How to Plan a Summer Vacation Everyone Will Love

Planning a vacation is exciting! The possibilities for where to go and what to do are endless. Do you want to relax on a lounge chair by the water or hike up to stunning treetop views? Hit national parks or theme parks? We could do this all day… but you shouldn’t have to! Picking a spot that your whole fam will love doesn’t need to be overwhelming; you just need a few guidelines to make sure everyone will have a blast. 

Hot travel tip: Marriott Bonvoy offers 30 unique brands of hotels across the country, loaded with amenities for families. Find your home away from home now!

Have a Baby? Start Here.

Beach, Baby!

Sure, babies love to cry, but they also love to explore! A beach vacay is perfect for baby. Squishing sand in their teenie hands, dipping toes in the water for the first time—so many new sensations to take in. If you do choose somewhere sunny, just remember that it’s not recommended for kids one year and under to wear sunblock. Be sure to have an umbrella at the ready, and dress them in some fabulous SPF swimsuits to keep their skin safe. Bonus: The calming sound of the surf makes for an ideal nap spot for you both!

Into the Great Wide Open

With a babe in tow, it's a great time to finally have that chill, outdoorsy trip you’ve been dreaming of. Your little one is portable right now, so take advantage of it—they even have special hiking gear just to carry your tiny bean along your travels. How about discovering Montana, where you’ll be able to explore the beauty of nature and kids will enjoy spotting all the farm animals and copying their sounds IRL? Or "go up the county" to the Adirondacks in New York State for some peaceful vibes, gorgeous greenery and sparkling lakes.

‘Threenagers’ & Under

Toddlers can be synonymous with tantrums and much-needed naps. But that shouldn’t stop them (or you!) from having a good time. Look into going somewhere with whole spaces just for them, like a Children’s Museum—this way kids can explore and play in a safe space and get the wiggles out (since they are getting into everything these days!). Maybe plan on an activity like a petting zoo or playground in the morning, then you’ll have time to head back to the hotel for their nap and refresh for your next adventure. Be sure to bring a lightweight stroller and plenty of snacks no matter where you go, and your tot will be happy as a clam.


No matter your budget, Marriott Bonvoy offers a variety of hotels in family-friendly destinations nationwide! 

The Interactive Bunch: 4-7 Years

Time for adventure! What should you look for? Interactive activities! Think big cities or spots with resorts and amusement parks, and lots to do. Aquariums and museums fit the bill, too! How about a visit to the world-renowned Natural History Museum and then simply cross the street to experience the man-made beauty that is Central Park in NYC. Florida, of course, is always an excellent option for family fun, with plenty of choices for theme parks and outdoor water sports. Looking for smaller crowds? Williamsburg, Virginia, boasts a much-loved theme park—Busch Gardens (yup, like the beer!)—also fascinating brewery tours for the whole gang and engaging and immersive history-themed events for all ages.

 Big Kids: 8 & Up

Your little kid is becoming a big kid! Let what they’re interested in be your guide for where to go. Into music? Shimmy on over to Nashville, Tennessee, and check out their world-famous Honk Tonks! Is science their thing? Head to Portland, Oregon, where you can visit the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, one of the largest science museums in the country. At this age, it's also a great time to pay a visit to some of our nation's breathtaking national parks. Arches National Park in Utah, for one, is chockfull of stunning natural rock formations with loads to explore close by—and there are plenty more around the country!

No matter where you choose to vacay, there’s nothing quite as special as family time. Marriott Bonvoy’s resorts and properties offer you a multitude of ways to get together. With so many family-friendly properties across the U.S., you’re sure to find the perfect place to spend time together and enjoy!


—Jamie Aderski


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