New type of townie: Families of "vacationers" or "tourists" can be encountered on Vacation Island. Uniquely amongst the townies in The Sims, they have random last names (as opposed to generic ones that puns on their function within the game), some nominal familial relationships, and being both children as well as adult Sims. Tourist families usually consist of 3 to 4 Sims, with at least one adult and one child in every party. Sometimes a tourist family will consist of just two Sims - a single parent and an only child - although this is rare.
If The Sims: Unleashed is installed, pet beds and food bowls will be added to vacation lots, however sometimes the game won't add them so the player will need to add them to the vacation lot if they wish to send a family with a pet to the island.
The Sims: Vacation is the first expansion pack to not have the intro video, along with Superstar, Makin' Magic and The Sims: Complete Collection.
The Sims: Vacation is the only vacation themed expansion that allows Sims to stay on vacation for an indefinite amount of time. Alongside that, it is also the only vacation themed expansion that allows characters to sleep and bathe wherever they want, meaning they can access any room in the hotel with no allocated room set to them, treating the hotel more like a home lot.
The Sims: Vacation was the first expansion pack in the franchise that allows Sims to stay at a lot other than home.
The Sims: Vacation is the first non seasonal based pack in the franchise to include weather, the second being The Sims 4: Snowy Escape.
The Sims: Vacation is the first pack in the franchise to introduce a second pre-made male child, which is one of the many random vacationers on Vacation Island. The first male pre-made child is Daniel Pleasant.