Have you ever wondered which family travel destinations are best suited to your school-aged children? While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to travel with kids of various ages, there are definitely places and experiences better suited to some ages than others.
School-aged kids, for example, are filled with boundless energy and long for hands-on experiences in the places that they visit. They want constant action and are highly curious, which means you need to plan trips around exploration and adventure. Not sure where to start? Here are 8 places you should visit with your kids by age 8.
From historic cities to picturesque countryside and delectable cuisine, Italy has it all. After a few days spent sightseeing in Rome or Florence, make a kid-friendly villa in Umbria home base. From there, you can take easy day trips to medieval cities such as San Gimignano and Siena in Tuscany and Perugia and Assisi in Umbria. In the evenings enjoy farm-to-table cuisine and wine tastings for the adults. There are endless fun activities for the whole family from truffle hunting with a local guide to cooking classes and pottery classes.
From the thundering waterfalls of Chapada Diamantina to the verdant rainforests of Jaú National Park, your kids will love traveling through Brazil. Not only does Brazil offer plenty of unforgettable family experiences, but Brazilians love children. As a result, a welcoming culture and kid-friendly amenities are plentiful. A trip through the Brazilian Amazon provides the perfect opportunity to teach your children about ecology and their responsibility in protecting the planet. Or, check out a Capoeira and drums class to learn more about the history of Africans in Brazil and experience Brazilian culture in an authentic, hands-on way.
3. Baja, Mexico
There’s no end to kid-friendly activities in Baja Mexico. Your kids will be enamored by the warm culture, great food, and lively music of Mexico, and the locals will adore your kids. Baja offers stunning views of the Sea of Cortez and plentiful activities for school-aged kids. They can lend a hand at a sea turtle hatchery in Todos Santos. And you’ll also find plenty of opportunities to observe and interact with marine life such as majestic gray whales, playful sea lions, and massive whale sharks in their natural habitat.
From the floating markets of the Chao Phraya River to the beaches of Koh Samui, Thailand fills the senses. It boasts spectacular monuments and ruins, delicious food, and exotic animals and landscapes. Your kids can learn about the plight of Asian elephants while volunteering at an elephant rescue facility, the Patara Elephant Farm in Chiang Mai. Or, they can spend the day trekking through the ancient ruins of Ayuthaya while pretending to be miniature archaeologists. There’s no end to adventure in Thailand. In addition, the welcoming feel and ease of travel around Thailand and Southeast Asia make it well worth the longer travel distance.
5. Disney Cruises
By the age of eight, your kids have probably repeatedly asked you to take them to Disneyland or Disneyworld. They want to see their favorite characters. They want to immerse themselves in the wonder of the park, and they want to check out all of the rides. But if you’re not a fan of huge crowds, then consider taking them on a Disney cruise instead. Your kids will still enjoy meeting Disney characters and checking out themed amenities. But the pace proves more leisurely, and there’s fewer lines and crowds. What’s more, cruises provide lots of time to lounge by the poolside or beach. They offer great shows and lots of delicious food, too.
6. Kid-Friendly Resorts
If you’re looking for a getaway that allows you a little adult time, look no further than a resort with a great kids’ program. Over the years, resort kids’ programs have come a long way from basic childcare. The best offer cultural appreciation activities and hands-on nature discovery. They provide kids with an immersive, authentic experience while letting you kick back and relax, too.
7. National Parks
School-aged kids are a blast to travel with! They are bursting with energy and curiosity, and they enjoy travel destinations that boast a wide variety of immersive activities. This is also a great time to introduce them to conservation projects and experiences, which makes the United States’ National Parks perfect destinations. Encourage your kids to participate in the Junior Ranger program each time they visit a park. This activity-based program lets kids learn more about the National Parks and how to protect them while earning badges unique to each location.
8. Dude Ranches
Just about every child goes through a cowboy or cowgirl stage. So, why not harness this moment in their development to visit a Dude Ranch in the Western United States or Canada? From the Canadian Rockies to the wide-open expanses of Nevada’s Great Basin landscapes, Dude Ranches offer kids an unforgettable chance to explore the rugged beauty of North America while learning more about its history in an authentic setting. It’s a great way to travel unplugged, and there’s nothing quite like riding a horse and wearing a cowboy hat and boots!
Interested in learning more about the best travel destinations by age? Check out our free guide filled with creative travel ideas broken down by age.
Travel with Kids
The action never stops when traveling with school-aged kids. Their sense of wonder and curiosity means they’ll never pass up a good adventure. It also makes them enthusiastic participants when it comes to authentic, immersive experiences.
At Our Whole Village, we create transformational trips for curious families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference. We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its peoples, and its cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft for adventure-seeking families just like yours.