FAMILY FRIENDLY TRAVEL
A family trip shouldn’t be an exercise in compromise between the desires of the parents and the wants of the kids. There are plenty of destinations containing enough activities to keep every member of the family satisfied, intrigued, and entertained.
With it’s thousands of miles of beaches, surfable waters, unique nature and more or less year-round fantastic weather Australia’s natural assets should be enough to entertain any family member. Nonetheless it’s modern cities also boast exciting, child-friendly attractions. Melbourne is a centre for sports events; the Australian Open, F1 Grand Prix, and the famous family-friendly Stakes Day at the Spring Racing Carnival are three examples. The Gold Coast meanwhile is something of a theme park mecca; Warner Bros. Movie World, Dreamworld, Sea World and Wet n’ Wild are all located on this stretch of Aussie coastline. Noosa area, on Australia’s Sunshine Coast holds an abundance of natural attractions, including the koala-inhabited Noosa National Park. Swimming, wildlife, walking trails and surfable beaches – they’re all here. Still on the sunshine coast is Australia Zoo, established by celebrity conservationist Steve Irwin. Highlights? “’Roo Heaven” and “Croc School” to name just two.
Check out our suggested family trip template for Australia here
In The United States too a family’s spoilt for choice when it comes to nature; various national parks, including the gigantic Yellowstone, and miles of coastline make for superb activity vacations. But for many families visiting the US theme parks are the major attraction. Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom in Florida was the most visited them park in the world in 2019. Also in Orlando is Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which boasts both the Toy Story Land and Star Wars, Galaxy’s Edge attractions. On the west coast it’s Disney again; this time Disneyland Park, in Anaheim, California. Staying in California there’s Universal Studios, Hollywood, with some of the most exhilarating movie-themed rides in the world. Back in Florida and still in Orlando, there’s another Universal Studios, where guests can immerse themselves in the worlds of The Simpsons and Harry Potter. Away from the coasts there’s also Nickelodeon Universe, located in the Mall of America, in Bloomington Minnesota, and full of cartoon-themed rides and attractions. In the US for Christmas, or any other time for that matter? Try Santa’s Village in Jefferson, New York, where it’s Christmas all year round!
Check out our suggested family trip template for USA here
Switzerland is largely clean, safe and well-managed, making it ideal to visit as a family. Which kid hasn’t dreamed of visiting a chocolate factory? Switzerland has them in abundance. The Lindt Home of Chocolate near Zurich offers tastings from chocolate fountains, chocolate making workshops and for adults and kids alike audio guides explaining the chocolate making process. Perhaps the best one for kids is Mastrani Chocolarium, near Appenzell, with its particularly interactive set-up – kids can push, pull, turn, and swivel an array of buttons, levers, and dials. Visitors can also view the making and wrapping of the products in the factory itself. Aside from chocolate there’s plenty for kids to do outside, including toboggining, a great way of seeing the alpine landscape. Particularly famous ones exist in Fräkigaudi, a few kms outside of Lucerne. The longest run open in both summer and winter (3,050 metres) is in Churwalden, in the Arosa-Lenzerheide ski resort. Europa Park, meanwhile, is an excellent theme park with plenty of thrilling rides located across the border in Germany, near Freiburg im Breisgau. It’s the second most popular theme park in Europe.
Check out our suggested family trip template for Switzerland here
The most popular theme park in Europe? Unsurprisingly, it’s Disneyland, Paris. Two theme parks, numerous resort hotels and various shopping, entertainment and eating facilities make up the vast complex. The park’s only 32km from Paris itself, so take in the City of Lights on the same trip, in particular the Eifel Tower; the views from the top are spectacular. For a more French themed amusement park head to Parc Asterix. Again, a few kms outside of Paris it offers family-friendly rollercoasters and rides all themed around the French comic character. France also hosts various water parks, including Frenzy Water Park, in Torreilles, close to Andorra, with its famously impressive set of waterslides. Elsewhere there’s Aqualand Cap D’Agde, a few km south of Montpellier, a floating, inflatable adventure playground. For a more natural, salty type of aquatic fun head to Biarritz on France’s Basque coast for some of Europe’s best surf breaks. This area is also known for its parklands and camping spots.
Check out our suggested family trip template for France here
Costa Rica is routinely listed among the best destinations for family trips, unsurprising considering the sheer abundance of opportunities for kids to interact with the natural world and wildlife. Lush, dense rainforest and paradisical beaches can be found across the country. One favourite among families is the Cahuita National Park on the Caribbean coast, complete with coral reefs, rainforest, and its very own sloth sanctuary. Elsewhere Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve offers visitors the opportunity to explore the rainforest canopy via their network of hanging bridges and ziplines. Another fantastic national park is Tortuguero. Between July and October turtles of various species visits these beaches to lay their eggs. Elsewhere in the park there’s the usual array of hiking, kayaking, boating, and wildlife-spotting opportunities. Surfing has become a huge part of Costa Rica’s attraction, and with its wave-sure coasts and warm waters it’s an ideal place for kids and adults alike to learn. Various surf schools, hostels and camps exist along the country’s Pacific coast.
Check out our suggested family trip template for Costa Rica here
Holidaying with the family needed be an ordeal. These five destinations offer fun and excitement for all ages regardless of their interests. Make a list, investigate further, then book your own multi-destination family trip of a lifetime.
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