The world is filled with wonderful places to go as a family, but a few really stand out – some for their cultural offerings, some for their activities, some for their wildlife, and some for a combination of the above.
This trip really had it all – lots of outdoor activities, a taste of local culture, and plenty of variety. From boat rides and polo lessons in Buenos Aires, to horseback riding on the pampas, to hiking the Perito Moreno glacier, to zip-lining through the rainforest at Iguazu Falls, Argentina’s opportunities for light adventure are practically limitless. It’s also a very family-focused culture that welcomes kids even at a black-tie New Year’s gala. I would say this is still our all-time favorite family trip.
2. African Safari
There was a time when kids weren’t allowed on most safaris, but that has changed. Not only is it safe (with sensible precautions), it’s an adventure your family will never forget. We’ve gone on safari twice – they were enchanting but very different experiences. In Tanzania, we followed the animals in our mobile tented camps, and had the same guide the whole time, which was great for continuity. In Botswana, we stayed in established lodges, and did safaris by boat and elephant-back. In both places, we were far removed from the usual distractions, and we got to see exotic animals in the wild – a thrill which never gets old.
Medieval castles, spooky dungeons, vast gardens, high tea and royal guards – London may be the word’s best city for a family holiday. There’s something here to capture everyone’s imagination. My daughter, a budding artist and journalist, loves the National Gallery and British Museum, while my sons and husband are fascinated by Churchill – I’ll never forget their excitement at visiting Parliament and the Imperial War Rooms. But the thing we all like most is exploring the diverse neighborhoods, quiet lanes, and sprawling parks of this cosmopolitan capital.
4. Greek Islands
We’re big fans of boating holidays – you unpack only once, start each day somewhere new, live in swimsuits and coverups, and have time to really bond as a family. Some of our best boating trips have been Greek Island cruises, filled with variety and simple pleasures like swimming, snorkeling and exploring caves. Best of all, we had knowledgeable, capable captains and kid-friendly crews who not only took care of but anticipated our every need. Talk about relaxing!
There are few places better than China for broadening your kids’ cultural experiences (and your own). Everything is fascinatingly different here, from the toys to the cuisine – and it all seems designed to delight and entertain kids. To make the most of it, avoid Westernized tourist options and instead plan interactive activities that let them explore the local culture, like dumpling-making lessons, calligraphy classes, or putting on traditional costumes and makeup at the Beijing Opera. My kids loved everything about this trip: the junk-boat cruises, the acrobatics shows, and especially the terracotta warriors in Xi’an!
Katrina Garnett is the Founder of My Little Swans.