The popular travel booking site Travelocity has been busy booking summer vacations for families, and has shared this list of the top ten destinations. Have a look at where families love to go this year.
No surprises, here: At any time of year -- summer vacation, spring break, the holiday season- Orlando, with its terrific theme parks, is the #1 destination for families. And that was true even before the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at Universal Orlando last year!
Cancun is still a magnet for tourists who want night-life but it also draws many families -- and according to Travelocity, was the #2 spot booked for family summer vacations this year. Families should book their resort with care, as not all properties have the gentle beaches that are best with kids. Also, be sure to take day trips to the Mayan Riviera south of Cancun, which offers Mayan ruins, snorkeling on the second-largest barrier reef in the world, swimming in cenotes, unique eco-archeological theme park Xcaret, and more.
Travelocity's third most popular spot for summer vacation was Honolulu. Have a look at several family-friendly resorts and hotels on famous Waikiki Beach. Waikiki offers a good chance to try surfing-- even beginners as young as seven years old can try. A plus for family travelers is that so many major cities in the U.S. and Canada have direct flights to Honolulu's airport.
4. Maui, Hawaii
Another Hawaii destination popular this year for summer vacation is the island of Maui. Many families visiting Maui stay at condo's, but the island has many resorts and high-end travelers have some outstanding choices. Maui also has Hawaii's "most Hawaiian hotel", the Kaanapali Beach Hotel, which offers a great location on 3-mile Kaanapali beach, a good price point, and unique programs that support Hawaiian culture.
Kauai is known as the "Garden Isle", and families taking their summer vacation here can expect to see beautiful beaches and mountain views. Check out some top things to do on Kauai, at the link above.
6. The Bahamas
Travelocity's #6 most-booked destination for family summer vacations was Nassau, in the Bahamas. The Commonwealth of the Bahamas has many islands, but it's a good bet that many families are heading to Paradise Island to the giant Atlantis resort, where everything is larger than life, including its state-of-the-art waterpark.
Yet another popular Hawaii destination for summer vacation in 2011 is Kona, on Hawaii's Big Island. Kona is an arrival airport for the Kohala Coast, which is home to several luxury resorts including the Hilton Waikoloa Village, which has 65 acres, waterfalls, grottos, slides, a lagoon with water-toys and snorkeling, and a monorail and canal-boats for getting around.
Puerto Vallarta tallied up as Mexico’s second-most-popular airport for summer vacations, and it's likely that many families are heading north of the airport to the nearby Riviera Nayarit area and beautiful Banderas Bay.
Families are also flying to Turks & Caicos, in the Caribbean. Beaches Turks and Caicos is a top family resort that can be fully booked during summer vacation, thanks to a host of features that include kids programs for different age groups, a nursery for infants, teens programs, Pirate's Island water park, and Sesame Street characters and themed activities.
The DR in in the #10 spot on this list of summer vacation destinations for families, and many cities in the U.S. have direct flights to the DR. Families can head to all inclusive resorts in several popular areas, including Punta Cana on the eastern side of the island.