Meaningful luxury vacation with hands up holidays

Luxury Family Vacations With Purpose

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Can You Bond With Your Kids on Vacation?

Ah, family vacations. Those precious times in the year when we get to relax and explore together, be it a beach vacation at an all-inclusive resort or an active family adventure. Your luxury vacation is time to be treasured, and with so many resorts around the world, there are unlimited options for your perfect luxury vacation. A thrilling water park is great fun for the whole family, however, it is our firm belief that luxury family travel can be infused with purpose, which will lift your experience to the next level.   

How so?

Families bond closer when they help others, such as by preparing meals, renovating a classroom, building an eco-friendly stove for a family, caring for children in a daycare center, being a conversational reading partner, or conserving wildlife. 

Oftentimes, the best family trips are those that are a combination of purpose, customized sightseeing, and luxury.

Luxury family trips can be meaningful and make a difference. 

Some benefits of luxury family holidays that may lead to a meaningful and inspiring experience include:
1. Quality Time: they offer an opportunity for families to spend quality time together. Everyone can take a break from their daily routine and distractions to bond, share experiences, and create unforgettable memories.
2. Cultural Experience: travel can expose families to new cultures and ways of life. Children can learn and appreciate other cultures, languages, and traditions, which broadens their understanding and makes them open-minded.
3. Relaxation: holidays offer a chance for families to relax and recharge their batteries. Adults can take a break from work and stress, and children can take a break from school and study. A relaxed mind and body can lead to a healthier and happier family.
4. Learning Opportunities: travel can offer unique learning opportunities for children. They can learn about history, science, and nature in a fun and interactive way, which can spark their curiosity and inspire them.
5. Bonding: giving back can create a deeper bond between family members. Experiencing new and exciting things together can strengthen relationships and create a sense of unity.

The Best Luxury Family Resorts

Luxury resorts have their place, and of course, there are times when you simply want to relax and be pampered. But there are other times when you want your luxury family vacation to be meaningful, and to make a difference. There are now a growing number of luxury eco-resorts that are not only luxurious but also committed to sustainability and responsible tourism. These resorts go beyond just conserving resources – they actively participate in conservation efforts, support local communities, and provide opportunities for guests to get involved.
One such example is the family-friendly luxury resort Soneva Fushi in the Maldives. The resort is committed to minimizing its environmental impact through initiatives such as using solar power, reducing waste and preserving marine life. It also has its own organic garden and supports local farmers by sourcing produce locally.
In addition to conservation efforts, Soneva Fushi also has programs to support the local community. The resort has its own school, where children from surrounding areas attend. As a guest, you can visit the school and meet the students and teachers.
They also offer a ‘coral planting’ experience, where guests can help plant coral reefs to restore marine habitats. The resort also offers guided snorkeling tours with marine biologists, where guests can learn about the local marine life and the challenges it faces.

Another example is Misool Resort in Indonesia. The resort is located on a remote archipelago and is committed to sustainable tourism. They have a zero-waste policy and have implemented a range of initiatives to conserve resources such as solar power and rainwater harvesting.
The resort also supports the local community through education and employment opportunities. They have a sustainable fishing program, where they work with local fishermen to ensure sustainable fishing practices are followed.

As a guest, you can participate in conservation efforts such as coral planting, beach cleanups, and turtle monitoring. You can also visit the local village and learn about their way of life.
Luxury eco-resorts offer a unique opportunity to have a luxurious vacation that also makes a difference. By supporting sustainable tourism and responsible conservation efforts, you can have a positive impact on the environment and local communities. 

Top Luxury Family Destinations for a Meaningful Family Holiday 

The best luxury family vacations are those with something for everyone, which the whole family can enjoy.

One of the best places for this is Costa Rica – it is a renowned sustainable luxury destination, as it is at the forefront of certifying all hotels and resorts for environmental sustainability, one of the top luxury eco-resorts is Lapa Rios, others are El Silencio, Nayara Tented Camp, and El Mangroove. Costa Rice offers kid-friendly activities like:

  • kayaking
  • horseback riding (all ability levels)
  • whitewater rafting (from gentle rapids to Grade IV challenges)
  • kids club
  • walks through the rainforest tree canopy
  • zip lining

Costa Rica is arguably the best family-friendly country in the world, and to make your trip their meaningful, you can:

(1) help at a wildlife rescue center: preparing meals for monkeys, parrots and more, creating enrichments to stimulate them, maintaining their enclosures, and learning a lot about the animals.

(2) Alternatively, you can help renovate a school. Your kids will love interacting and playing with the local kids.

Other Luxury Family Vacation Ideas

Some of our favorite destinations with the top luxury family resorts include:

1. Belize

One of the best destinations in the world to dive and snorkel, with the Blue Hole and the Barrier Reef, plus for more family fun you can:


Furthermore, Belize boasts pristine beaches, turquoise waters, lush rainforests, and an incredible variety of marine life, making it a paradise for nature lovers.
With a rich blend of indigenous, African, and European cultures, Belize offers a unique mix of ancient Maya ruins, colonial architecture, and vibrant modern art.
Belizean cuisine is diverse and influenced by various cultures, and features fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and a variety of spices and herbs.
Belize is English-speaking, so no language barriers.

