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I think wintertime is a beautiful time, especially here in Utah. I love the first snowfall; getting to see the snow-covered mountains and keeping myself warm with cute scarfs and hats. But after that first snowfall turns into a muddy, slushy mess, I’m ready for warm, dry weather again, and I spend most of my time daydreaming about being on a beach soaking up some rays.

If you’re like me and already wishing for a tropical getaway with your family, don’t just think about it — start planning it! Here are 7 tropical vacations for families that are perfect for your 2016 getaway.

Tropical vacations to take in 2016 - yes please!

1. U.S. Virgin Islands
Not wanting to leave the country? No problem. The U.S. Virgin Islands are our country’s own caribbean paradise. With three islands — St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix — you can spend time on one or all three. Each island appeals to a different kind of visitor. St. Thomas attracts hiking families with its numerous unique hiking trails, as well as those who enjoy a life of luxury with its high-end shopping. Nature-loving and beach-going families appreciate St. John, while those into history enjoy learning about the past and present of the Virgin Islands when they’re on St. Croix.

2. Bahamas
The Bahamas is a diverse island chain, luring visitors with its white shores, scuba diving, and fishing. Many of the resorts have water parks, camps, chances to see and pet dolphins and more for kids. Some even offer babysitting services so while the kids are playing, you and your husband can enjoy a couples spa day or play a round of golf. With all that nature and the resorts have to offer, it’s no wonder the Bahamas is such a popular Caribbean getaway. And with the Bahamas only being 50 miles off the Florida coast, it’s an easy trip with the kids.  

3. Puerto Rico
No need to get your kids passports or worry about changing currency because the United State’s southern sister doesn’t require you do either. Puerto Rico has beautiful landscapes, lots of history, and plenty of contemporary fun to keep your whole family entertained. Lie on a beach, hop on a surfboard and take on the 20-foot waves, hike through the tropical forest of El Yunque, learn about culture and history in Old San Juan, and eat some delicious cuisine. This spirited tropical vacation spot is one you’ll never want to leave.

4. Jamaica
If your family is full of personality, then Jamaica is calling your name. There’s always lots of music, dancing, colors, and coffee and sugar cane to keep you energized throughout your trip. Go river rafting along the Rio Grande, hike along the Blue Mountains, or saddle up for a fun tour on horseback. With its inexpensive, kid-friendly resorts and ability to fly nonstop from several U.S. cities, Jamaica definitely makes the list, mon.

5. St. Lucia
St. Lucia draws in all kinds of visitors. Is your family the adventure type? Zip line through a rain forest or climb the Pitons. Are you just looking for some carefree good times under the sun? Unwind and relax on one of the many golden beaches with beautiful deep blue waters. Whatever your family is into, charming St. Lucia is there to give you what you want.

6. Turks and Caicos
If all that’s on your vacation itinerary is sun and beaches, then take your crew to Turks and Caicos. The beach fun here is incomparable. White sand, crystal clear azure waters, and a laid-back atmosphere — you can’t ask for better. And, if you’ve never been diving before, I strongly suggest you head to Salt Cay and discover the gorgeous, colorful coral reef system, one of the biggest in the world.

7. Puerto Vallarta
Don’t just take your kids on another family vacation, take them on a tropical adventure in 2016. On the east side of Puerto Vallarta, lace up your boots and hike the foothills of the Sierra Madres Mountains. On the west, there’s 26 miles worth of beaches for you to go swimming and surfing. You can also go kayaking, snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, and see Puerto Vallarta’s breathtaking scenery first-hand on an off road tour.

Whether your family is big or small, laidback or the adventure type, these 7 vacations are the perfect places for your family to enjoy some carefree fun under the sun.

And don’t wait any longer to turn your thinking into planning. Start planning your tropical getaway today, and use our vacation planning guide, complete with convenient tips and checklists, to help you!

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