Top 6 Family Vacation Spots In The Philippines

October 19, 2020

Here are the top 6 vacation spots in the Philippines that you can consider for your next family holiday.

With the gradual lifting of travel bans in the Philippines for both domestic and outbound travel, many families have now started to plan their next vacation. Still, domestic travel is much more preferred, since there’s no need for a 2-week quarantine or other rigorous health protocols. 

Top 6 family vacation spots in the Philippines

Top 6 Family Vacation Spots In The Philippines

    When traveling with a large family, small kids, in particular, comfort and ease of travel are usually the top priority. But you also want to make sure you combine these with a place that has enough activities for all family members. 

    Oftentimes in the Philippines, a perfectly planned family outing can be spoiled by external factors as we all know too well and are beyond our control. Weather conditions, flight delays, poor planning of domestic transfers are usually the main culprit, and can easily turn your dream vacation into a nightmare. 

    While these aren’t entirely avoidable, there are some ways to mitigate them, which we’ll cover in this article, as well as the best vacation spots for families in the Philippines. 

    3 Quick tips for a successful family holiday in the Philippines 

    Plan and book in advance. As much as possible, try to book everything in advance and as early as you can. It doesn’t matter if you plan a DIY trip or want to book a vacation package through an agency, careful planning and preparation are needed. 

    If possible, try to cover all aspects of travel and not just flights and hotels – consider where you want to have your meals, how you’ll get from the airport to the hotel, and so on. 

    The last thing you want to experience is being stuck at the airport with a crying child while frantically searching for a ride, as you stare at an insanely long line for a taxi.

    Stick to one location. This isn’t a hard rule, but as we all know traveling between islands in the Philippines can be a real hassle. Flights often get delayed or even get canceled, and even if they don’t, the transfer can easily consume a whole day! 

    If you do want to visit several different locations, it might be better to use the help of a travel professional instead of doing it all on your own. For example, YGD Travel offers specialized family packages with the best rates and inclusions that we saw anywhere online; you can check their website here:

    Plan according to the season. Weather can have a huge effect on your holiday, so it’s not really something you want to overlook. While not impossible to travel during the rainy season, it will make things much more complicated. The main problem is that you should expect to find yourself stuck in the hotel for most of the duration of your vacation. 

    So, make sure the destination you choose and the resort you book both have ample solutions for rainy days in terms of activities. Better yet, consider having a staycation instead of heading to a more remote island. 

    That way you save money, you avoid risking flight cancellation due to poor weather and you have the liberty to choose a hotel based entirely on its in-house activities and amenities.

    Best islands in the Philippines for a family vacation 

    As mentioned above, choosing the right vacation spot for you and your family can sometimes be tricky since it depends on many changing factors. For that reason, the choice might not always be an obvious one and some careful thought is required. 

    Map thanks to Wanderlog, a journey planner app

    For the list below, we chose to highlight the best overall family vacation destinations in the Philippines. Keep in mind, they might not be the right match for your family in particular, but they all have the highest chance of fulfilling your expectations while having the lowest risk of something going wrong. 

    1. Puerto Princesa, Palawan 

    Palawan is well-known as the premier tourist hotspot in the country, alongside Boracay. While Boracay is small, more beach-focused, and romantic, and thus can prove a bit boring for children, Palawan is a huge island full of amazing surprises. 

    Puerto Princesa Underground River family getaway
    Puerto Princesa Underground River

    When people consider Palawan as a holiday destination, they are immediately drawn to El Nido and Coron. And who can blame them? Just one look at a picture of any of those amazing lagoons and you’ll be itching to go as well! 

    But if you are traveling with a family, however, Puerto Princesa is actually a much better choice for you. 

    Being the provincial capital of Palawan, Puerto Princesa is much more developed and welcoming compared to other parts of the island. It is much easier to find decent accommodation at a reasonable price as well. 

    Finally, the biggest reason to favor Puerto Princesa is thanks to the diversity of activities it offers. El Nido and Coron are almost entirely focused on island hopping and diving, while Puerto Princesa has a ton of land-based activities as well, first and foremost the Underground River tour, of course. 

    2. Mactan, Cebu

    If your idea of a family vacation revolves around staying at an all-inclusive resort all day long, Mactan Island in Cebu is a perfect choice. 

    Beach benches in Mactan Shangri-La Resort and Spa in Cebu
    Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa

    The only real downside to going there is the fact the beaches are pretty lackluster. In fact, many of the bigger beach resorts create an artificial private beach by using sand brought from somewhere else! 

    That said, there are many advantages to staying in Mactan. Most importantly, there isn’t any other place in the Philippines where you can find many family-friendly resorts in the same spot. If you are looking to splurge, here you can book a 5-star resort for only PHP 5000 a night! 

    Specializing in family-based vacations means these resorts have a ton of child-friendly activities, as well as a nanny service and a menu suited for kids. This means you won’t ever have to leave the resort during your entire stay! 

    3. Bohol 

    If you want something a little more versatile compared to Cebu, then Bohol is the place to go. While still a well-developed tourist destination, with plenty of child-friendly resorts and activities, it also feels a little more adventurous. 

    White sand of Dumaluan Beach in Bohol
    Dumaluan Beach Resort

    Better yet, the beaches in Panglao island are simply breathtaking, and much much attractive than those found in Mactan. 

    When we went to Bohol, we stayed at an Airbnb in Panglao island. This is a great choice if you have a large family or are traveling with another family or two. Make sure you choose a property that is at least a driving distance from Alona Beach though because that’s where most of the restaurants and shops are located. 

