Top 10 Destinations For Families To Travel To!
(Photo of Virginia’s Two Young Boys On A Family Trip)
Before we just create a list of where families should go, there will be places that will be better to visit when your children are a certain age and other places for other ages. So with that in mind I am going to rate top 3 destinations for under 4, 4-10 and finally tweens and teens together. We will have a 9 in total but there will be one suitable for all ages. I have used the age groupings commonly used in resorts with kids club or meals under 10 free plans. I just felt this helped with the decision of where to go. There are of course so many places and ways you can define this list. I could find 10 places to go in France. 10 camping destinations. 10 National Parks. 10 beaches. 10 City escapes. 10 Adventure holidays. There are so many ways to carve it I just went with age groups. This is the break down to top 3 for the appropriate ages of your kids.
When you are travelling with little ones. There is one rule. Keep it simple. It might sound great heading off to the most exclusive and the best island retreat but truth is you just want ease. Fewer transfers and the less waiting around in airports the better. People will argue shorter flights are better. Kids adapt. I once took my kids on holidays and they spent the whole week adapting to the time change and when we got home spent the whole week adapting back. Did it ruin my holiday no, early mornings at least mean you are up and on the go for the day! Just flip your trail of thought.
Number one – Rome.
Babies are adored here. The Italians bend over backwards for babies. If your baby is blonde, it would seem even more so! Not only that the way of living suits having a baby in a pram. You put baby down for the night in the pram and head off to the piazza for dinner. Baby will either stay asleep or wake up. Does it really matter, the kitchen doesn’t close at any set time like at home. Enjoy your meal. It’s pasta. Perfectly easy to consume nursing a little one! Toddlers will be in the piazza fountain, or running around and around it! The Italian children tend to sit in their seats and behave. I wonder how they do that. Get them to sit AND behave. Older children will also enjoy Rome but I have put it in this category because I wanted to pick something for the ‘family’ not just toddlers and babies alone. The whole family will love Rome. As Rome tends to be a gateway to other parts of Europe many people fly in and out but with small children you have the perfect excuse to ‘keep it simple’ and take more than a few days to explore. The back streets and piazza’s will bring you much joy. Watching your children as they seem to understand the Italians as they talk with their hands is a travel bonus you can only get in Italy.
Number two – Fiji Denarau.
Once you start looking at Fijian hotels and resorts so much is included. Children under 10 generally eat free. (If they don’t at the hotel of your choice be aware that their competitors do offer this) What is more, most hotels, resorts offer babysitting or a nanny service. Some resorts even have these services free. Resorts have family pools and adult only pools. This is a good thing. If your child is upset you will not have to run away at risk of disturbing other people as everyone is like minded. The resorts and hotels offer early meals and children’s menus. It’s a relaxed and fun holiday around the pool. Be sure to use the babysitting services to get some time to yourself and with your hubby or partner. With little ones it is often hard to grab precious moments away. The Fijians are so friendly and helpful. They love kids. It is amazing to experience a culture that just relates to kids and grown men have no inhibitions about clowning around with your children. It’s lovely. TIP – try to talk to each other rather than talk about the kids!
Number three – Paris.
Sometimes the kids have just gotta go somewhere that’s not focused on them. Paris is for everyone. Paris will suit all ages but I am adding it under the Under 4 category because it is so easy to enjoy with a pram. Paris is made for walking and the streets are wide enough to walk around contently. Finding little farmers markets and local parks in the arrondissements away from the tourist sites is the best family day you could have. Buy some of those amazing European berries, a baguette, some ham and spread yourself on the lawn in a park enjoying the sunshine. Jardin de Luxembourg couldn’t be more perfect for a family picnic. Versailles is a great family day out. The many carousels and the city of lights is such a delight for children, and the added bonus you will also be enjoying yourself. Watching your children absorb all that is Paris is a true delight. From the French voices to the food. Sometimes the travel memory is yours and not theirs. They may not remember but you can cherish this time.
4-10 age group.
Now that your kids are potentially toilet trained and slightly more independent you can step up the activity level. I appreciate there is a great difference here between a 4 year old and a 10 year old but you essentially it’s the same interests just with varied abilities.
Number Four – Disneyland
The happiest place on earth. Do I need to say more? Kids around the world cannot ignore Disney. Everywhere there are characters, movies, toys and other various merchandise. If you have a daughter it might be Princesses and a son Buzz Lightyear or Disney Cars. Why would you not dream of making their childhood magical with a trip to Disneyland? Be sure to allow for enough time to get around both parks. California Adventureland is separate to Disneyland. A friend of mine visited recently and his comment was ‘Disney is like oxygen’ Wow, that’s fairly high credit right there!
Number Five – London
There is so much history to explore in London that the whole family can be flat out for at least a week. What’s more London is a great city to visit year round. The museums are amazing and provide fabulous entertainment in the colder months. It’s so easy to get out of London for the day and explore the Cotswolds or Oxford. But you don’t really need to with so much to see in London. The Tube is easy to use but it is crowded so with kids I prefer to walk. There are a huge number of parks to release some energy – don’t think it’s just Hyde Park as Regents Park and Richmond are far superior in my mind. Just to list some of the sights: Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Harry Potter World, see a show at the theatre and so much more. London does not have wide streets. The Tube is not pram friendly and these are the reasons for not included it for younger kids.
