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10 important countries your kids should visit before they turn 18

If you could travel anywhere in the world with your kids, where would you go? Would you stay in your own country? Probably not. Given the chance, it would be pretty safe to say that we would all pack up and show our children a new country. So in the spirit of adventure, let’s jump into the best countries for kids that the whole family will want to visit again and again.

A family exploring caves in Spain.

If your kids love parks and architecture

Spain

Don’t let the language barrier stop you from exploring this gorgeous country. Kids are considered a blessing in Spain and are welcomed everywhere, anytime, no matter what. There are parks everywhere and beautiful architecture for the whole family to gaze on. Plus, daily siestas are required and who would pass up naps?

Sights to see

If your kids love to be outside

Costa Rica

With so much to do outside, you might only be inside to sleep during your stay in Costa Rica. We couldn’t find anything to do that was actually inside a building! For the kids who love adventure and fresh air, Costa Rica has much to offer.

Sights to see

Best country for little ones

Finland

Before your kids understand that you are Santa, take them to see where all of the magic happens. From hanging out with reindeer to seeing where Santa lives, Finland will keep their childlike innocence intact. Finland also has one of the best amusement parks for young children in the whole world, so you have to check out Moominworld.

Sights to see

A family feeding baby kangeroos.

Among the most kid-friendly countries

Australia

All signs point to the land down under as one of the best countries to take the kids. It’s so large that you could plan an extended vacation and try to hit a few cities or know you have a country to visit for years to come. The day-to-day culture is close to life in the United States, so the kids won’t be so shocked if they haven’t traveled out of the country before.

Sights to see

If your kids love to learn about other cultures

Switzerland

Whether your child loves to look at beautiful natural sights or wants to spend the whole time inside museums, Switzerland has it all. No matter what time of year you visit or how old your children are, you’ll all never want to leave. The endless chocolate factories to visit will have the parents and kids fighting over which to visit next.

Sights to see

If your kids are more laid back

Portugal

If your kids want a lot of options for the whole vacation but don’t want to be on a timetable, Portugal will make sure no one is ever bored. The slower pace of things will help the entire family enjoy each other’s company. It’s also very affordable for families to visit. The best part: if you have tiny tots you get to cut the line every time!

Sights to see

A family looking at the sights in Portugal.

If your kids are adventurous

New Zealand

From volcanos to zip-lining to the longest swing bridge to rolling down green hills in a huge see-through ball, there is something for every child that likes to live dangerously. There’s so much for the adventurer, so if you have kids that aren’t afraid to try new things, they need to visit New Zealand.

Sights to see

Best country for a historic family trip?

England

The number of castles, parks, museums, and insanely gorgeous bridges would take you weeks to see. The kids will think the historical sights look amazing and the parents will love to be wrapped up in the history. No matter what age your kids are, there is something for the entire family to appreciate in England.

Sights to see

If your kids love to do things together

Croatia

If your children love history, there will be plenty for you to all learn about together. With plenty of cities that are walking only, you won’t have to worry about kids darting in front of cars. The rich history of Croatia will keep parents and kids busy all day long.

Sights to see

A family getting ready to board a plane.

If your kids love culture

Japan

You would have to live in Japan long-term to get to everything there is to do. But you can pack in a few of the amazing sites on your next family vacation. If your children love to look at a new thing every minute of every day, Japan will keep their little eyes busy.

Sights to see

For any of these countries, we think the best time to visit is in the off-season. Sure, sunshine is great, but is melting in the hot sun with so many people that you can’t even move worth it? Look up when the busy season is and avoid that time if you don’t want the kids complaining about lines and how hot it is. You’ll also save significant money.

You can find something to do for kids of any age in any country. But what do your kids want to do? If you don’t ask them, they could wind up being miserable no matter where you go or how old they are. As a parent traveling with kids, you know your joy on vacation is going comes from how much fun they have. Any of these countries will bring your family plenty of memories for years to come and give your children the experiences they will remember their whole lives.

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