A great family travel adventure should include fun, bonding moments and incredible experiences that will stay in memories forever. Here are 12 of the best and most adventure-filled destinations for family travel, as picked by the world’s top travel bloggers…
Ting Dalton of My Travel Monkey: my-travelmonkey.com
Thailand is affectionately known as ‘the Land of Smiles’. Families really can’t go wrong here. The Thai people absolutely adore kids.
If you’re looking for great weather, stunning beaches, wildlife, tropical rainforests and first-class hotels, as well as culture, national parks, and endless outdoor activities, you’re spoiled for choice, including hundreds of islands dotted around the mainland. We went to the coastal resort of Hua Hin with our then three-year-old, which is around two hours from Bangkok. He adored the tuk-tuk rides, as well as the banana pancakes and all the attention he received from passers-by. He still asks when we can return.
Thailand is a vibrant, colourful country, and each region has its own unique pull. It really is a fantastic family destination from the UK, hugely popular with tourists of all ages. It’s so easily accessible that even the timidest of travellers couldn’t go wrong.
Interested in Thailand? Why not check out our guide to Thailand.
Nichola West of Globalmouse: globalmousetravels.com
One of our favourite places to travel to as a family is Portugal. We love so many things about this sunny, friendly country. It’s got everything you could need, from the cities of Porto and Lisbon to the perfect family beach holiday on the beautiful coastline along the Algarve.
Lisbon is one of our favourite cities in the world with castles, rickety trams to speed across town in and one of Europe’s biggest aquariums in Oceanário de Lisboa, not to mention delicious pastel de nata (egg tarts) for a quick pick-me-up when everyone’s starting to get tired.
The Algarve is the perfect balance to the city, full of some of the world’s most breathtaking beaches, wonderful resorts to relax in and the ever-present Portuguese welcome that is unlike any other. We love our trips to Portugal as a family. I grew up going there as a child and I’m so happy my children will get to know this fantastic country too.
For more information on this wonderful destination, take a look at our Guide to Portugal.
Karen Beddow of Mini Travellers: minitravellers.co.uk
Malawi is a fabulous family-friendly travel destination but it is often overlooked. It’s only two hours from Johannesburg and a short flight from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, too, so it certainly isn’t too difficult to get to.
Flying into Blantyre, the second major city of Malawi, provides you with a great route around the south of Malawi, with only 2-3 hour drives, where you can visit safari lodges, forest lodges, tea estates and of course the resorts peppered along Lake Malawi. In terms of wildlife, in Malawi, you can see everything from elephants and hippos to lions and incredibly colourful birdlife, and the country’s National Parks really call out to be explored.
It’s a stunningly beautiful country with equally fantastic people who can’t do enough to make you feel welcome. I’d recommend visiting before everyone else does.
To get your adventure started, check out our itinerary for 14 Days in Malawi.
Shweta Singhal of Zest In A Tote: zestinatote.com
I would recommend Croatia for family travel in a jiffy. With a Mediterranean climate, a string of beautiful islands along the 2000-kilometre coastline, the medieval towns of Dubrovnik and Split that would please even the non Game of Thrones fans, UNESCO heritage sites, such as Plitvice National Park, quaint towns in the region of Istria, good food and wine, Croatia has something for everyone. It is no longer an undiscovered gem, but most of the country still doesn’t get as crowded as neighbouring Italy.
Once you have had your fill of the culture and architecture in modern Zagreb and immersed yourselves in the history of Split or Dubrovnik, do explore the natural beauty of Plitvice or Krka National Parks. There also the laidback island life to be enjoyed for a few days in the Adriatic Sea. Alternatively, enjoy the pleasing landscapes of Istria, if rolling hills, good food and flitting between lovely little towns appeals to you more. For an outdoor-oriented family, add some kayaking, cycling or hiking to the mix and you have a great travel adventure lined up.
Interested in this destination, or any of the others mentioned in this article? Contact us for more information and to begin booking your next family holiday.
Kevin Wagar of Wandering Wagars: wanderingwagars.com
Jordan isn’t one of those countries that most people associate with family travel but it should be. The country itself is beautiful, featuring world-famous destinations, such as the lost city of Petra and the lowest place on the surface of the planet, the Dead Sea.
But it is also home to the incredible beaches of the Red Sea and some of the friendliest people we have come across on our world travels.
Family adventures in Jordan aren’t limited to historic and beachfront adventures either. Our family spent a magical afternoon riding camels through the Martian-like Wadi Rum desert and spending our nights sleeping in Bedouin desert camps.
Leona Bowman of Wandermust Family: wandermustfamily.com
Iceland is an absolute gem of a family travel destination. There is a unique blend of amazing city sights, especially in the capital, Reykjavík, alongside some of the world’s greatest natural wonders, from volcanoes to geysers and waterfalls.
