Ahhh, the annual family getaway: there is nothing else like it. Some of the best memories, for kids and parents alike, are made during their yearly vacation. What used to be just a half-day drive to the nearest beach or national park has now been upgraded with more families than ever travelling internationally. Leaving the comforts and normalcy of your home country and travelling beyond its borders has many benefits for adults and children — the life-changing experience will allow you all to truly become global citizens. While interests may vary and there are many ideal destinations — bustling cities, serene forests, or warm beaches — this list will give you a few ideas for your next international family vacation.
As one of the more popular travel destinations, Costa Rica is the perfect place to take your adventure-seeking family. In terms of minding your wallet, Costa Rica is packed with things to do, beautiful accommodations, and delicious food all at a fraction of the cost of similar tourist spots. This country’s inhabitants are lovely and helpful. Many of them speak fluent English, so language barriers will not be an added worry. There are many activities to choose from, many of which are perfect for the entire family. When your days consist of choosing between hiking, swimming, kayaking, ziplining, relaxing on the beach, and looking for tropical birds, sea turtles, and sloths, you know that no one will complain of being bored.
History comes alive in this culturally-rich city. With enough museums to keep you busy for days, Stockholm is an ideal destination for inquisitive families who will enjoy this interesting and walkable city. The kids will be amazed by the fourteen islands contained within the city, and the accompanying bridges and boats will amaze everyone. A delight for sightseers, Stockholm has many gardens, historic buildings, and libraries just waiting to be explored. After a long day of learning and taking photos, families can look forward to enjoying delicious food in the company of friendly Swedes before relaxing in one of their affordable, family-friendly hotels.
For Christmas enthusiasts, this is the place for you. Your family will feel like you have made it to the North Pole when you arrive at this winter wonderland. Lapland is the home of countless ski resorts, national parks, reindeer, and even Father Christmas himself. For even more polar magic, be sure to visit between the months of October to March — you may be able to see the majestic aurora borealis (northern lights). If Father Christmas does not excite you, there is continuous daylight from June to August and many other family-friendly adventures, such as whitewater rafting and other great outdoor activities.
If you are seeking quality family time, breathtaking sights, and some of the world’s best food, be sure to consider Italy for your next family holiday. No need to worry about unruly kids here: Italians love family and kids are more than welcome at most tourist spots. A day of sightseeing can include visits to Pompeii or the Colosseum, and can be followed by authentic Italian-style pizza and delicious gelato — a enticing combination to make any family happy.
A destination that accommodates all types of travellers and their families, Bali has it all. Bali is considered a fabulous destination for families because there are many opportunities for entertainment. Almost every hotel and resort offers packages that will include many events for kids and adults alike. Outdoor activities are also not difficult to find — biking, tree climbing, surfing, sightseeing, museums, water slide riding — and the opportunities for family fun are endless.
Easily one of the most laidback places on earth, Belize is the perfect destination for a relaxing family vacation. Globetrotters can experience breathtaking beaches, exciting jungles, fun mountain hikes, all-inclusive family resort experiences, and many kid-friendly activities. Most places are accessible by bike, making it a safe and easy place to roam about.
One of the most popular family destinations, the islands of Hawaii have got you covered when it comes to planning the perfect trip. Big Island has active lava at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Maui is home to the Atlantis Submarine. Oahu is bursting with rich Polynesian culture. Maui boasts the Maui Ocean Center. If white sands and clear, azure seas are calling your name, book your trip to Hawaii — your family will thank you.
If you have older children and are seeking something a little different from your typical family holiday, why not try a self-driven safari through one of North America’s most unique areas? Canada offers not only natural, breathtaking and remote landscapes, but also world-renown cosmopolitan centers. A drive through the snow-capped Rockies can head towards Vancouver, followed by Lake Louise, Whistler, and Jasper National Park. You will certainly see beautiful sights, maybe a bear or moose or two, and stops for kayaking and horse riding can always be arranged.
So, if you have a family and you want to travel the world. These are just some of the great places you can explore with our children. Which one are you traveling to first?
Mark Tulloch is a co-owner and villa specialist at Asia Holiday Retreats, the premier booking service for holiday villa rentals in Bali, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. He's constantly travelling the continent to personally handpick top quality villas for their portfolio. With offices in Bali, Sydney, and Hong Kong, and partnerships with over 500 luxury villas, Asia Holiday Retreats continues to expand with more desired holiday destinations planned for 2017.
Mark has over 20 years experience in the hospitality industry and huge success in managing luxury boutique hotels in Australia and London. And to Asia Holiday Retreats he brings a 5 star service to all guests, from helping them find and book their ideal villa accommodation to supporting them during their stay with anything they require.