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Think it’s too soon to start planning your next big international family trip for 2023? Think again because even after two years of closed borders and travel risks, American travelers yearning to rekindle their sense of adventure and make up for lost time booked a record-breaking number of trips. Apocalyptic headlines touting “travel chaos,” “summer of hell,” and other attention-grabbing titles didn’t stop travelers from investing billions of dollars in dream trips that took them overseas. In June, travel spending surpassed 2019 levels for the third consecutive month and hit a new pandemic high of $105 billion.

If you’re dreaming of taking one of the best family vacations in 2023, now is the time to start planning. With airfare set to drop and tour operators finally catching up with demand, 2023 will surely be another record-breaking year.

Below is a list of the 10 best international family-friendly destinations to travel to in 2023.

African Safari

Can you imagine anything more spellbinding than experiencing the roar of a lion basking in the African sun mere feet from where you sit? If your children love reading about animals or are captivated by wildlife and eager for an adventure, then an African Safari should be at the top of your list. A BTA advisor wrote all about her luxurious safari experience and how to plan the most perfect African adventure. 

We’ve included information for the top 5 most unique and fascinating safari experiences for adventurous travelers! These include canoeing across the Zambezi river in Zimbabwe, horseback riding across the Okavango Delta, and even flying high over wildlife territory in a hot air balloon.

There is a lot to consider when planning an African Safari. Just keep in mind that a safari adventure is one you will want to plan at least nine months in advance.

Italy

Italy has proven to be one of the best international family vacations in 2023 due to its success in 2022. Gladiators, art, history, pizza, sweet-tasting gelato, and heart-stopping coastal drives are just a few reasons that Italy is one of the most popular destinations in the world. For families whose kids love art, Roman history, and mythology, Italy is one of the most captivating destinations to spend some quality time in. Italy offers so many off-the-beaten path and unique experiences. 

Depending on each family member’s different needs and wants, you can find places that cater to specific interests. So whether the family loves a good history lesson and learning about the culture or they want to lounge around on the beach all day, you won’t have trouble finding a spot everyone loves in Italy.

Of course, this all depends on what time of year you go. While summers are the most popular time to travel to Italy, we recommend a trip over shoulder seasons such as spring break or even winter holidays. Therefore, we’ve included a seasonal guide to help you choose your and your family’s Italian destination depending on the season you wish to visit.

Best Family Vacations in 2023

France

From the charming streets of Paris to the world-famous Eiffel Tower and the provincial villages of the Cote de Azur, France has proven time and time again to be a family vacation mecca for centuries. There are so many splurge-worthy experiences in Paris, and France to make for the best family vacation in 2023. Not only is the food and specifically the pastries, to die for, everyone in the family will get the chance to explore colorful cobblestone pathways, artists and musicians creating on the streets, and beautiful architecture wherever they go.

For a fun itinerary the whole family will enjoy, click the link to read our blog “One Week in Paris Itinerary for Families.” But just in case mom and dad get a chance to have a few days to themselves, we’ve also included our blog on the “10 Most Romantic Towns in France”.

Galapagos Islands Expedition Cruise

The Galapagos islands, which became Ecuador’s first national park in 1959, see over 250,000 visitors yearly. You don’t have to be a fan of gorgeous ocean views, stunning wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes to enjoy all the islands offer.

For a family who wants to travel to the islands, taking an expedition cruise is the best way to see and do as much as possible in a short period. Activities in the Galapagos Islands range from snorkeling and hiking to coastal exploration, wildlife sightings, and walking through volcano trails.

Best Family Vacations in 2023

Peru and Machu Picchu

Are you thinking that taking the kids on a far-flung adventure to explore Inca culture and the incredible ruinsis too unrealistic? So our very own advisor, Rebecca Hogan, embarked on her own magical journey to the country of Peru with her two young children. She noted that the best experience they had as a family was walking the grounds of Machu Picchu and learning about the historical significance of what took place there. The guides were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable, and the kids had plenty of activities to do, including partaking in kids-friendly tours and a chocolate-making class in Cusco.

Mexico

Luxury and all-inclusive resorts, swimming with whale sharks, snorkeling in the second longest barrier reef, and exploring the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza are only a few of the adventures you could enjoy if you travel to Mexico with your family. A few popular destinations with families are Puerto Vallarta, where you can enjoy excursions like swimming with sea lions and taking thrilling canopy tours where you can zip line over the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Mexico City is also a popular destination for its vibrant city and local life, entertainment scenes, incredible dining options, interactive museums, and farms where the kids can pet animals. Take a look at our blog on the “Best Family Resorts in Mexico for Kids and Teens,” in order to make for the best family vacation in 2023.

