The Best Large Family Vacation Ideas

With a little strategy and a lot of advance planning, your family can be the type that travels together.

Airstream Bambi Sport 16 at Cape Hatteras National Seashore - Ocracoke Campground
Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

Travel is one of the best ways to make memories, and memories made with your family are some of the most significant and enduring. But if you have a big family, taking a trip together might seem out of the question. And taking a trip together that’s not stressful and actually fun for all involved? Sounds impossible.

However, it can indeed be done—with a little strategy and a lot of advance planning, your family can be the type that travels together (maybe even on an annual basis) to exciting new destinations or the tried-and-true favorites. Read on for six of the best vacation ideas for large families.

01 of 06

Saddle Up for an Adventure

Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo in River Ranch, Florida
Courtesy Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo

Ever dreamed of trying out ranch life but can’t make it all the way out to the Wild West? Look no further than Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo, where all your cowboy dreams can come true. At this 1,700-acre luxury glamping resort in central Florida, there are accommodation options to suit every kind of family and group, from typical hotel-style rooms to replica Conestoga wagons to RV and tent camping sites and even luxurious teepees. 

There’s an endless amount of things to do—from airboat rides to skeet shooting to a weekly Saturday-night rodeo—so no one has to worry about leaving the property. It’s a one-stop shop for one of the most rowdy and over-the-top fun family vacations out there, and there’s plenty of space to roam for even the largest of groups.

02 of 06

Take Over a Beach Motel

pawleys island

The Oceanfront Litchfield Inn

If your family can happily entertain themselves beachside and poolside, then a laid-back trip to somewhere with sea and sand—and not much else—might be the perfect solution. No need to overextend everyone’s budgets on some fancy resort—for the best deals, look to the smaller seaside towns with less trendy goings-on and more bang for your buck.

Most family members can be easily talked into a beach vacation to Florida. Look at the beachfront Best Western Cocoa Beach Hotel & Suites for fair prices, lots of rooms to choose from, and years of experience hosting groups just like yours. Or maybe you prefer to head to Pawleys Island, South Carolina. The Oceanfront Litchfield Inn welcomes groups and supplies continental breakfast as well as a prime beachfront location just a short drive away from all the local attractions and Myrtle Beach.

With this type of large family vacation, everyone gets to choose a room type that suits them and there are plenty of common spaces to hang out and enjoy each other’s company—not to mention, of course, the beach, where kids and adults alike can entertain themselves building sand castles, riding the waves, or just lounging in the sun for some much-needed R&R. Vacations shouldn’t be stressful, so if everyone in your family needs a bit of a break, taking over a beach motel together could be both a welcome reprieve from the everyday and an opportunity to reconnect with loved ones you don’t see often enough. 

03 of 06

Rent a Cabin in the Mountains

Blue Ridge, Georgia
Robbie Caponetto

Maybe a cabin in the mountains is more your speed (or a welcome change of scenery). In places like Blue Ridge, Georgia, and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, there are many oversized cabins—and groups of cabins—built for this very thing.

A trip to the mountains will require some driving, as the cabins for large family groups are usually not located in a prime, walkable location, but there’s plenty of fun for all family members in all seasons. Take Banner Elk, North Carolina, for example. By day, you can head out on adventures like hiking and gem mining (or, in the winter, snowboarding Beech Mountain); by night, you can hit the tiny downtown for some memorable BBQ and live music, or head back to the cabins to cook your own feast and gab around a fire pit. Put together an itinerary with suggested activities and members of the group can select which they want to participate in (or not)—then, at the end of the day, you can all reconvene at the cabins together.

04 of 06

Book a Fully-Stocked Home Rental

Crescent City FL Vacation Rental
Courtesy of Vrbo

No matter where your family is willing to go—nearby or far from home—there’s likely a fully stocked home rental that will do just fine. For trips that are less about “going somewhere together” and more about gathering everyone under one roof for once, the best option might be to book a home where everyone has a bed and is forced to cross paths on a daily basis (at least for a weekend). 

Vacation home booking sites like VRBO and Airbnb can be great resources for finding homes that can accommodate even the biggest of groups across a wide swath of bedrooms—there are options out there for groups sized 15 to 100. Whether you book an individual home that everyone shares or a compound broken up into individual abodes for each family, just make sure it’s fully stocked with what you’ll need to cook, clean, and entertain your group for the duration.

05 of 06

Jet Off to an All-Inclusive Resort

the swag resort
Courtesy of The Swag

Booking a large group vacation to an all-inclusive resort, such as the newly-opened The Swag shown here, is a great way to get everyone in one place to see a new part of the world together. Moreover, there’s plenty of activity options both on and off the resort, and food and drinks are included in the price, so the price you pitch to the group is what they pay for the full experience, no surprise budgeting needed.

06 of 06

Pitch Tents at a Campground

Airstream Bambi Sport 16 at Cape Hatteras National Seashore - Ocracoke Campground
Peter Frank Edwards

What could be more fun than embarking for the great outdoors together? Planning a camping trip for your large family can be one of the most adventurous ways to make memories together—and stretch your dollars. Even well equipped campgrounds in prime locations can be priced quite affordably, so there’s no need for primitive tent-pitching off some beaten path (unless that’s your thing). Many campgrounds have tent sites, cabins, and RV hookups available, so everyone can choose what type of accommodation works best for them. 

A camping trip with a large family only keeps the prices accessible to all, it limits the amount of itinerary planning required. Activities available in and around campgrounds are usually pretty simple, from hiking and horseback riding to creek swimming to perhaps a day trip. There will be plenty to entertain everyone, and yet sleeping in the woods by default brings lots of space and time for good conversation around the campfire. Time spent together under the stars promises to form some of your most cherished memories with the people who matter most. 

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