No two families are alike. So why do so many family vacation packages and tours look exactly the same? At Our Whole Village, we think vacation opportunities should be just as varied and creative as the families who take them! That’s why, today, I’m shining a spotlight on three distinct types of family travel — so you can figure out which best fits your family’s unique interests and needs.
1. Adventure and Active Travel Vacations
Does it feel like your kids are always on the go-go-go? Take advantage of their seemingly endless wells of energy by embarking on an adventurous or active travel vacation! Adventure and active travel is ideal for families who are already active with one another and want to up the ante on vacation. And don’t let the term “adventure travel” turn you off — you can always tailor your travel adventure to your fitness and comfort levels, and your children’s ages.
- Costa Rica: This country’s pristine rain forests are ripe for exploring as a family, and you can relax on the beaches, too.
- Iceland: Travel to Iceland has exploded in recent years, for good reason. This European destination boasts rugged, breathtaking terrain, awe-inspiring glaciers, and thermal pools perfect for a good, long soak.
- African safari: Reputable outfitters can create an incredible, age-appropriate adventure travel experience for your family, with guided tours to spot some of Africa’s most fascinating — and elusive — creatures.
- Peru: Machu Picchu is a perennial favorite for travelers young and old looking to explore an epic remnant of history.
Active Travel Activities:
- Bike tours and cycling vacations — choose a half-day excursion or a multi-day adventure.
- Water sports, like surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving. Some resorts and outfitters can grant temporary scuba diving licenses so you can explore the waters on your vacation.
- Ziplining — your kids will never forget the sound of you screaming in excitement as you fly through the trees!
2. Culturally Immersive Vacations
Do you yearn to use your precious vacation time as a family to expand your children’s horizons, and show them how incredibly diverse the people, places, and cultures found all around the world truly are? Then a culturally immersive vacation is the perfect fit for your family. Explore new cultures together through hands-on, authentic experiences that reveal the real heart of your destination. You can even use your vacation as a chance to give back to the communities you visit!
- Europe’s capitals: Combine tours in Europe’s greatest cultural capitals — like Paris, Berlin, Rome, and Prague — for your family’s own version of a European Grand Tour. Many European cities are very welcoming of families.
- Morocco: From the fragrant spice markets to the colorful, intricate architecture, this country is a feast for the senses.
- Thailand: Tour temples, explore jungles, and relaxing on world-class beaches … Thailand has it all! To make your trip truly immersive, consider a homestay with a local Thai family.
Culturally Immersive Travel Activities:
- Cooking or baking classes tailored to your children’s skill level
- Guided walking tours of historic sites
- Community service projects organized by a reputable charity
Slow Travel Vacations
If your family needs a break to recharge and reconnect with one another, consider a slow travel vacation. On a slow travel vacation, you’re less concerned about checking off all the boxes than exploring together, on your own terms. Typically, you’ll stay in one central location for the duration of your vacation, rather than packing up and moving to a new destination every couple of days. Relaxing while reconnecting — what could be better?
- The Tuscan countryside: Book a handsome villa large enough to accommodate your family to while away your vacation in one of the most breathtaking regions on earth.
- South America: Eco-minded travelers will be especially interested in a slow travel vacation in South America, where it’s easy to find eco lodges full of beautiful, sustainably crafted design details.
- Indonesia: A classic destination for those in search of relaxation and renewal, and an especially good choice if you’re interested in introducing your children to yoga — the country is home to renowned yoga retreats.
Slow Travel Activities:
- Cooking up an authentic meal with your family, with local ingredients from the market
- Self guided walking tours, or a car tour of the surrounding region
- Kicking back by the beach or pool — the idea is to take it easy with your family!
Of course, you can combine elements of the above vacation types to create the ultimate, customized escape for your family. Many families have diverse interests — if you’re one of them, search for itineraries that have a good mix of adventurous activities, culturally immersive moments of discovery, and plenty of time for laid back relaxation.
Get More Tips on the Finding the Best Vacation for Your Family
Your family’s interests aren’t the only thing you need to take into consideration as you plan your vacation. Picking a destination and activities that are appropriate for your children’s ages can make a big difference in whether your vacay is smooth sailing, or just plain stressful. Grab our free guide for creative travel ideas, broken down by age.