Have we returned to a post-COVID world of family travel or are we still approaching international vacations with caution?
Just when we thought 2020 was the worst possible year for the world of travel, along rolled 2021.
Whilst some countries rapidly rolled out vaccine programs and reopened international borders, others continued with lockdowns, “green passes” and ever changing rules as the world continues to grapple with a “post-COVID” model for international travel.
Each year, we ask members of our Family Travel Inspiration Facebook Community to share with us their travel plans for the upcoming year. The Global Pandemic has seen most families wipe all but the most urgent of travel plans in the past two years, but we look optimistically towards 2022 and green shoots of recovery for the tourism sector.
Changes to the Family Travel outlook in 2022
Whilst last year’s survey really was mostly an optimistic wishlist, families are much better equipped coming in to 2022 with what MAY happen; Vaccines for children are helping our younger age group get on the move again but planned journeys are no doubt continuing to be thwarted by lockdowns and rule changes as we write (November 2021).
Some big movers and shakers in this years rankings – 2022 see’s Mexico jump firmly into number 1 spot with our international family travel community. This is closely followed by England, France, Italy, Australia & Canada as this year’s front runners.
NB in the past we’ve had a mix of cities and countries. We have combined this year’s results to represent countries as a whole, with only the US broken down by state.
Some notable absentees from our “top 22” include stalwarts such as New Zealand, Sri Lanka and South Africa. No doubt all will return by next year, however, it seems travel restrictions and perhaps safety concerns with these family travel gems have put them on the backburner for many.
We’re going to take a detailed look at the top 10 destinations, and round out our list with another 12 family favourites chosen by our community and some of our own picks to complete the Top 22 Family Destinations in 2022.
We keep as a record our past survey results if you are interested to see where our families previously chose:
- Best Family Travel Destinations 2019
- Best Family Travel Destinations 2020 (selected pre-COVID)
- Best Family Travel Destinations 2021 (a post-COVID wishlist)
Best Family Destinations in 2022
Our top 10 family destinations in 2022, as chosen by family travellers:
A hugely popular choice with our family travel community this year, it seems Mexico’s sunshine and cultural sites are proving a big pull for families. From the lovely warm waters of the Caribbean, and all-inclusive resorts to the more remote cities, culture, and cuisine.
Learn more about Mexico with kids
= 2. England
London is always a fixture in our top family destinations. This year we have combined votes for London with those looking to visit England in general, and it’s clear to see why it’s the second most popular destination for families in 2022. England has plenty of family travel appeal, fabulous history, and fresh country air.
Good public transport connections make it possible to see much of the country in a single trip, and widely spoken English helps many international travelling families.
Learn more about visiting England with kids
= 2. France
Almost nothing can beat a classic family vacation to France. From the moment your kids first lay eyes on the Eiffel Tower to the snow-capped Alps, France delivers such diversity for a family vacation.
Once you’re done with the city sightseeing – several days, if not longer in Paris is a must – head to the countryside; older children will appreciate a tour of Normandy, whilst outdoor adventurers will be drawn to Marseille or perhaps the Pyrenes. Every family will find their favourite corner of France!
Learn more about visiting France with kids
- One Day in Paris with Kids
- Best things to do Côte d’Azur with kids
- Best Family Hotels in Paris – Little City Trips
- Best Destinations for Families in France – Globetotting
Isn’t Italy on everyone’s wishlist? 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 than the Eternal City, Rome?
Continue your family adventure to the north or south. Venice is instantly recognisable and unforgettable, Florence will forever hold a charm and, of course, a classic stop at the Leaning Tower of Pisa! Beachgoers will love Tuscany or the less-visited Calabria.
Learn more about Italy with kids
- A practical guide to exploring Rome with a Baby
- Italy 100+ Travel Tips for the First-timer – Mama Loves Italy
- A Family Guide to Rome – Mama Loves Rome
- 3 Day Rome Itinerary – Little City Trips (Podcast)
Australia’s family travel appeal is simply indisputable. Although snap lockdowns and compulsory quarantines in many states still overshadow travel plans coming into 2022, it remains a firm favourite with international travellers.
