Family By Justin Gibson

Family Fun Found Coast to Coast

The value of a family vacation is a hard thing to transcribe-how do you assign worth to a future memory? A moment that lives on repeatedly, cherished by your children for the rest of their lives, ultimately serving as the inspiration to the family vacations they'll take when they're parents themselves? A family vacation isn't just a fall break or a weekend getaway; it's the most sacred of heirlooms you could give-an utterly priceless gift, forever accumulating value.

For that reason, start taking family vacations early on in your child's life, and take them regularly. The longer the memory has to be recollected and savored, the more inherent value it'll have. Traveling with little ones may seem daunting, but luckily enough, there's always an abundance of worthwhile destinations nearby with minimal travel time. For families in America, consider heading to some of the following destinations-and consider bringing the grandparents too. Multi-generational travel is twofold: it adds to the magic in your kid's memories, and it's a stellar way to say thanks for the vacations you had as a kid.

Orlando, Florida

Theme parks are as American (and exciting for kids) as apple pie, and nowhere in America does theme parks quite as well as Orlando. The verifiable holy land of amusement, there's no shortage of thrills and fun amongst the 10 major theme parks waiting to be enjoyed. The ever-iconic Magic Kingdom stands at the top of most to-do lists; the chance to pair roller coasters and water rides with the kids meeting their favorite Disney characters will have you thinking mouse ears.

But, just down the road is the equally enchanting Universal Orlando Resort. Families can take their vacation to the next level of awesome with the thrills and relaxation of Universal's Volcano Bay(TM), a water theme park like no other. Plus, jump into the action of your favorite movies at Universal Studios Florida(TM) and journey through legendary worlds at Universal's Islands of Adventure(TM).

Universal Orlando Resort - Volcano Bay

Universal's Volcano Bay

Vail, Colorado

Nestled in the near-middle of the country is the state of Colorado-a land of mountain ranges chock-full of striking scenes and exciting discoveries for all ages, no matter the season. Spring and summer see a vast blooming of Great-Outdoors-related excursions, while the winter months bring with them snowscapes perfectly suited for a winter wonderland. A visit to Vail any time of year will prove to be a treat. In the summer, the family can take the gondola up Vail Mountain for a healthy dose of fresh air and fresher views. The summit offers thrills galore with zip lines, adventure courses and an alpine coaster. Of course, if grandpa isn't as keen to bond at the top of a mountain, the fly fishing offered by the myriad of rivers and streams is certain to seem like a swimmingly good idea. In the winter, seasonal enchantment blankets the land, with cloud-like snow providing the perfect canvas to create family memories-skiing, sledding, snow men and hot cocoa are just starting points.

Vail, Colorado in the winter
Vail, Colorado in the spring

Kauai, Hawaii

A slightly further flight than the prior two, the island Kauai proves the prime pinpoint in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for pristine beaches and tropical jungles-and ultimately the pinnacle of American beach destinations. Nicknamed "The Garden Isle," this chunk of the Hawaiian archipelago holds enough memory-making possibilities that no two days ever have to be the same. Have the whole family claim a sliver of picturesque sand for the day and let your beach-adventures flow from there. Or, venture out amongst the island to soak up as much breezy fun as possible. Whether it's inter-tubing through historic canals, zip-lining down the mountain or interactive shows at a luau, the flavors of activity are as abundant as the flavors of Hawaiian shave ice.

Family having fun at the beach

Where to Stay

When looking for the perfect place to call it a day after all the memories made, consider opting for a villa. Villas are worlds unto themselves for you and your family to share together, while still situated in the prime place to enjoy the entirety of the surrounding destination-the best of all worlds. Add in the bonus amenities provided when you book a SELECT Villa through your travel advisor and it's just as likely the family's favorite memory will happen while hanging out in your home-away-from-home after a day of thrills and fun.