Belize has a range of luxurious accommodation options, from eco-lodges to beachfront villas, providing a peaceful and tranquil experience.

In terms of resorts for families, Copal Tree Lodge is a luxurious eco-resort located in the heart of the lush jungle in southern Belize. Situated on a 12,000-acre nature preserve, the lodge offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich culture and natural beauty of Belize.
You can enjoy a variety of activities at this luxury hotel, including hiking, bird watching, kayaking, swimming, and fishing. The lodge also has a full-service spa, a farm-to-table restaurant, and a bar serving delicious locally-inspired cocktails.
The lodge places a strong emphasis on sustainability and environmental conservation. It is committed to minimizing its carbon footprint and supporting the local community by using locally sourced materials and supporting local artisans.

Other top luxurious accommodation options in Belize include:
1. Blancaneaux Lodge: Located in the heart of the Maya Mountains, Blancaneaux Lodge offers a luxurious jungle experience. The lodge features 20 spacious villas, each beautifully designed with local materials and offering stunning views of the surrounding rainforest. Facilities include a restaurant, bar, spa treatment, and swimming pool.
2. Turtle Inn: This stunning beachfront resort is nestled in a secluded area of Placencia Peninsula. The resort features 25 luxurious villas and cottages, each elegantly designed with local materials and offering Caribbean Sea views. Facilities include a restaurant, bar, and two swimming pools.
3. Victoria House: Located on Ambergris Caye, Victoria House is a luxurious beachfront resort that offers 42 spacious and elegantly furnished rooms and suites. Facilities include a restaurant, bar, and swimming pool, as well as a range of beach activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
4. Chaa Creek: This award-winning eco-lodge is located in the heart of the Belizean rainforest. The lodge offers a range of luxurious accommodations, including treehouses, cottages, and villas. Facilities include a restaurant, bar, and swimming pool, as well as a range of outdoor activities such as horseback riding, birdwatching, and hiking.
5. Matachica Resort: Another of the luxury family hotels located on Ambergris Caye, it offers 31 luxurious villas and suites, each beautifully designed with local materials and offering stunning sea views. A range of water sports activities are on offer.

Make a difference in Belize:

Older children and teenagers especially will love building an eco-friendly stove for a family in a Mayan village. These stoves are fantastic in that:

  1. They replace open flames with enclosed flames, so burn incidents are reduced, which were particularly prevalent with young children running around.
  2. They have a chimney to expel the smoke, thus lowering respiratory problems such as asthma
  3. They use much less wood, so are better for the environment

2. South Africa

Families around the world experience a great vacation in South Africa South Africa is a popular destination for families looking for a great vacation. The country offers a wide range of experiences and activities suitable for all ages, from beautiful beaches to wildlife reserves.


One of the most popular activities for families in South Africa is going on a safari. Game reserves like Kruger National Park allow visitors to see the “Big Five” animals up close, including lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos, and buffalo. Family-friendly lodges and camps offer comfortable accommodations and guided tours.
South Africa’s coastal areas are also popular with families. The country has many beautiful beaches, such as Clifton Beach in Cape Town, and many seaside towns with great restaurants and activities. The Garden Route, a scenic road trip from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, is a popular route for families to explore the coast.


Cape Town is a must-visit destination for families. The city has much to see and do, such as Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront shopping area, and the Two Oceans Aquarium. Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for many years, is also a popular spot that teaches children about South African history.
Other popular activities for families in South Africa include zip-lining, bungee jumping, and visiting cultural villages to learn about the country’s diverse cultures. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder families around the world choose South Africa as their vacation destination.

South Africa is one of the best luxury safari destinations in the world, offering a wonderful combination of diverse wildlife, stunning landscapes, rich cultures, and top-notch accommodation options. With its vast and varied terrain, including savannahs, forests, deserts, and coastlines, South Africa is home to a wide range of wildlife, from Africa’s famous Big Five (lion, elephant, leopard, rhinoceros, and buffalo) to cheetahs, wild dogs, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, and more. The country is also renowned for its birdlife, boasting over 800 species, including some that are endemic to the region.


One of the best things about South Africa’s luxury safari experience is the range of accommodation options available, from opulent lodges and retreats to eco-friendly tents, treehouses, and villas. Many properties offer private plunge pools, outdoor showers, and decks with sweeping views of the bush or waterholes, providing a perfect setting for relaxation and wildlife viewing.
South Africa is also a melting pot of cultures, with indigenous African, Dutch, British, Indian, and Malay influences that have created a unique blend of traditions, cuisine, and architecture. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture by visiting rural villages, learning about the history of apartheid, attending traditional dances and festivals, and enjoying authentic meals with local families.
Some of South Africa’s top luxury locations include Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Phinda Private Game Reserve, and Madikwe Game Reserve. Each has its own unique attractions and wildlife viewing opportunities, so it’s worth doing some research to find the perfect fit for your preferences.


