? Head to Wellington, on the southern part of the North Island, for tours of many of the locations used. If you love skiing, head for Queenstown on the South Island to ski the Remarkables, filmed so lovingly in the movies just mentioned, or take a cruise on the beautiful Milford Sound. The food is fantastic, as is the local wine.


Ireland is full of food and fabulous attractions, including castles, like Kilkinney Castle, and cliffs, like the Cliffs of Moher.  Public transportation is easy and cheap, everyone speaks English, and the Irish people are all very friendly. Great bed-and-breakfasts as well as pubs abound.

Dublin caters to tourists, so it does not have the real Irish feel of Cork or Galway, but it does have a fantastic number of sights to see, including Trinity College, which has a wonderful library, and three amazing cathedrals – Christ Church Cathedral, St Patrick’s Cathedral, and St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral. And who wouldn’t want to spend the night in a castle? Some of the best castle hotels include Ballynahinch Castle, Kilronan Castle, and Ashford Castle.

Nashville, Tennessee

Did you know that the Grand Ole Opry, Music City, and capital of country music was also called the “Athens of the South”?  That’s because Greek Revival architecture can be found in a variety of places ranging from the Tennessee State Capitol to a full-scale replica of the Parthenon located in Centennial Park.

Affordable, family friendly, with lots to see and do. It beats Disneyland/world by a mile in terms of value. There are seven theme parks within driving distance and attractions of every kind to enjoy, from music to museums – all at affordable prices.

Author Profile

Taryn White
With 75+ countries and all 50 U.S. states crossed off her list, Taryn's wanderlust and wanderlist continue to grow! She loves historic places, off-the-beaten paths, and beautiful beaches. Follow her pursuits on Instagram and www.tripwishlist.com.

14 thoughts on “5 Unlikely Family Vacation Spots That Are Worth Every Penny”

  1. All the suggestions are great, but I have inlaws in Colombia, and they haven’t been able to sell me on taking the kids as well as you just did. It’s going to the top of my list, for sure!

    1. Hi Myndee,

      Colombia was incredible! It has changed a lot over the last 20 years. I have some photos at instagram.com/taryntraveler. I hope you go one day soon. It would be really great with family that live there.

    1. Hi Marina,

      I visited Ireland with the family, too, and the people were so friendly. Such a lovely place and very laid back. Colombia has so much culture. It reminded me of Spain with various regions and influences.

  2. I cant agree more Singapore where I live now is a must visit place. A good 3-5 days is more than enough to explore this tiny island. Even if you are just on transit flight, you can still explore the beautiful Changi airport which is world standard and plenty of things to explore and go catch your flight again.

  3. I have only been to Ireland from your list of destinations, and I loved it! It is indeed a place where you can take all your family for a vacation, due to all the nature and are the castles there.

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