Are you curious to know where families are traveling in 2024?
As a travel advisor specializing in family vacations, I’ve compiled a list of this year's most sought-after destinations among my clients.
Join me as I guide you through the top destinations and experiences that will make 2024 an unforgettable year for family adventures!
The appeal of cruising has never been more popular with families! The cruise industry continues to target the family market with newer, bigger and incredibly innovative ships. From waterslide coasters to ice skating rinks, infinity pools, interactive family game shows and Broadway-style entertainment, there is no shortage of family activities onboard these ships.
Recently, I received a lot of interest in Alaska cruises.
Since the Alaska cruising season is limited to the summer months, the demand can often exceed the supply; therefore, securing your Alaska cruise reservation as early as possible is necessary.
Not only do Alaska cruises sell out quickly, but many of the popular port excursions also book up.
The cruise lines recognize this high demand, so they have already opened their reservations for 2025 Alaska sailings.
Caribbean cruises remain in high demand and more families are discovering cruising as their preferred method of travel.
It's the perfect type of vacation when you need to cater to multi-generation family members and family members with diverse interests.
Even if your family is not interested in water activities, there are various other activities onboard the ship like game shows, arts and crafts, dancing and food/beverage tastings.
Plus, there are numerous port excursions that provide insights into the island’s culture and history, along with opportunities for independent exploration.
For those looking for the best family-friendly experiences, accommodations and entertainment onboard the ship, Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International are the two lines that always lead the pack.
European and Mediterranean cruises
Lots of families I work with have discovered that cruising through Europe and the Mediterranean region is one of the most convenient and stress-free ways to visit multiple destinations efficiently.
These itineraries allow families to sample different international cities to determine which regions they would like to return to for a future visit.
The benefit of not having to unpack and re-pack at different hotels and the ability to wake up in a new city each day makes cruising through Europe extremely appealing to families.
European River cruises
When families are adverse to the large crowds of an oceanliner ship, many consider a more laid-back experience on a family-friendly river cruise.
These smaller size ships travel through beautiful countrysides with stunning views of European landscapes and medieval castles.
River cruises take guests to quaint towns and villages where families can easily walk off the ship to explore on their own. Plus, most river cruise itineraries feature optional daily excursions included with their cruise fare.
Tropical Beach Resorts
For families seeking a tropical retreat, many flock to the beautiful beaches of Turks & Caicos, Aruba, Cancun, Punta Cana, Jamaica and Hawaii. Several of these destinations include all-inclusive amenities and activities such as kids/teen clubs, waterparks, boating excursions, watersports and nightly entertainment.
The all-inclusive industry has grown so much over the years that it can be overwhelming for parents to decipher which family resort is the right fit for them.
Even if you narrow down your selection to a particular island, a resort could be vastly different from its next-door neighbor.
When I work with families, I help them recognize which resort attributes and amenities are most important to them so I can recommend a place they will enjoy. For example, one resort may offer a great waterpark, but has a small beach with lots of rocks and seaweed. Another resort may offer a ton of onsite activities, but then charge an extra fee to use those amenities. These are just some examples I’ve written about in my blog, “Top 10 Questions to Ask when Selecting an All-inclusive Family Resort."
The theme park industry continues to draw guests to their immersive lands, thrilling attractions and interactive experiences. There will never be a shortage of families seeking a theme park vacation whether they are first-time visitors or repeat guests who can benefit from my expertise in providing the latest theme park additions and updates.
Disney theme parks
The Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California will always be at the top of families’ wish lists. In Florida, you will always find new resorts, restaurants, attractions and experiences opening.
In 2023, we saw new rides debut like Tron: Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT’s park transformation with the addition of Moana’s Journey of Water and Disney’s Hollywood Studios' new restaurant, Roundup Rodeo BBQ in Toy Story Land.
At Disneyland Resort in California in 2023, Mickey’s Toontown was updated with more interactive play areas and the addition of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction.
In Disney’s California Adventure, a new San Fransoyko Square (made famous by the movie, “Big Hero 6”) was created and will include a new restaurant and other themed experiences.
In late January 2024, Disneyland will be saying goodbye to Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel by debuting the reimagined Pixar Place Hotel, featuring theming of the beloved Pixar characters.
Universal theme parks
This new land made its debut at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2023. In 2025, the Universal Orlando Resort will be introducing an even bigger Super Nintendo World at its new theme park, Epic Universe.
This new park will feature more Super Nintendo World attractions along with experiences themed after DreamWorks Animations movies like “How to Train Your Dragon.”
In 2024, guests visiting either the Universal Florida or California parks will have the opportunity to experience themed lands and experiences such as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic World, Minions, Transformers and The Simpsons. Plus, both locations offer Universal City Walk, a mecca shopping, restaurant and entertainment district connected to the exhilarating theme parks.
As you can see, 2024 is an exciting year for family travel with diverse options catering to various interests and preferences. From family cruises to Alaska, Caribbean and Europe to tropical beach vacations and thrilling theme park visits, there is never a shortage of destinations where families can create vacation memories together.
Lissa Ryan is a Senior Travel Advisor with Kingdom Destinations specializing in luxurious family vacations. Lissa helps busy parents who want to create travel memories with their families through luxury travel experiences, but are too busy or overwhelmed with all the effort and research that is required to plan that perfect vacation.