Best Family Vacations in 2023

Portugal and the Azores

Portugal is a hotspot for millions of travelers every year, and it’s no question why. This beautiful country is filled with vibrant walkways and homes, stunning vineyards stretching for miles that overlook hillside landscapes, and beaches where you can sunbathe while watching surfers riding waves. If that doesn’t excite your kids, tell them there are amazing beaches perfect for swimming and playing, stroller-friendly hikes with insanely gorgeous ocean views, and underground caves to explore. To get them even more excited, check out our “Portugal 10 Day Family Vacation Itinerary Inspiration.” One of our absolute favorite spots in Portugal is actually a hidden gem. Read about how BTA co-founder discovered the authentic side of Portugal in the Algarve and explored the magical Alentejo region.

If you want to explore even more of Portugal, venture outside the mainland and head to the Azores. This string of islands lies about 800 miles off the coast of Portugal that is jam-packed with exhilarating excursions like zip lining, snorkeling, and cruising around on a boat that explores the coast. So if you find your way to Portugal, do you and your family a favor and take the 2-hour plane ride to the Azores Islands. The adventures that Portugal will offer your family will make for the best family vacation in 2023.

Christmas Markets and River Cruises in Germany and France

Every year, thousands of people travel to Germany and France to experience the magic of European Christmas markets. They look like something out of a postcard and have been around for many centuries as a way to celebrate the start of the festive season. This is a must when it comes to the best international family vacations in 2023 around the holiday season.

We suggest making a night out of it with your family and taking your time to stroll around every vendor you can find as you get the chance to enjoy local foods and cozy drinks by the scenic backdrops. The kids will love the colorful and vibrant lights, and I’m sure they’ll find a toy or two they want to take home.

Another incredible way to make the most of the Christmas season in Europe is by taking the whole family on a river cruise. Family-friendly itineraries ensure the entire family is engaged and entertained. Christmas market cruises are guided by experts who take you to small villages, hidden gems, and under-the-radar destinations unseen by many travelers and tourists. River cruises are perfect for everyone in the family and provide a variety of fun activities that’ll keep everyone in the family busy, including castle tours, vineyard trips, and shopping out on the town.

Culture in Athens and Island Hopping in Greece

Exploring the ruins in Athens, Greece, is like taking a step back in time and diving deep into Greek’s diverse history. The city is growing around the ruins, and you and your family will have plenty of monuments, churches, museums, and parks to explore. If you are particularly fond of ancient mythology, archaeological sights, and mesmerizing history, take a few extra days to explore the mainland and sights such as Meteora and Delphi.

Once the kids have fully explored the mainland, you will be ready for some authentically Greek fun-in-the-sun adventures. Island hopping can be an excellent way for the entire family to unplug, recharge and explore the infamous coves, caves, and beaches that have made Greece one of the top destinations for international family vacations. Our Co-Founder and her niece went on the Celebrity Cruises Apex Ship Mediterranean Voyage and found themselves having the trip of a lifetime. The islands are well connected with running ferries, making it easy to hop onboard and see some of the most beautiful views as you sail by the islands. In addition, the islands are the perfect place to dive, snorkel, and play with the seashells on the beaches. Be sure to look some of the best luxury hotels throughout Greece with amazing views.

Best Family Vacations in 2023

Iceland

Last, but surely not least, on our list of the best international family vacations in 2023 is Iceland. Iceland has some of the world’s most jaw-dropping landscapes and views. It’s a mystical land that believes in fairytale creatures and keeping the land and water in pristine condition. This makes it one of the best countries to bring your family to. It’s one of the safest countries to travel through, and the entire family will be in absolute awe wherever they go.

Adventurous family members can hike up mountains to see towering waterfalls, ride Icelandic horses down the coast, and take a boat ride along the cliffs and beaches. However, those more inclined to explore in a relaxed and unhurried manner should spend a few days driving through the different valleys, searching for the best seafood local hotspots, and taking in the extraordinary views. The highlight of many trips to Iceland is seeing the glaciers and lagoons. 

Now that we have shared with you all of the best family vacation destinations in 2023, where will you be taking your family?

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Boutique Travel Advisors is a full-service, luxury travel agency. We specialize in creating bespoke itineraries for discerning clients around the world. Please visit our website or call 480-787-1477 to speak with a dedicated travel expert. 

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