Top Family Vacation Destinations for 2021

Best Destinations - beautiful temple in Japan

In a post-COVID world, what destinations still hold the most appeal for our international family travellers in 2021?

What an incredibly different situation we find ourselves in now compared to 12 months ago when we last completed our annual travel survey for family travellers.

Each year, we ask members of our Family Travel Inspiration Facebook Group to share with us their travel plans for the upcoming year, however, clearly, when we presented our Top 20 Destinations for 2020, nobody saw a global pandemic on the horizon.

We keep a record of our past survey results. If you are looking for them, you will find our Top 19 for 2019 here and our Top 20 for 2020 here.

Changes to the Family Travel outlook in 2021

This years survey was exceptionally different to past years when we asked families what they actually have booked for the upcoming year. For 2021 we have viewed this as a “wishlist”; If – a big IF – we can travel freely around the world again in the next 12 months, where would be top of your list?

We had fewer survey respondents than usual so it was difficult to come up with a pragmatic list that truly reflects community feeling as there are simply too many unknowns still (as at November 2020).

We have seen Japan jump up in popularity to top our favourite family destiantion for 2021, followed by Italy, Ireland, Canada & Australia.

Some notable absences from past hot-favourite family destinations include London (which took out last year’s top spot), Hawaii (2020 runner up) and New York. Undoubtedly big cities look to be off the agenda in 2021.

After you have chosen your dream destination for 2021, be sure to check what documents you need to prepare for the trip. Some countries require visas for crossing their borders, so you will have to fill in applications and take visa photos beforehand. To avoid any mistakes, we suggest checking out Passport Photo Maker. You will learn tips & tricks about preparing visa photos that comply with all the official requirements. 

This year’s top destinations guide should be read in conjunction with our post 2021 Family Travel Expectations. We have asked families from around the world to talk about their current and future expectations around tourism in key travel markets around the world.

Without further ado, here’s the 2021 Family Travel Wishlist, as chosen by travel-loving parents.

1. Japan

Tokyo cityspace sunset view

Always a popular choice in our travel community and this year jumping into top spot as the most sought after family travel destination in 2021. From the bustling capital of Tokyo through to the much-Instagrammed and beautiful Kyoto, there is a lot of fun family exploring to be had.

Learn more about Japan with kids


2. Italy

Rome | Best Cities for Family Travel | OurGlobetrotters.Com

Always a favourite with our families and it seems despite the events of 2020 it’s still top of most European bucket lists. From art to history to food, there is so much going on that family members of all ages will love.  Most kids will no doubt learn about the Roman Empire at school, and what better place to come for some real-life lessons.

Learn more about Italy with kids


3. Ireland

Ireland best destinations 2020

An ever-popular family destination, the Emerald Isle is popular with those tracing their family heritage to the stunning natural wonders. Ireland is an easy country to navigate by road and will be a firm favourite to visit when borders re-open.

Learn more about Ireland with kids

4. Canada

Whether it’s the majestic tranquillity of the mountains or the skiing and winter sports you love, Canada is undoubtedly being eyed up by many families as the perfect nature escape in 2021.

Learn more about Canada with Kids

5. Australia

Australia kangaroo on beach

From the urban centres to the isolated beaches and the great outback, it’s not hard to see why Australia is a popular choice. It’s deciding which parts to see which is hard! It would take several months to remotely cover Australia’s highlight, so most family visitors choose to concentrate on one coast or state.

Learn more about Australia with kids

6. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Elephant Orphanage

The stunning natural beauty of Sri Lanka is a huge drawcard for families. A small country that deserves to be travelled slowly, taking in the spectacular mountains to the incredible beaches and amazing national parks and reserves.

Learn more about Sri Lanka with Kids

7. South Africa

South Africa - Cape Town

From the stunning city vistas of Cape Town to the charming wine-growing regions of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, through to wildlife safari’s, its quite easy to see how South Africa is an attractive choice for family adventurers. Allow yourself at least a couple of weeks for the long flight and different areas to explore.

Learn more about South Africa with Kids

8. Florida, USA

Florida Beach

From theme parks to wide sandy beaches, it’s pretty clear to see why Orlando remains a staunch crowd favourite, for US and international family visitors alike. So much more than just Disney World, there’s no surprise we’ve been here three times now with the Globetrotters!

Learn more about Florida with kids

9. Greece

Athens the best destinations 2020 Greece

Is it the mythology and legends behind Greece or its dramatic landscape that keep it prominent on every family’s bucket list? We’re sure it’s a little bit of both – plus the food! And the mild weather… The list goes on! Whether you’re just stopping through Athens or exploring the Greek Islands, you’re bound to find your favourite little spot.

Learn more about Greece with kids

10. Iceland

seljalandsfoss iceland

Iceland nearly fell out of our Top 20 destinations for families last year but we see it back again in our Top 10 for 2021. A country of dramatic vistas and raw beauty, visitors are expanding their travels well beyond the Golden Circle and easy day trips to Reykjavik.

With younger children why not start with the Snæfellsnes Peninsula? Driving distances are short and there are far fewer crowds, you will find black sand beaches, volcanoes, lava fields and waterfalls

Learn more about Iceland with kids


The next 15 are in no particular order but came up with equal votes in our survey as ever-popular and emerging destinations that interest our travelling families in 2021 and beyond.

So where will YOU be heading this year? Tell us in the comments or jump on over to Family Travel Inspiration and share your ideas, ask questions and get involved in our family community group.

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Disclosures:  This page contains affiliate links that, if you make a purchase through, may earn us a small commission at no extra cost to you. The destinations chosen are by community vote in November 2020 and don’t necessarily reflect the author’s point of view! You can read our full disclosure policy here. 

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