The words “relaxation” and “family” seldom mix. You can hope for relaxation without family, and family without relaxation, but if you think you can have both, you probably don’t have children. Children are a blessing, but not if you want eight hours of rest each night and some time to yourself.

And so, vacations become something altogether different when your family grows. You go to kid-friendly places, with plenty of activities for the young ones. Maybe you go away without the kids once in awhile. You don’t expect to have it all.

However, the truth is that there are some places you can go for a luxury vacation that is both relaxing and has plenty to keep the kids busy.

Disney is perhaps the quintessential example of doing family vacations as they offer a variety of options that range from value hotels to deluxe premium resorts. But there’s a whole world out there and while it may be “a small world after all” there is a great wide variety of options to consider for a vacation that doesn’t involve 5-foot tall mice and enchanted princesses.

Take your family to one of these three destinations, and you’ll find that adventure is out there, you just have to find your way and go the distance!

Zakynthos, Greece

The Greek island of Zakynthos is one of the most beautiful places you will ever visit. Everything about it seems designed to blow your mind on an aesthetic level. If you rent one of these stunning villas in Zakynthos, you will be able to experience it in the lap of luxury. It’s worth the trip, even if you have to fly halfway across the world.

There is also enough to keep the kids busy. One trick that some parents never learn is that you can make beaches interesting to kids. They love sitting by the sea, building castles in the sand, but you need to sell it to them as a new activity. And Zakynthos is perfect for this.

Take Navagio beach for example. It is a cove surrounded by magnificent cliffs. You have to take a boat to get there. You’ll also discover the wreckage of a ship from the 1980s. This is an adventure for the kids, rather than just another beach. Adults will love the gorgeous crystal clear waters and get to relax without worrying about entertaining the young ones.

There’s also the Tsilivi Waterpark, as well as Water Village, where you can spend a day or two on different slides for children and adults. Some days will be relaxing, others will be busy, but all will have something for everyone.

Bali, Indonesia

Over the last couple of decades, Bali has become an incredibly popular vacation destination, and for good reason. Not only is it a place of great beauty, but it is cheap as hell. You can rent a massive villa, with a pool and staff, for the price you’d normally pay for a tiny hotel room. It is an ideal island to relax for a week or two, and you can definitely find plenty for the kids to do.

There are some beautiful beaches, but if you want a luxury experience, you will have to go to one of the paid beaches, as there is an unfortunate litter problem in some areas. Sundays Beach Club is the perfect destination. It is not too expensive, but it feels exclusive, accessed via a short cable car ride. You’ll have staff waiting on your every need, with delicious food and a range of cocktails. You can get a massage at any hour of the day as well. While the tide is still low, they bring out water sports equipment, such as paddleboards, and you can take a trip with your kids across the surface of the water.

There is a lot more for kids to do in Bali. The Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud will remind you of the monkey temple from The Jungle Book and will enthrall both you and the kids. At the spectacular rice paddies, there is a massive swing that is a safe but exhilarating experience for children of all ages. If you want to see a Hindu Temple, the “bat cave temple” is a lot more interesting than any other (for adults as well!).

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is a perfect destination for a relaxing family vacation, as it is a vibrant city, and not just a beach town. Yes, Cape Town has some of the best beaches in the world, with Clifton, Camp’s Bay, and many more. You will luxuriate in the beauty, feeling relaxed just by being there.

And there is a lot to do. Firstly, Table Mountain is a must. The unique, flat-top mountain can be easily reached via cable car, and you’ll see magnificent views from the top. There’s a restaurant up there as well, so you can spend time taking everything in. Bugz Playpark is not quite Disney, but it’s a fun outing for the kids.

You can picnic in the Kirstenbosch Gardens, where there are often concerts going on. Take the kids to the Scratch Patch to sift through precious stones and find some gems to take home.

One favorite beach in the area is also perfect for kids – Simon’s Town is host to Seaforth Beach, which is an idyllic beach that is also home to penguin colonies. Boulders Beach nearby is even more populated with penguins, but isn’t quite as relaxing as its less crowded neighbor.

If your kids need to expend some energy, take them to Rush Indoor Trampoline Park, where they can jump on wall-to-wall trampolines for hours on end. Afterwards, they’ll be grateful for the chance to relax with you by the beach, giving both adults and children what they want.

Final Thoughts

A trip with kids doesn’t have to be all action. You can spend some time relaxing if you go to the right spots! Mickey-shaped waffles, hugs from princesses, and roller coasters are an absolutely great way to vacation but if you want to experience true luxuries, you’ll want to look into other options besides that people trap built by a mouse!