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New Research Reveals the Best Beach Destinations for Families

New Research Reveals the Best Beach Destinations for Families

Family vacations are the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones and strengthen family bonds.
One study found 40 percent of parents planned to spend more on international travel with their families this year. There is also a growing trend of multiple generations traveling together.

Of course, one of the challenges in planning a family vacation is ensuring the destination has something to offer everyone, from children to parents and even grandparents.  To remove the hassle of finding the perfect destination for everyone, travel insurance comparison site InsureMyTrip examined relevant travel data for key family vacation categories to rank the best beach destinations for family vacations.

The categories include average beach rating, average sea temperature, average cost of a hotel for two adults and two children, number of attractions, cost of water activities, ocean cleanliness, and safety.

The data is standardized using min-max normalization. The min-max normalization value is multiplied by 10 to create a score (between 0-10). In this case, a score of 10 is the best result, while a score of 0 is the worst.

In first position, with an overall score of 7.65 is Guanacaste in Costa Rica.  This holiday destination is ideal for families, thanks to its beautiful beaches (9.77) and warm waters with an average yearly temperature of 84.6°F. In fact, Costa Rica has dozens of Blue Flag beaches which are recognized for their cleanliness and amenities.


For families on a budget, this beach destination offers great value. The average cost of a hotel room for two adults and two children is $171.20. This is significantly lower than the average cost of a hotel room in the study at $393.22.

This island is around the same size as West Virginia, giving families plenty of opportunity to explore surrounding areas too. Guanacaste is also known for its wonderful surf conditions, ideal for adventurous families looking to enjoy a fun activity together.

In second place is Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, with an overall score of 7.58. It received high scores in several categories, including safety (10/10), average beach rating (9.31), and sea temperature (84.7°F).

Dubai has fast become a popular family destination, in part thanks to its safety. It has been deemed one of the safest cities in the world and offers an abundance of family-friendly attractions such as theme parks, aquariums, and water parks.

Dubai narrowly missed out on the top position due to the cost of hotels and activities. The average room costs $298.81 for a family of four while water activities cost an average of $150.86.

Gold Coast, in Australia, is ranked in third position, with an overall score of 7.18. It ranks highly thanks to its excellent beaches (9.85), warm waters (8.96), and ocean cleanliness (9.97).

One of the highlights of the Gold Coast is its stretch of beautiful beaches, including the aptly named Surfer’s Paradise.

The Gold Coast is a pricier option for family accommodation, where the average cost of a hotel room is $374.04. However, there are still plenty of free natural attractions of which to take advantage. The average cost of water activities is around $78, which is significantly cheaper than the study average of $125.67.

Rounding up the top five are Corsica, France and Colombo, Sri Lanka scoring 7.16 and 7.15 respectively. Both locations rank well for their excellent beaches and warm oceans.

Corsica ranks slightly lower due to its slightly more expensive hotels ($259.20) and limited attractions (4.04).

Colombo is ranked the second cheapest city to book a hotel ($131.48) making it the ideal location for budget-savvy travelers. However, it is slightly let down by its limited attractions (2.63) and expensive water activities (5.68)

For families looking to travel to multiple destinations during their vacation, Australia is the ideal country to visit. Three of its cities, Gold Coast, Melbourne, and Perth are featured in the top 10.

Sarah Webber, Director of Marketing at InsureMyTrip commented on the findings:

Traveling is stressful enough, but when you add in children, and family-friendly activities – it can feel overwhelming.  We hope this study can help families narrow down their options to take a bit of stress out of the planning process.