Want to try something new for your next trip? Push your family out of their collective comfort zone with these ideas for an adventure you can have together.
1. New Zealand
New Zealand’s natural beauty and excellent reputation for outdoor pursuits make it a popular destination for families. Hiring a camper van is not only an economical way to explore the country but also gives you the freedom of the open road and the fun of outdoor life without having to put a tent up each night.
Travel to Iceland and within one trip your family can go dog-sledding, whale watching and glacier trekking, as well as see the Northern Lights and spend plenty of time jumping in and out of thermal pools. If that isn’t adventurous enough for you, how about descending into the bowels of an active volcano?
3. Marrakesh, Morocco
The call to prayer and snake charmers plying their trade; tiny alleys to explore; shops with wares piled high; spices, tagines and fresh juices to sample – a visit to the medina in Marrakesh is an adventure for the senses. It’s also a great opportunity to learn an important skill of travelling: the art of haggling.
4. South Africa
Seeing animals in the wild scores pretty high on the adventure meter for most people. South Africa’s Kruger National Park is recommended for children due to the high likelihood of spotting animals and the relatively small distances involved in travelling round the southern part of the park. There are also family-friendly lodges with pools for when everyone needs to cool off.
5. Snowdonia, UK
‘Bounce below’ on trampolines hidden within caves, fly through the air on a giant swing and surf an inland lagoon. It’s not hard to see why North Wales made our Top Destinations list for 2017. Kids will also love adventuring through history at the many castles, climbing to the top of Snowdon and resting weary legs on a narrow-gauge railway or two.
6. Washington, DC, USA
Exploring a world-famous city is an adventure in itself. In DC you can combine learning the art of espionage (at the International Spy Museum) with a dose of history (the Lincoln Memorial, plus a range of excellent museums) and lots of fun (the elevator ride to the top of the Washington Monument, paddle boating in the Tidal Basin).
7. Southwestern Australia
Do your kids have their heads in the clouds? Treat them to a 600m-long treetop walk in the Valley of the Giants. Or do they prefer to go underground? Check out the fascinating caves in the Margaret River region. Is wildlife their thing? Go whale watching in Geographe Bay. Beach combing? Bike riding? Tree climbing? You’ve guessed it…
For robot-loving, game-playing, tech-happy teens a trip to Japan is a dream come true. Add some cerebral pursuits – discover manga and anime together or visit ancient temples and shrines – and include a visit to one of the national parks or island beaches for when everyone needs to breathe out. Before you know it, you’ve got a trip to please even the most reluctant adventurers in your family.
9. Sri Lanka
Between elephants and trains, ancient temples and beaches, forts and natural parks, there’s plenty to keep families busy in this little part of the Indian subcontinent. Even better, Sri Lankans welcome children with open arms, so – with a little planning and an appetite for adventure – travelling here is a rewarding experience for all.
Whether you go for beaches, jungle or one of the child-friendly cities, exploring Malaysia is a great way to introduce Southeast Asia to your kids. The mix of cultures allows just enough of the familiar (colonial architecture, shopping centres, Western food) for when the exotic (the heat, the flavours, the bustle) becomes overwhelming.