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Over the past two years the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on many of our travel plans. But according to experts and a new survey, many Americans have already booked summer vacations in 2022. If you haven’t planned your family getaway yet, here are our top family vacation picks for 2022.
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Per Allianz Partners‘ Top 10 Summer Destinations review — which analyzed nearly 1.2 million flight itineraries for trips between five and eight days — more people are planning trips versus last year. With travel restrictions lifted in many countries, some Americans will explore international destinations. But the majority, 75% of Americans, plans to travel within the country.
Thanks to demand and rising fuel prices, you can expect to pay more money at the pump and for airfare as well. Travel app Hopper reports a 40% rise in plane ticket prices since the start of 2022, predicting another 10% increase in ticket costs by May. To get the best details on your summer vacation, book your travel plans now.
We rounded up some of the best trips to take with your kids, ranging from big cities and amusement parks to national park adventures to beach-combing experiences on both coasts and beyond.
Yellowstone National Park
The first national park in history and the most visited every year, Yellowstone always makes for a great family vacation. This year marks the park’s 150th anniversary, so expect crowds. The park spans three states, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, giving you options for where to stay. Fans of the Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone” franchise might consider booking a room at the upscale Montage Big Sky in Montana, where visitors can channel their inner cowboy or cowgirl via horseback riding, fly fishing and hiking. (Paramount Network and Essentials are both subsidiaries of Paramount.)
Another option? Booking a vacation home with Marriott Homes & Villas. The brand offers amazing lodging options near the park, all part of its Marriott Bonvoy membership program. You can also book activities and experiences, like a private Yellowstone wildlife safari, using your points.
Per the Allianz survey, more people plan to travel to Boston than New York or Los Angeles this summer. The city offers gorgeous parks, great restaurants and food halls, museums (including Institute of Contemporary Art, the Boston Children’s Museum, and — for sports buffs — The Sports Museum at TD Garden) and charming historical landmarks.
Stay at one of the newest and largest Boston hotels, the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport, offering views of the Boston Harbor and located near the convention center. Also, check out the Live Like a Local tour, hosted by Collin Knight, for a multicultural taste of the city’s microbreweries and local food spots in Jamaica Plain, Dorchester and Roxbury.
New York City, New York
After two years of strict masking and vaccine mandates, New York City recently loosened COVID restrictions, and tourism continues to pick up. If you have put off a family trip to the Big Apple, now might be a good time to book your summer trip.
Families will appreciate the amenities at the Omni Berkshire Place — young ones will love the complimentary milk and cookies waiting in their room, and parents will appreciate their convenient adjoining suites. At the Lotte New York Palace, meanwhile, children get the royal treatment with crowns, tiaras, and teddy bears upon check-in. The hotel is currently offering a buy one, get one 50% off deal on rooms, making it a great choice for larger broods. Both family-friendly hotels offer prime locations right off the shopping mecca of Fifth Avenue with easy access to Central Park, Times Square and the Theater District.
Take the kids toand grab a bite at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, where aspiring stars sing ballads in between taking your order and delivering your food. Get lost in Central Park and hit the Central Park Zoo, after heading over to the newly renovated Serendipity 3 for over-the-top desserts. Make sure to reserve a day for a jaunt across the Hudson to American Dream in East Rutherford, NJ, for an afternoon of waterslide action at Dreamworks Water Park or riding roller coasters at Nickelodeon Universe. And, if you plan on visiting the Statue of Liberty, make a reservation ahead of time to secure access inside the pedestal.
According to the Allianz survey, Cancun, with easy access from most U.S. cities, white-sand beaches, amenity-heavy, family-friendly resorts, and proximity to Mayan ruins, will be the most popular international destination this summer. Families should consider staying at the all-inclusive Hilton Cancun, which offers a great selection of dining options, activities and amenities, including its own water park and private pool with slides, beach games and water toys. A kids’ club and teen zone provide hours of amusement, including a climbing wall, and crafts sections.
Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
If you put off their trip to Walt Disney World during the pandemic, book your summer 2022 trip now, because many people already have. According to Allianz, the central Florida city will be the most popular domestic destination this summer.
Because Orlando temperatures can top 90 degrees with high humidity in the summertime, make sure to stay at a Disney resort with great water attractions. Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts‘ three-acre pool complex features a sand bottom, a shipwreck-themed water slide and lazy river, perfect for cooling down after a day of hitting the parks. Guests also love the Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. It features a Hawaiian-themed pool complex with a pool slide, a splash pad for younger kids, waterfalls and a poolside bar.