From the stunning beaches to the wildlife, incredible urban centres to the outback. It’s deciding exactly which part of Australia to see that remains the hard part! We always recommend family visitors to concentrate on one coast or state unless you have several months to spend Downunder.
Learn more about Australia with kids
- Beginners guide to planning a trip to Australia
- Unique ways to explore Sydney with kids
- 9-day road trip itinerary south-west Western Australia with kid
- 5 essential stops on a Queensland Road Trip
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 2022.
The vast size of Canada, like Australia, makes it difficult to cover in just one trip, but there are many micro-adventures to enjoy coast to coast. Visiting the Rockies, no matter the season, will bring an unforgettable experience. Equally, Niagara Falls and the east coast hold many magical family adventures.
Learn more about Canada with Kids
Spain is home to endless family adventures; it’s no surprise to see Spain back on the list of the most popular family vacation destinations in 2022.
Most probably think immediately of Costa del Sol and endless hours of sunshine on the beach (very good reasons to visit!), but the major cities in Spain hold much intrigue and adventure too. Barcelona is frequently touted as one of the best European city breaks with kids or try the wide-open plazas of Seville.
The Balearic Islands, with almost year-round warmth, are another popular family choice.
Learn more about Spain with Kids
=8. Florida, USA
COVID or not, Florida never seems to lose its appeal for domestic and international family travellers alike. From theme parks to wide sandy beaches, it’s pretty clear to see why Florida remains a favourite.
So much more than Disney World and Orlando, there’s no surprise we’ve been here three times now with the Globetrotters!
Learn more about Florida with kids
=8. Costa Rica
A brand new entrant to the top 10 this year, Costa Rica is proving to be a real draw card for families in 2022. Abundant nature experiences, as well as action and adventure from rainforest to beach have families researching this hidden gem.
A warm and welcoming culture, waterfalls to volcanoes, and hot springs – this destination is hot no matter when you plan to visit!
Learn more about Costa Rica with kids
Always a popular choice in our family travel community, though it has dropped from the top spot on the 2021 wishlist to just popping into the top 10 still.
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 in Japan. One of the most intriguing destinations for families, we are certain as restrictions ease, it will be top of people’s wish lists again for that unique family vacation.
Learn more about Japan with kids
- Tokyo with young kids for beginners
- Best places to visit in Japan during Spring
- Exploring the Kansai Region
- The Best Onsen Towns in Japan
- 3 Day Tokyo Itinerary for Families – Little City Trips
Just missing out on our top 10 but certainly still worthy of a mention in our best family vacation destinations for 2022:
Our 2022 Wildcards – Best Family Destinations
Rounding things out for a nice even 22 to try in 2022, we’re throwing in a few extra family favorites of our own, which we think will make incredible family experiences this year.
United Arab Emirates
We couldn’t not include our home country. We are undoubtedly biased, but it is one of the best family-friendly destinations, the perfect mix of sun and outdoor adventure, theme parks, and cultural experiences.
Still such a hidden gem for families. Its Middle East location and perceived difficulty in understanding language and culture no doubt deter some families. However, it is arguably one of the adventurers’ best family travel experiences.
The mountains of Switzerland are calling! Whether it’s winter skiing or summer hiking, Switzerland holds an outdoor magic that every family should visit at least once.
So, where will YOU be heading this year? Do you agree with how our community has voted for 2022? 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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More “Best Destinations” Around the World
If you’re looking for further family travel inspiration, look no further!
In collaboration with our family travel community, we have been collating “best of” family travel guides since 2013!
These are constantly being improved and updated, so why not pop over and check out:
- The 20 Best Family Beach Vacation Destinations around the World
- 20 Best City Breaks for Families
- 14 Incredible Educational Family Travel Experiences
- 25 Best Winery Routes Around the World Suitable for Families
- 18 Amazing Snorkelling Destinations for Beginners
- 20 Epic Family Road trips you need to take
- 6 Intriguing Destinations for Ultimate Relaxation
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 2021 and don’t necessarily reflect the author’s point of view. You can read our full disclosure policy here.