According to a recent survey of 540 parents and kids (ages 6 to 18), many kids get to make decisions on the vacation activities (77%), the itinerary (53%), and even the destination itself (49%). Read on for the most kid-requested vacation accommodations.
That a castle topped the list won’t be a surprise to anyone who has ever picked up a stick and pretended it was a sword to fight the evil knight or slay the dragon. This 16th-century chateau just south of Cherbourg, France, will certainly spark those childhood fantasies. With its spiral staircases, elegant period furniture, and actual suits of armor, kids will feel like they’re living in a fairy tale. The huge yard, heated pool, and tennis court provide lots of places to play outside. There’s even a small castle/playhouse in the park nearby, so the smaller kids can feel like royalty too.
Chalk it up to the multitude of cartoons starring mermaids and talking fish: Shell house landed on the list of most kid-requested vacation rental properties. Located on Isla Mujeres in the Caribbean, this one-of-a-kind vacation rental offers 180-degree views from the balcony, a private swimming pool and hot tub, and the owner’s original art adorning the walls. And with a seashell-themed bath and shower, you may find your young travelers clamoring for bath time “under the sea.”
Who hasn’t fantasized about flying a plane? This incredibly unique property makes that dream come true…well, almost. Stay in this re-purposed 727, sitting in a tree 50 feet above the jungle canopy in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. From the plane, it’s just a short walk to a white sand beach and a national park known for its hiking trails, where you’ll see monkeys, sloths, and other wildlife. But to a kid, the best part may be sitting in the actual cockpit of the plane and playing pilot, looking out over the forest below.
Here’s a chance for kids to indulge their inner pirate and have a seafaring adventure! This yacht comes with a crew that can take you away from the harbor town of Kalkan, Turkey, anchoring overnight in one of the coves in the area. It also comes with access to seafaring equipment guaranteed to make an adventurous child’s eyes light up—a kayak and fishing gear, snorkeling fins and masks for getting up close and personal with the colorful fish, a stand up paddleboard, and a speed boat complete with water skis.
Kids have always been obsessed with trains, so it’s no surprise that this property made the list. This “woody” caboose in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley has been restored to its early 20th-century prime. Kids can climb the rungs on the wall to get to the cupola and enjoy the view from the top—smaller ones might even want to sleep there! It’s near the zoo and a safari park, should playing in the caboose ever get old. In the evening, there’s a fire pit for roasting marshmallows or telling ghost stories.
Surprised to learn that a yurt scored a spot on the list of kids’ favorite properties? If you’ve ever spent the night camped out in the backyard with a tent full of amped-up-on-s’mores youngsters—probably not. While camping often means compromising on comfort, this creekside yurt in Mt. Shasta, California, brings a touch of rustic charm to the outdoor experience. With a full kitchen and bath, an outdoor deck, and a cozy fireplace, a camping adventure for the kids is also a relaxing retreat for you.
For kids enamored of the Old West, how about this authentic-looking tipi in New Braunfels, Texas? The inside has all the comforts of home, including air conditioning, a refrigerator—even satellite TV! It’s hard to know exactly which feature got kids most excited. It could be its proximity to Geronimo Creek, the included kayaks for fishing or hanging out on the water, or the common area with two fire pits and a ping pong table. Or maybe it’s the play area—hammocks are nearby so parents can relax while still keeping an eye on the kids.
Ever wonder what it might have been like to live the gypsy life, wagoning your way across the countryside? This colorful property makes it easy to imagine. Situated in a green meadow near the Netherlands-Belgium border, it’s just half an hour north of Antwerp. It's a cozy space perfect for family bonding, and you’ll also spend quality time outside, taking advantage of the swings at the nearby playground or watching the animals that roam the enclosed grounds.