In addition to hitting Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, families should check out Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, which cost significantly less than other parks.
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Disneyland, Anaheim, California
For West Coasters looking for a family getaway by car, Disneyland seldom disappoints. Book a room at either the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel or the Disneyland Hotel for a 24-hour Disney experience. Marriott Bonvoy members looking to rack up points should book a room at the luxurious and more sophisticated JW Marriott Anaheim, centrally located near Disney California Adventure park.
Legoland New York Theme Park and Resort, Goshen, New York
Brick builders of all ages — especially those on the East Coast — should consider a getaway at Legoland New York Theme Park and Resort in the Hudson Valley region of the state. Comprised of seven Lego-themed lands, including Brick Street, Bricktopia, Lego Ninjago World, Lego Castle, Lego City, Miniland and Lego Pirates, the park offers rides, activities, entertainment shows, and even hotel rooms, all themed after the popular toys.
Summer highlights include the opening of an all-new Lego City Water Playground and the debut of Red, White & Boom, the first-ever July 4 celebration and fireworks display at the park. The hotel itself offers 250 themed rooms, all outfitted with a king bed in the adult sleeping area and a separate bunk room for kids.
New River Gorge National Park, West Virginia
Looking for an under-explored national park vacation? New River Gorge, the latest addition to the national park system, should be on your family’s list this summer. Located in a 53-mile stretch of the Appalachian Mountains in southern West Virginia, it offers whitewater rafting, hiking, biking, swimming and more.
Those who aren’t afraid of heights should check out the park’s Bridge Walk, a stroll across a 851-foot-high New River Gorge Bridge, the longest single-arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere. Stay at the ACE Adventure Resort, nestled into 1,500 wooded acres beside the park, with cozy log homes, cabins, chalets and camping, plus three dining options and its very own outdoor water park.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Cape Cod, one of the most popular summer vacation spots in New England, is famous for white, sandy beaches, picturesque lighthouses and family-friendly fun. You won’t find any high-rise hotels or sprawling resorts on the hook made up of 15 tiny towns, only beach houses, mansions, inns and small hotels.
Book a room at the family-owned Sesuit Harbor House in mid-Cape’s South Dennis, offering such amenities as an on-property pool, loaner bikes, picnic-basket breakfasts, a fire pit for s’mores, an impressive collection of board games, two acres of lawn perfect for lazy afternoons — even resident goats. Located off scenic Route 6A, the charming property offers access to dining, quaint stores, the Cape Playhouse, art galleries, Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, the harbor and five bay beaches.
Daufuskie Island, South Carolina
Hilton Head might be the most popular beach town in South Carolina, but smart travelers looking for an intimate getaway make the jaunt to the less commercial, straight-out-of-a Nicholas Sparks movie, Daufuskie Island. You won’t find a resort or even cars on the 10-square mile body of land accessible via a ferry — just white sand beaches, a few quaint restaurants and rentable beach houses that ooze southern charm.
Family-friendly attractions include the Daufuskie Island Community Farm, kayak or history tours, bike rides with Tour Daufuskie, and horseback riding for kids ages 10+ with Daufuskie Island Trail Rides.
Families have flocked to Coronado, just south of San Diego and connected via a bridge, since the 1800s. The historic, red-roofed Hotel Del Coronado, part of the Hilton Curio Collection, is one of the most famous and luxurious beachfront property on the island, especially for families. But there are other, more budget-friendly lodging options, including Loews Coronado Bay Resort and Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa.
One of the best-kept secrets on the island, the quiet, quaint and pet-friendly 1906 Lodge, is directly across the street from the Hotel Del, close to shopping and restaurants on the main drag.
Huruvalhi Island, Maldives
More commonly packaged as a romantic adult destination, the Maldives also caters to families. Nestled in the Raa Atoll on Huruvalhi island, The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives features 115 overwater villas, each with its own private lounge deck and infinity plunge pool with direct access to the lagoon, ocean or beach. Amenities include a spa, six dining options, a water park, and lots of water sports, including diving programs and snorkeling in the hotel’s naturally protected house reef. The resort also offers the Lil’ Shark Kids Club for kids 4 and up, with childcare services, a paddling pool, games and activities. Babysitting is also available for kids under 4.