The best luxury safari lodges in South Africa include:

  1. Ulusaba Private Game Reserve: part of Sir Richard Branson’s collection of properties and offers exclusive accommodation, exceptional views and phenomenal wildlife sightings.
    2. Ecca Lodge is located in the Kwandwe Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The lodge offers a unique wildlife experience, as well as a variety of luxurious amenities and activities to guests.
    3. Tswalu Kalahari Reserve: located in the Kalahari Desert and offers exclusive accommodation, highly personalized service and thrilling wildlife experiences.
    4. Singita Sabi Sand: Located in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Singita Sabi Sand offers luxurious suites, exceptional wildlife sightings and personalized service.
    5. Morokuru Lodge is located in the Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa. The lodge offers luxurious accommodation and stunning views of the African wilderness, and is very family friendly. Guests can enjoy daily game drives, guided bush walks, and bird watching excursions. 
    6. Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve: Sabi Sabi offers luxury lodges in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, with excellent game viewing and exceptional service. Earth Lodge is particularly notable for its sustainability credentials.
    7. Londolozi Private Game Reserve: Londolozi is a world-renowned luxury lodge that offers personalized wildlife experiences in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve

South Africa Vacations with Purpose: 

You can make your family safari meaningful by spending a day with a vet when he/she darts a rhino, tags it and collars it with a radio tracking device, to better protect it from poachers. Your family can assist by taking measurements and collecting data to enhance the conservation efforts of these critically endangered giants.

Or you can help teach, or even install a water pump to provide clean drinking water to a village.

Click for more meaningful family vacations in Africa.

3. Thailand

Thailand is one of the best family vacation spots, with plenty of activities that are perfect for all ages. Here are some of the top things to do in Thailand with kids:
1. Visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok. This stunning palace complex is home to numerous temples, impressive architecture, and beautiful gardens.
2. Explore Bangkok by tuk-tuk, and by boat to discover life along the canals – even floating markets.
3. Take a cooking class in Bangkok or Chiang Mai. Learning to cook Thai cuisine is a fun and educational experience that the whole family can enjoy.
4. Visit the beaches of Phuket. Thailand’s stunning beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
5. Learn about Thai culture at one of the many festivals throughout the year. From the Songkran Water Festival to Loy Krathong, there are plenty of opportunities to experience traditional Thai customs and traditions.
6. Go island hopping in the Gulf of Thailand or Andaman Sea. There are many beautiful islands to explore, each with their own unique sights and activities.
7. Take a bicycle tour of Bangkok. This is a fun and eco-friendly way to see the city and learn about local neighborhoods and culture.
8. Visit the Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai. This park is home to Thailand’s highest peak, as well as beautiful waterfalls, hiking trails, and wildlife.

Eco-luxury family-friendly resorts in Thailand include:

1. Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood 
2. Trisara, Phuket
3. Aleenta Hua Hin-Pranburi Resort and Spa
4. Six Senses Yao Noi, Phang Nga Bay
5. Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands
6. Pimalai Resort and Spa, Koh Lanta
7. SALA Samui Choengmon Beach Resort and Spa
8. Rayavadee, Krabi
9. The Sarojin, Khao Lak
10. Amanpuri, Phuket. 

Bonding as a Family in Thailand:

Kids of all ages love to conserve elephants in Chiang Mai. You get to prepare meals for the elephants, walk with them and watch them socialize and bathe in a responsible and ethical way. You will learn why elephant riding is not good for elephants, and marvel at the special relationship elephants with their mahouts, providing you with an inspiring family vacation experience.

Click here for more family holiday inspiration.

Are family vacations worth it?

I trust you have seen by now that family vacations are definitely worth it. They provide the perfect opportunity for families to spend quality time together and create unforgettable memories. Vacations allow everyone to disconnect from their busy schedules and focus on relaxation and rejuvenation. Exploring new places, trying new activities, and experiencing different cultures together can strengthen family bonds and enhance communication. Children can learn valuable skills, such as adaptability and problem-solving, while adults can unwind and de-stress from work. It’s important to plan with an expert travel agent to ensure a successful and fulfilling vacation. They will help you discover the best luxury family options for you. A well-planned family vacation can also be an investment in the family’s well-being, especially when you incorporate a service component into it, as the memories and shared experiences can last a lifetime, and your kids will return home inspired to be world-changers. In short, luxury family vacations with purpose are an excellent way for families to connect, recharge, create cherished memories, and leave a legacy. Family time is precious – make the most of it.

  • “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Want more travel inspiration? Find more fantastic family vacation ideas at Hands Up Holidays and when you are ready, you can book your family adventure that counts with one of our expert consultants. They know the best luxury resorts around the world and are skilled in matching them with your preferences. Luxury travel can be meaningful and fulfilling – try it and see for yourself.

Click if your family wants a last-minute vacation this summer 2023.

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