5 Easy family vacation ideas

Feb 17, 2010 at 12:56 p.m. ET

Anyone with kids will tell you they change the way you vacation. Although the all-night casino trips may be on hold for now, family vacation fun is far from over. We cannot promise you won't still hear the chants of "Are we there yet?" as you travel to your destination, but family-friendly fun is guaranteed. Here are five easy trips to consider for your next family getaway.

Young Family Camping

Visit an all-inclusive resort

All-inclusive holidays can be the easiest way to please everyone in your family. From water recreation to kids' clubs to food and beverages that are included in the cost, every detail of your trip is covered. There's enough included in these comprehensive vacations to keep the most active of families busy. Some even offer childcare, so do your research and make sure that you are getting options that will best fit your family.

Take a family cruise

Cruises are not just for singles. Disney was among the first to offer the ultimate all-ages cruise experience, but more and more ships are adding amenities with families in mind. Many are packed with kid-oriented activities to make youngsters through teens as happy as adults on a ship-o'-fun. Adults do not have to give up their own cruise fun, though: Adults-only areas still exist on these ships, so parents are free to enjoy their own activities while kids are immersed in age-appropriate entertainment.

Venture out for camping

Camping is a family-friendly way to get outdoors and enjoy nature together. From roughing it under the stars to sleeping snugly in an RV, the way you camp is totally up to you. "We only go camping because there is something for everyone," says Tami Holes, mother of three in California. "We also go to our friend's cabin at Big Bear Mountain... Summer or winter, there is always something to do." Whether your clan includes tiny tots or picky teens, camping is an easy way to get everyone together and focus on your family.

Join a tour group

Taking your family on a tour group trip lets you focus less on the details and more on having fun. From sightseeing to accommodations to dining, many itineraries are set so you don't have to research what's available around each stop. Another plus is that everyone gets to relax, because everyone's a passenger on the tour bus. Plus, you can get up occasionally and stretch your legs. With a tour group, your road trip is filled with amenities and information that you don't get while driving, such as a lavatory and on-board tour guide.

Consider a timeshare

Whether you rent or purchase a timeshare, staying in a place that is more like home may make things easier -- not to mention more comfortable. Without your entire family sleeping in the same hotel room, adults and older kids won't need to tiptoe once little ones hit the sack. Also, timeshares with kitchens make eating much cheaper on an extended stay. In addition, because you lose timeshares you do not use, you're more likely to take a getaway rather than put it off due to the busy responsibilities of everyday life.

The key to a successful family vacation is planning. Booking early gives you the best pick of seats, rooms and schedules to meet your family's needs. If avoiding a crowd would make your vacation easier, consider traveling during off-peak times; you will likely save some cash that way, too.