Coupled with some great television connections, including Game of Thrones, and great wildlife experiences, Iceland really has something for every type of family traveller. There are plenty of places to let the kids run free and even the grumpiest of teenagers can’t help but be awed by the many natural phenomena across the country.
If this is the destination for you, check out our Guide to Iceland for more great ideas.
Nell Heshram of The Pigeon Pair & Me: pigeonpairandme.com
France is the largest country in western Europe and the variety within the country matches its size. I’ve spent a lifetime regularly visiting the place, and it would be difficult to get tired of it.
Families visiting the north can enjoy delicious crèpes doused in sugar and lemon juice, stroll along beaches steeped in history, where D-Day soldiers made their landings, or sail out to small, western islands, like the Glenan Archipelago, which rivals the Caribbean for cerulean beauty.
In the middle, there’s Burgundy, the Loire and the Dordogne, which are ideal for families that like a spot of river canoeing, or parents who want to lounge with a glass of wine while the children play in the pool.
The south has big draws, whether you’re into the chic towns and waterparks of the Riviera, the craggy waterfalls of the Pyrenees, or the dramatic, surf beaches of the western coast. Then there are the Alps, where mountain-loving families can hike in summer and ski in Winter.
France really is a country to suit all tastes and all budgets. With over 11 thousand registered campsites, as well as countless self-catering gites and B&Bs, France caters well for people looking for a place to retire after a day of adventure and exploration.
8: Sri Lanka
Elizabeth Callaghan from Wander Mum: www.wandermum.co.uk
It may not be somewhere people instantly think about visiting with children but Sri Lanka has everything from beaches and hiking trails to safaris and historical cities.
We went with our three-year-old daughter when I was 18 weeks pregnant. Sigiriya, the ancient civilisation on top of a huge rock, is a place that will appeal to older children. The tea lands of Sri Lanka provide a cooler sanctuary with more hiking trails. There’s also a number of National Parks where you can go on safari to see leopards, elephants and more.
If you just want to relax, Sri Lanka has this covered too, with idyllic beaches and luxury hotels. Sri Lanka has opened up hugely to tourism in recent years. It really is a place to discover before everyone else does.
Katja Gaskell of Globetotting: globetotting.com
Finland is one of the most enchanting destinations on Earth for families. Visit at any time of year and you’ll witness a land of vast skies, spellbinding scenery and incredible adventures. Visit during the winter months, however, and you’ll discover a truly unforgettable place. Learn to snowshoe or go cross-country skiing, take a reindeer safari or guide a team of huskies through the forest. In winter, you can also ride a snowmobile, explore a hotel made from ice and then meet Father Christmas himself. Family holidays don’t get more magical than this.
For more information about this destination or any others mentioned in this article contact us and we can help you start booking your next family holiday.
Karen Edwards from Travel Mad Mum: travelmadmum.com
Out of all the countries we’ve visited, Ecuador took us by surprise the most. On arrival into Quito, we planned to visit some of the downtown museums. The Children’s Museum was incredible and totally empty. There were many other interactive stations that taught the kids about music, the workings of an office and a farm. Likewise, the Water Museum was fantastic. We spent hours making giant bubbles and taking photos of the fabulous views of the high altitude and foggy Quito.
Banos was another amazing destination within Ecuador. Elsewhere, we zipped across a huge canyon together. A waterfall gushed below creating a cooling water spray as we passed. Ecuador is a really awesome country for families, with hiking, rafting, rainforests and volcanoes, and that’s without even mentioning the Galapagos, one of the world’s greatest wildlife destinations. It’s a country that has etched memories into our three-year-old’s mind, probably more so than any of the others that we have visited.
If you’re interested in visiting the Galapagos, read up on Close Encounters on a Galapagos Cruise for some great information on the wildlife you may meet on your travels there.
Anna Alboth from The Family Without Borders: TheFamilyWithoutBorders.com
After visiting more than 40 countries as a family, four of us have no doubts: Fiji was the sweetest. People greeting you with a wide smile, saying “Bula” (hello), the intense taste of papayas and the vivid colour of the ocean were all things we had never seen before.
We arrived in Fiji hitch-hiking on a yacht from Tonga, and from the first minutes, we were overwhelmed with the honest hospitality. Running away from the capital, Suva, and jumping on the random local buses with the tent and cooker in our backpacks let us really discover the wildest corners of this beautiful country.
Alyson Long from World Travel Family: worldtravelfamily.com
Trekking in Nepal with your kids is the ultimate family bonding experience. Trekking to Everest Base Camp Trek, for example, is not easy. Everyone has to test themselves but if you all come out smiling after conquering your limitations you’ll be richer for it.
In Nepal, kids get to experience a unique culture, learn about the world’s most incredible mountain region, the Himalaya, and come out knowing they are capable of anything. It grows and strengthens family bonds like no other travel experience.
For more ideas on family travel destinations contact us for further information and a free travel consultation.