Number Six – Barcelona
Why would I put Barcelona in this list? There is nothing like Barcelona to get your kids questioning and testing the boundaries of their own comfort zones. Honestly form exposing your kids to architectural delights and art. Some sites to visit: Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera , Tibidabo Amusement Park, Montjuïc Castle, Magic Fountains, Bubbleparc in the Plaça de l’Odissea of the Maremagnum Shopping Centre, Park Güell, Las Ramblas, the double decker buses, the beaches and the Barca Football Stadium. There is no doubt the children stay awake in Barcelona longer than any other European city. Barcelona covers a lot of ground so there is plenty of walking. The absolutely best part of Barcelona is the lovely people. You will get help with whatever it is you need. Barcelonans’ are sweet and caring people.
Tweens and teens.
Rule number one with tweens and teenagers. Keep them busy. The energy level will be stepped up another notch from your previous years and you will be able to fit a lot more in and do a lot more. From 10 or 12 years old you can start using group tours as part of your trip. You may or may not be interested in group tours but honestly they take out a lot of the intensity of your holiday as they organise activities, day trips etc. The added bonus is there may be other teens to make friends with.
Number Seven – African Safari
I would recommend South Africa for your first safari just from the point of view that it is so easy to get into and out of. I am going to recommend a guided tour here. Wilderness Travel are boutique and they are pricey but they will also deliver. 11 days will take you form Cape Town to Victoria Falls and to the exquisite Okavango Delta. If you want long lasting memories with your kids before they leave forever, here it is. Experience the magic of finding lions and herds of elephants. Optional activities such as bungee jumping and helicopter tours are bound to ignite any teenager’s passion. You may even be able to converse with them while there is no wifi. The company runs a variance to the same theme with a Tanzania trip but I think you will enjoy the few days in Cape Town prior to setting off or getting back.
Number Eight – Alaskan Adventure
This is not truly just Alaskan but also Vancouver in Canada – I think the couple of days in Vancouver prior to either getting on a cruise to Alaska or flying directly, are full of activity that suits teenagers. Vancouver has a lot to offer so be sure to allow a few days for exploring. The temperate weather makes it enjoyable most of the year. Whilst I have suggested this for teenagers you could actually enjoy this as a family with older children (adults) travelling together. I mentioned cruises. They are busy and I am not sure you get as much Alaska as you hoped. I’m going to recommend a smaller boutique holiday. In my mind National Geographic is Alaska and Alaska is National Geographic. I would therefore recommend their Expeditions arm. They have an 8 day trip focused on visiting Prince William Sound or a voyage. Experts are with you the whole time and if there is anything I can assure you experts are needed to find wildlife.
Number Nine – Dalmatian Coast bike tour
I think you would be hard pressed to find a more fulfilling holiday than a bike trip along the Dalmatian Coast mixed with other sports for a teenager holiday. This will allow them a glimpse of what travel can be like in their early adult life and prepare them for some amazing sites in the world. Backroads is the World’s Number 1 Active Tour Company. (As stated by Backroads) By all accounts the business has grown year on year and they add more and more tours each year. I am going to recommend Croatia but they have loads of other family trips. This trip involves not only bike riding but hiking and kayaking. There is a huge amount of activity and things to do and the Croatian coastline couldn’t be more perfect for an adventure with teenagers. Dalmatian Coast Family Multisport Adventure Tour couldn’t be more suited to a teenager holiday. It’s only a 6 day tour and that allows you to add days in another European location before heading home. In such picturesque surroundings I don’t think anyone will come home not having had a good time.
Number Ten – The whole family trip
I don’t care if you ski or if you don’t. A ski holiday is the absolute greatest family vacation there is. The days start with activity and exercise. Family skiing holidays are something to be cherished in a way that no other holiday can compare. Time with your children in the fresh air of the mountains, all doing something you either love truly, madly, deeply or at the very least are giving it a go is something you can’t do after a morning at the beach. The end of the day sees everyone come back to the lodge and rest in front of the fire before sharing dinner together and discussing the various trees you ran into or missed is priceless. You need to ensure you are picking your resort correctly. I recommend looking for ski in and out options with children and accessibility to the nursery slopes. Apres ski activities should be strongly considered for the days or afternoons when you just want a break. I have friends who hand on heart will say its heart warming and both a reminder of why being a parent is so wonderful when you watch you kids race you to the bottom of the mountain and beat you no matter how hard you try! I haven’t defined a destination, as skiing is expensive enough Pick one convenient to you.
I will again add that defining the top ten family holidays is no easy task as in my mind it should be further divided from age group to parts of the world, type of holiday (adventure etc) budget, and the list goes on. If you keep in mind that my son is 8. He is really only going to travel with us for another 10 years. (willingly that is!) That’s 12 weeks of vacation each year where we can pick one or two destinations. Neither my husband nor I get 12 weeks holidays a year so let’s make it one location per year for 10 years. Looks like our list has been created for us above!
Guest post published by Virginia from – kidsandluggage.com.au