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Immersive Escapes: Three of the Top Family Travel Destinations

Immersive Escapes: Three of the Top Family Travel Destinations

From Florida to Rome, families are on the move, with plans to travel near and abroad. Eighty-one percent of parents are likely to travel with their children this year, according to recent research published by the Family Travel Association (FTA). Multi-generational trips also remain popular, putting family-friendly destinations at the top of itineraries.

As growth in the family travel market continues to surge, here are three of the top travel destinations for parents setting out to see the world with children and even grandparents in tow.

Orlando Remains a Shining Star for Family Travel
Widely recognized as the theme park capital of the world, Orlando destinations continue to attract families with a mix of iconic movie characters and innovative rides. Within the melee of thrills, two theme parks dominate the scene.

Universal Orlando paints a fine line between movie magic and high-tech excitement with immersive lands such as the Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM. Disney World offers 4 familiar theme parks, 2 additional water parks and over 20 resort hotels, easily inviting families to drop in and stay awhile.

While summer remains one of the more popular travel times to visit Orlando, savvy travelers know that timing is key to a good experience. The best time to visit Disney parks can vary based on travelers’ tolerance for crowds, heat and humidity. Chilly temperatures have also been known to drop in for a day or two during winter months.

Despite the vagaries of weather, Orlando offers a common jumping off point for travelers who plan to experience several of Florida’s prime attractions. Located only an hour from the Atlantic coast and popular destinations like the Kennedy Space Center, it’s easy to see why the area remains on traveler bucket lists year after year.

Exploring Italy: A Journey Through Time and Taste
The majority of parents responding to the FTA survey agree that traveling helps their children to view the world from a different perspective. With that in mind, it isn’t surprising that cultural meccas, such as Italy, top the list of Family travel destinations.

While ample supplies of pasta and gelato are certain to please the palettes of most children, families will find more than tasty cuisine while walking Italy’s cobbled streets. The ancient ruins of Rome offer a glimpse into historic civilizations, inviting travelers to walk amidst the tales of gladiators, emperors, and philosophers. Florence is another family favorite, as adults and youngsters alike stand in awe of 16th century castles and architectural marvels such as the Duomo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For something more off the beaten path, families can visit the city of Matera, where medieval architecture is distinctly offset by a series of cave homes that housed residents up until the 1960s. Offering a unique blend of history and beauty, Matera easily captivates the imagination of young and old alike.

Sailing off to the Caribbean
Families not seeking amusement park thrills or the cultural exploration of heritage sites are heading into the Caribbean for fun in the sand and sun. One of the more popular ways to explore the 26 most visited islands is by cruising.

Rebounding from a nearly lethal pandemic slump, the cruise industry watched tourism spike to 107% of 2019 levels in 2023, according to data published by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). Looking ahead, intent to cruise is expected to remain elevated from 2019 levels and is particularly attractive to millennials.

While favorite family stops along Caribbean sailing routes vary depending by interest, one ranks at the top according to Travel and Leisure. Nature lovers in particular appreciate Dominica for its lush rain forests and hot springs as well as a conservation mindset. The island has recently been recognized for creating the world’s first Sperm Whale Reserve.

However, cruising isn’t just about the time travelers spend on shore. Long sunny days at sea are common, so finding a ship with the right activities and amenities is crucial to travel enjoyment.

The Disney Cruise Line tops the U.S. News & World Report’s list of best family cruise lines, thanks to themed entertainment and activities designed for every age group. Family-friendly staterooms, Broadway-caliber shows, and interactions with Disney characters bring an extra dose of magic to the high seas.

Royal Caribbean International, also offers high-sailing family adventure. Newer ships in the fleet provide a slate of activities, from a go-kart track, surf simulator and the tallest water slide at sea to proprietary plays and musicals all combined into some of best innovations in ship design.

Kathleen Hesketh
Kathleen is a travel agent with Main Street Travel, where she helps people discover the magic of a Disney vacation and other travel destinations. She is also the chief author and editor for Seconds to Go - a travel blog where she shares experiences from traveling the U.S. with her daughters. Kathleen has been a professional writer for more than a decade, helping businesses craft compelling content to advance organizational goals.