Family vacation activities


There is more than One Direction

Take out that children’s atlas gathering dust since Santa put it in their stocking a few years ago, and dive into unknown oceans, climb mountains with unpronounceable names, cycle through foreign forests, and discover countries or regions of countries that you have never heard of. And take your kids on your fantasy journey with you. Because the chances are we have a family vacation activities in many of those secret spots. Montenegro, for example, is starting to get known for its coastline, but it has five mountainous national parks to rival the Alps any day. Lapland proffers magic that stretches way beyond the realms of Father Christmas, with husky sledding, sleeping in igloos and Northern Lights. Peru is a wonderful place for family vacations, so don’t wait until the children grow up and head there on a gap year without you. Spain has so much more than the Costas, and Scotland so much more than castles. And the Galapagos Islands are not just for young Darwins either. If you think snorkelling with sea lions, hiking up a volcano and seeing giant tortoises will bring a smile to those little faces, get in.

Go in the family fast lane

Don’t panic when you see the word ‘adventure’ in a description of family vacation activities. It doesn’t always equate with exhausting. It does usually equate with exhilarating though and, unless you go Grylls - like every weekend as a family, they will probably take you out of your comfort zone just a bit. The adventure begins from the minute you all sit down together and start to look through all the possibilities of where to go on a family adventure vacation. Watch which photos make your children’s faces light up the most. Kayaking around Croatian islands or husky sledding in Finland? Whitewater rafting in Catalonia or canyoning in Turkey’s Toparlar Canyon? Then talk through the itineraries together and see if they are still smiling. Who is up for spending a night camping in the Sahara followed by a morning camel ride? Or hanging out on an American ranch learning to ride, cowboy or cowgirl style? The opportunities for fun are – to infinity… and beyond.

Carnival of the animals

There are lots of family safari opportunities, but more specific wildlife watching vacations can be tailor made to cater for different age ranges. Go polar bear watching in Canada one day and kayaking the next. Or see Rajasthan’s tigers in the morning and trek through the desert on a camel in the afternoon. Or watch dolphins off a sailing boat in Scotland and then swim off a deserted island.

Nothing beats the beach

Sometimes we all just need to crash on a beach, and although the easy option is often the Costas or Cornwall, we have so many more tantalising treats for you. For example, sleep in yurts overlooking Lanzarote’s quiet Arrieta Beach, head to Tobago which is teeming with secluded beaches or snorkel off Sardinia for real beach bliss.
Photo credits: [There is more than One Direction: Natural World Safaris] [Go on the family fast lane: woodleywonderworks] [Carnival of the animals: Phalinn Ooi]
Written by Catherine Mack
Croatia activity vacation for families with teenagers

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Award winning lodges on a wildlife-rich Devon farm

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