Let’s admit it off the top, and get it out of the way: family vacations can be stressful, sometimes even excruciatingly so. What to do? Will everybody enjoy themselves? Can we find a place that will give us a family discount on tattoos? And don’t even get me started on “are we there yet?” The thing is, family vacations don’t have to be stressful. Our Caribbean destinations are definite winners when it comes to great accommodations, new experiences and fun – for the whole family.
Bermuda‘s motto could be “We’re not just about the shorts – we’re also about great family vacations” – if 12-word mottos were fashionable. It could also be “Bring the Family”. For one, they’ve got beaches for days: Shelly Bay and Horseshoe Bay Beach are popular choices for families with children, each with the famous Bermuda pink sand, and calm shallows for little swimmers. They’ve also got forts, like Fort St. Catherine and Great Head Battery and Park, which provide an intriguing glimpse into the island’s British military history. Beaches and forts. How’s that for a pretty wicked start to an awesome family vacation? Bermuda has golf, great restaurants to suit every taste and budget, and lots of opportunities for family outings and unique experiences. Take a boat tour around the island. Immerse yourself in local culture in one of Bermuda’s many street fairs. Raise the collective family pulse with some cliff jumping or cave exploring. Go paddle boarding at Tobacco Bay. Visit Gibbs Hill and race to the top of the lighthouse. End another perfect day with a bonfire on the beach, and be glad you had the good sense to bring the family to Bermuda.
Food for thought: it’s somewhere around 30C and sunny today in Curaçao – no matter what time of year you’re reading this. The absolutely blissful climate of Curaçao is that dependable, and it makes it an outstanding destination for parents and kids alike. Curaçao boasts a number of excellent beaches, with Playa Porto Mari, Cabana Beach and Pirate Bay being family favourites. Tour the island by bicycle, quad or ATV; take a trip to the Hato Caves; let the kids take a little walk on the wild side at the Curaçao Dolphin Academy, the Curaçao Seaquarium or the Curaçao Ostrich Farm. The natural delights of Curaçao, along with the colourful combination of Dutch colonial influence and warm island hospitality make for a family vacation you’ll treasure.
“Hey, kids. We’re going to the Bahamas.” You just know that’s going to go over well. And once you get there, the getting’s real good for a family vacation that everyone is sure to enjoy and remember for a long, long while. Over 700 islands and cays make up the Bahamas, so you surely won’t be at a loss for things to do or see. Cable Beach, Saunders Beach and Cabbage Beach are great bets for sun and fun, with the long expanses of white sand and the crystal blue waters you dream of when you think Caribbean vacation. These beaches are also more family-friendly, and less party-oriented than some of the more crowded beaches. If you’re looking for the ultimate Bahamas family resort experience, Atlantis awaits, with family fun – for kids of all ages – at every turn. Atlantis offers amazing accommodations, of course, but you can also purchase day passes for families to enjoy the many resort attractions: from world-class entertainment to the 141-acre Aquaventure, the incredible water-themed playground featuring a multitude of pools, lagoons, waterslides, water parks and infinite possibilities for soaking and splashing the day away.
Puerto Rico, for a family vacation? You bet. The island boasts plenty of attractions beyond its many family-friendly resorts. Puerto Rico offers a variety of eco-adventure attractions. A visit to El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest in U.S territories, is a must. At Mosquito Bay you can see manatees by day, and watch with fascination as the waters glow with bio-luminescence in the evening hours. Of course, no Caribbean vacation is complete without a day (or three or six) at the beach, and Puerto Rico boasts some of the Caribbean’s finest: the tranquil Luqillo with its shallow waters, soft golden sands and palm trees, and more adventurous recreation-oriented Guanica beaches are particularly family-friendly. Puerto Rico is known for its hospitality, which makes it a great choice for your Caribbean family vacation.
What sort of family vacation appeals to your family? The Caribbean offers fun, relaxation, adventure, culture and amazing weather. Get the excitement started by asking your family members where they’d like to go, and what they’d like to do on vacation. With a little planning, WestJet Vacations can help you have the Caribbean family vacation of a lifetime. And one last word, while we’re speaking of planning: if you’re the one planning your family vacation, don’t forget that it’s your vacation, too!