Start planning your family tour in the USA
Kids of all ages and from all over the world love visiting the various national parks available in the United States. With plenty of landscapes, the likes of which they have never seen before, the parks never fail to impress families of both children and teenagers. After all, where else could you ride horses through orange landscapes, pretending to be cowboys straight out of an old western? The USA’s sheer size means that it has a never ending amount of activities for all ages and tastes, so no matter where you choose to go, you’re bound to come across something to take your fancy. Explore the national parks, which have extensive family-friendly trails, specially designed for younger hikers. For kids who prefer busier city-life to nature, the U.S. is filled with exciting amusement parks that are featured in many of our customisable USA tours. For monuments and museums, Washington D.C. is a clear choice, with The Smithsonian hosting interactive museum visits and activities to teach you and your family about the USA’s history. A visit to New York always guarantees entertainment, you can visit a sports game or any of the hundreds of museums, galleries and sites here, all of which have elements to interest kids. The USA, unlike some more off-the-beaten-track destinations, is truly child-friendly, no matter where you go.
Best things to see and do in the USA with kids
With such a large area, its no wonder that the United States has so much to offer families and it is the perfect destination for families who are looking for a huge range of family-friendly activities to fill their time. On the East Coast, you have enough bustling cities, theme parks, and child-friendly beaches to keep any child or teen occupied. Florida in particular are home to the world-famous Disney and Universal Studios parks as well, with hundreds of roller coasters for teenagers and for younger children, there are experiences taken straight from their favourite films. Visiting the classic sites is an obvious but unmissable choice, and the West Coast of the USA is full of activities and national parks that you and your family will never forget. Whether it's taking in the view from the Grand Canyon or trekking in the staggering landscapes of Monument Valley like a true cowboy, the West Coast has everything you need. If you're planning your trip around the USA's national parks, Yosemite and Yellowstone National Park are probably the most iconic. On a guided family tour, you'll be shown all of the native animals that call this beautiful area their home, such as bears, eagles, wolves, and many more. Some parks even offer special Junior Ranger programmes, geared specifically to younger children. With these programmes, rangers will take kids on mini-expeditions, teaching them about nature and their efforts to preserve it, earning each child a special Junior Ranger certification. Teenagers can experience spelunking in massive caves, snorkelling through immense waters, and rafting down exciting rivers.
Once you’ve had your fill of nature, visit one of The US’ most well known cities, such as New York, where you can enjoy all the sites that bring so many visitors here each year. Take a boat trip to see the Statue of Liberty in all its glory before going back into town to grab a bite to eat in one of NYC’s well-beloved spots. Central Park is ideal for a morning stroll with your kids, no matter the season. In the south, families will love seeing the glamour and glitz of Los Angeles and taking in all of the great sites that are so well known in popular culture. Teens in particular will love taking a photo underneath the famous 'Hollywood' sign, while there's plenty of wine-tasting opportunities in California's sun-soaked vineyards for parents to enjoy! There is so much to do and see in The United States that you’ll be able to create a mixture of culture, nature and entertainment on a scale that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
Best time to visit the USA as a family
Since The US is so huge, the best time to travel will depend entirely on what you want to see and do during your time here. Temperatures in the North can become extremely cold during the winter months, whereas the Southern summer is punctuated with thunderstorms and downpours, whilst experiencing extremely hot and humid weather. You will need to plan in advance where you wish to go and pack accordingly. If you are planning on visiting a number of different areas then make sure you come well-equipped to keep the whole family happy no matter the weather. There is no real peak season which can be used to describe travel trends throughout the whole of the United States, however, you can expect to find more visitors to major sites, cities and National Parks during typical school holiday periods.
Family holiday tips for travelling to the USA
With a little research and knowledge you can ensure that you are as prepared as possible for your family trip to The USA, here a few tips and tricks to ensure that everything runs smoothly on your holiday.
- Try to avoid the mistake of trying to squeeze too many activities into a shorter space of time. Take your time and appreciate this wonderful country by planning a few extra days to relax, even if this means cutting down on some activities. You’ll thank us in the end.
- Since the country is so large, it can take some time to get from place to place and we recommend renting a car to ensure that you can do things at your own pace. When travelling between states, fly where possible since long and boring drives may not go down well with kids.
- Make sure that you have all the correct paperwork before leaving, since the US border control is very strict. You will need permission to enter the country and the precise paperwork will vary depending on where you’re originally from. We recommend having a look online before planning your trip.
- Tipping is expected in The US and if you do not tip in bars, restaurants or anywhere where you have received good service it may be considered as rude. Generally, the average tip should be between 15 and 20% of the cost of your meal, drink, etc.