In a world where the easiest route is usually the most popular, it’s no surprise that many vacationers limit their warm-weather winter getaways to the Caribbean’s more accessible islands—especially if they have kids in tow. And while the quick trip has its advantages, some of best destinations require more effort. Here are four to add to your list.

National Geographic Traveler columnist Heather Greenwood Davis is the magazine’s family travel advocate, guru, and soothsayer. Here’s her latest advice.

National Geographic Traveler columnist Heather Greenwood Davis is the magazine’s family travel advocate, guru, and soothsayer. Here’s her latest advice.

When I was a kid, the idea of spending hours at a museum was enough for me to demand that someone “gag me with a spoon.” Yet, time and time again, I find myself offering the same “we should go to the museum” pleas to my own kids and then being surprised when their eyes glaze over. But after dozens of museum visits and a decreasing number of eye rolls, I think I’ve stumbled upon the secret.

National Geographic Traveler columnist Heather Greenwood Davis is the magazine’s family travel advocate, guru, and soothsayer. Here’s her latest advice.

Everyone’s heard tales of parents who blend pureed veggies into their kids’ cookies. I leave the cauliflower alone, but I love the vacation equivalent: sneaking a culture fix into an otherwise child-focused trip. While not every museum is suited for families, here are a few favorites, old and new, that add an easy educational upgrade to some of this winter’s most popular destinations.

Portland may be best known for its beer, bicycling locals, and street food, but—as unlikely as it sounds—many of the city’s seemingly “grown-up” attractions can be geared towards kids with just a little tweaking. Here’s the rundown on how to give hipster Portland a family-friendly spin.

National Geographic Traveler contributing editor Heather Greenwood Davis is the magazine’s family travel advocate, guru, and soothsayer. Here’s her latest advice.

On a family road trip through British Columbia this summer, I had no regrets about seeing it with the whole brood first, but I also made notes about how my husband and I will do it again when we come back one day, sans kids. Here’s B.C. two ways, so you can choose your own adventure.

Traveling at a young age can be a transformative experience that leads to a lifetime of wanderlust. To celebrate the power of travel (and perhaps inspire a few parents out there), we asked our @NatGeoTravel Facebook fans to tell us about trips that made a lasting impression on them during their early years.

Royal Romps on the Thames

Despite its size, London is a very kid-friendly city. Here are three engaging places where families can learn hands-on history with a royal twist in the English capital.

If Puerto Rico isn’t on your radar, it’s time to readjust. The Caribbean’s most convenient destination—especially for Americans, who don’t need a passport to get there—is also one of its most interesting, offering travelers untouched rain forest, colonial architecture, and palm-lined beaches. For a weekend or a week-long getaway, “la isla del enchanto,” as it’s affectionately called by locals, is quickly becoming a go-to destination.

Despite its size, London is a very kid-friendly city. Almost 40 percent of the capital is dedicated to parks and public spaces, and major museums are free. The only problem is there’s so much to see. Here are some of the highlights.

Spending an art-filled day museum-hopping in New York City with my twin girls is even better than front-row seats at a Laurie Berkner concert—an equal thrill for the three of us with none of the jostling.

Can smartphone apps replace real-life tour guides? Sometimes.

Central Park is the ultimate Manhattan playground. Here’s where to go and what to do in this 843-acre family-friendly wonderland.

Fear-packing is what happens in that last 24 hours before your departure—when your mind starts to play tricks on you. In my case, the fears usually surround what the kids might need. I must pack, I tell myself, to account for every possible mishap. Here’s what’s wrong with that approach, and how to make a course correction.

This spring, I attended the Mom 2.0 Summit, a gathering of some of the most talented family bloggers and female entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Canada. While these women run the gamut when it comes to coverage–from politics to design–many of them are leaders in the travel blogging community. And who better to pump for tips about family travel than parents who embrace it as a lifestyle? Here are eight recs to remember the next time you’re planning a trip with the kids.

Finding the right hike for children can be tricky: The trail needs to be safe and not too strenuous, yet interesting enough to keep the young folks’ attention. As a bonus, it would be nice if the hike stimulated them to want to learn more about the place. America’s national parks abound in good kids’ hikes–both traditional and non-traditional. Here are six of the best and most diverse.

Opportunities for outdoor play abound in Jerusalem—you just have to know where to find them. Here’s a brief guide to six great activities for the young (and young at heart) in one of the oldest cities in the world.

“Mom, it looks like the White House!” my nine-year-old son Chase blurts from the backseat. The three of us–my daughter Mackenzie included–have just driven four hours from Washington, D.C. to White Sulphur Springs in West Virginia, our ears popping as we rolled up and down the bucolic Allegheny Mountains. Our destination: the legendary Greenbrier resort for a decadent weekend together.

Travelers keep two kinds of lists: the bucket list and the “wanted” list. Hong Kong should be on both, particularly when traveling with children.

Recently, I convinced my mother and my first-born son Ethan to hop a plane with me to Mexico’s Riviera Maya. For them it was a quick getaway to a sunny destination after a winter we all wanted to forget. But I had ulterior motives. More than anyone else, these two people (my own mother and the child who made me one for the first time) have shaped who I am. And while I’ve spent time with each of them on their own, this was a prime opportunity to celebrate the complex and precious relationship we share.

Tell your kids you’re visiting where the real Pocahontas was married, and motor through ten miles of woodlands along Colonial Parkway from Williamsburg to Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the Colonies, dating to 1607. After the buzz of Colonial Williamsburg, this quietly purposeful archaeological site on the James River seems Zen-like. Take a…

Perfect Paradise: Phuket

This December marks the tenth anniversary of the devastating tsunami that struck Southeast Asia. But Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, refuses to be defined by the tragedy. On a recent visit there, I discovered what makes this beach retreat so special and why, a decade after enduring one of the biggest natural disasters in world history, it’s stronger than ever.