    4. Siargao 

    Siargao is famous for being the ideal island for backpackers and young travelers, and not so much as a top choice for families. The laidback atmosphere and emphasis on surfing and nightlife might mean your kids can get bored there, especially if they are very young. 

    Family vacation in a native hut in Siargao Island
    Photo by Chumz Añarol from Pexels

    That said, the island’s increasing popularity means that now there are already pretty good solutions for different crowds, such as you and your loved ones. 

    This is another place where booking an Airbnb might be better than choosing to stay in a resort. Most resorts are basic and try to attract backpackers, so they might not offer suitable conditions for families. 

    The only real exception to that is Villa Maya (see their website here: which is a boutique resort purposely designed to cater to families. 

    Siargao is a great option to consider if your family likes the outdoors and adventure. This place is much less about the resort and more about the activities. 

    Places such as Sugba Lagoon or the nearby islands of Daku and Guyam (included in the standard island hopping tour) can easily fill up a whole day full of activities and excitement for both you and your kids. 

    5. Boracay

    The island of Boracay bears no introduction, being the most popular vacation spot in the Philippines. This is largely thanks to the iconic White Beach, a breathtaking 4.2km stretch of pure white sand. 

    White Beach in Boracay
    White Beach

    While many people consider Boracay a party island or a honeymoon destination, it is also surprisingly great for families, particularly those with younger children. 

    Thanks to being so tourist-friendly and well developed, Boracay truly has something to offer to any type of tourist which enters its gates. While the beach is certainly the main attraction, you won’t run out of stuff to do over there no matter what! There are many tours, malls, restaurants, and bars spread out across the entire island for you to enjoy as you please. 

    What makes Boracay really great though is the fact that even though it’s an exotic destination, planning and executing a holiday there is extremely easy. 

    Countless flights are going there from anywhere in the country, and the tourism industry is so professional that you won’t have to worry about having trouble booking anything you’d like – everything is simple and easy, and so will your entire vacation feel that way as well! 

    6. Tagaytay 

    Tagaytay is a good choice if you want a quick family getaway near Metro Manila. Located just south of Manila, 

    View of Taal Lake in Tagaytay
    Taal Lake

    Tagaytay can easily be reached by an easy two-hour drive. It is characterized by its cool climate and breathtaking view of Taal Lake, making it an ideal escape from the heat and the generally fast-paced life in the metro. 

    Tagaytay features numerous budget-friendly restaurants, beautiful boutique hotels, and family-friendly tourist spots. When you are in Tagaytay, do not forget to try the warming and flavorful bulalo soup and the crispy tawilis. You can also buy fruits in season as well as sweet delicacies that are sold in many roadside stores. 

    Having a great family vacation is easier than you think 

    It’s true that many articles, including this one, focus on the risks and downsides of planning a family vacation in the Philippines. That is by no means to suggest you shouldn’t do it! We just want to make sure you are well-prepared and aware of any potential pitfalls so you know how to avoid them. 

    In reality, having a vacation with your loved ones here in our beautiful country is one of the best experiences you can have. Feel free to read our other travel stories and see for yourself!

    Top 6 family getaway spots in the Philippines

    Have other family travel tips or suggestions? Drop a comment below and let us know!
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    1. It's absolutely beautiful there. I would love to travel to the Philippines with my family one day.

    2. I'd love to visit the Philippines one day. The country is aboslutely gorgeous.

    3. These are all such gorgeous spot. The Phlippines is a beautiful country. There's so much to see there.

    4. Mactan would be my first stop on this list. That beach speaks to me.

    5. My hubs would love the white sandy beaches of Boracay.

    6. All of these locations look beautiful. Cebul would be our first place to visit.

    7. I've always wanted to visit the Philippines - it looks so beautiful there! Thanks for your tips on which islands to stay on. But now I want to experience them all! :D

    8. I think these would be amazing to visit!

    9. Palawan and Siargao is going to be in the top list of the family's vacation getaways. Hope to see these places one of these days. I have been to Mactan Cebu, Bohol and Boracay.

    10. ohhh.. you forgot EL NIDO PALAWAN! ;)

      I am a proud PALAWEÑA!!! Puerto Princesa is my town! ;)

      Balik ulit kayo!!!

    11. We are eyeing to visit Siargao as soon as we can travel back to the Philippines. We used to plan ahead and book in advance, but with our recent travel experiences, we just book hours prior on our arrival.

    12. I have always wanted to go to Siargao! I hope to see it soon. I miss Palawan too!

    13. I have never heard of these places but man, they look beautiful!!

    14. I have always wanted to visit. Thank for for sharing this info. Gorgeous photos!

    15. All of these vacation spots look amazing. I know my family would enjoy them all.

    16. I am waiting for vaccines for kids to come through before I plan any family travel. Hopefully something comes through in the next few months.

    17. Hyun Jang Nim8 May 2022 at 03:14

      Thanks for sharing this po 😊 I love to visit Palawan and Siargao.

    18. Mellinia Joyce Dayego8 May 2022 at 03:16

      Mostly are included on my bucket list! These are the places you will going to love visiting here in the Philippines. From its beautiful scenery up to the foods they offer, all is worth to try. Thanks for sharing. ❤

    19. Eloisa Gatchy8 May 2022 at 03:16

      Wow! These are places that you will surely love this for family vacation it's so beautiful . It's worth it to visit, thanks for sharing this po 😍❤️