The Holidays are here! Spend this Time with you family discussing your travel Plans for 2017. If the amount of options overwhelms you, here is a short list of suggestions from a family travel expert. This list includes something for everyone, no matter how you define “adventure”.
- Costa Rica
Personally, I can not recommend Costa Rica enough for kids. It is a wildlife paradise, which excites, entertains and educates children of all ages. If you have a child who is enthralled with wildlife, this is a perfect vacation. Bonus: You can combine a relaxing beach vacation with an exciting rainforest adventure.
2. Southern Iceland
Tourism is growing at a rapid pace in Iceland, there is no better time to take the family to Iceland, while it still feels remote and untouched. If you want your children running through wide open spaces, appreciating nature at its finest and learning about tectonic plates, glaciers, geysers and lava fields then Iceland should move up your bucket list. Bonus: Iceland is the closest European country to the US. and a short 5 hour plane ride from Boston or New York.
3. Petrified Forest National Park
Seeing a giant piece of “wood” from a far and then getting up close to touch it and realize it is made up of silica is a science lesson your kids will never forget. I suggest taking a hike led by a ranger unless you are a geologist or paleontologist because your kids will have all sorts of questions while you explore. I certainly couldn’t answer them. BONUS: Every Kid in a Park initiative get every fourth grader and their family into all US National Parks for free!
4. White Mountains, New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a wonderful place for families and North Conway is a great location to meet every kid’s needs. Set in the White Mountains and along the Saco River, it is a wonderland for nature activities including kayaking, hiking, skiing and floating down the river in inner tubes. There is an endless option of family friendly accommodations, including lots of pet friendly resorts too. BONUS: Storyland!!!!! An amusement park designed especially for kids 5 and under.
5. Western Ireland
Bright green as far as the eye can see. Children have plenty of space to run free and just be a kid. The history and culture is fascinating, and every child loves visiting an actual castle; I recommend staying in one for a night or two. Kids also love The Irish folktales and the presence of The Shee (Fairies). BONUS: Direct flights to Shannon airport if you are the type of family who likes to skip the big cities.
6. Kruger National Park, South Africa
Like many families, you have always dreamed of going on a safari. Make 2017 the year, you make that dream a reality. Kruger is a wonderful first safari location for most families. There are self drive options for the do it yourself type of families or lodges that offer child focused game drives. BONUS: There is so much to do in all of South Africa, but Cape Town cant be missed.
7. Savannah, Georgia
Savannah has a unique atmosphere, you can not find anywhere else and the famous Southern hospitality is extended tenfold to children. It is perfect for families who want to escape the harsh winters of the North but are not looking for a beach vacation. BONUS: The ghost tours are perfect for older children and teenagers looking for a scare.
8. Mayan Riviera, Mexico
Anyone can attest that an all inclusive resort in Mexico is enjoyable for every member of the family. There are so many resorts to choose from that cater to the needs of children of all ages, the beaches are gorgeous and every water sport imaginable is offered. BONUS: Take some tours outside of the resort and immerse yourself in the warm and inviting Mexican culture. Did I mention Mexican Food? Yum!
9. North Island, New Zealand
Do you have an adrenaline junkie in your family? If so, New Zealand is the ultimate vacation. It is the birthplace of Extreme sports and activities. There is an activity here to keep your children not just entertained but THRILLED every day. Kids can try Zorbing starting at the age of 6, Why should big kids get all the Fun! BONUS: You can visit Hobbiton, where they filmed The Shire scenes from Lord of The Rings.
10. California Coast, USA
California is known for it’s family attractions and theme parks, why not balance it with a few days unplugged and enjoy the stunning nature of the California Coast. Big Sur has some wonderful short hikes, perfect for kids. There are great campgrounds that offer very comfortable cabins and even some yurts, for those of us who prefer a warm comfortable bed after a day of rustic activities. BONUS: The California Coast is easily accessible from San Francisco and Los Angeles, why not fly in one city and out the other to optimize your time.
I know I wish I could visit all these places in 2017. At least I can help plan your family’s adventure for you!