Where next for your family holiday?
While travel has been halted for many of us (thanks to the pandemic we are experiencing at the time of writing), we can still plan ahead for a time when we can safely enjoy a trip away with our loved ones. Now is the time to create a travel bucket list, or add to the list you have if you have already given it some thought.
But where to? What destinations are perfect travel spots for families to visit together? It’s important to cater to both adults and children, after all.
Well, here are some suggestions we hope you find useful. Add them to your bucket list if they take your fancy, and start saving now for that day (hopefully sooner than later) when you will be able to pack your suitcases again and head out on your adventures.
Travel Destination #1: Lapland
Lapland: Not only is it home to thousands of reindeer, but it’s also home to the one and only (no, not Chesney Hawkes), Santa Claus! This has to be the shining star on your Christmas bucket list if you enjoy travelling in the winter. It’s here where you can head to the small town of Rovaniemi to visit old St Nick himself, and you can walk around the magical Santa Claus Village (including the post office where he picks up his letters) to get a true taste of the Christmas spirit.
Of course, you don’t need to limit your travels to Lapland to the winter alone. Even Rovaniemi has more to offer than peeks at Santa Claus, as there is a wonderful wildlife park where you can get up close and personal with polar bears, wolverines (no, not Hugh Jackman), and a whole range of arctic wildlife. Video game fans in your family will love the Angry Birds Activity Park, thrill-seekers can travel the snowy mountains on a sled with a husky safari, and there are loads of skiing spots for advanced and beginner skiers alike. Check this site for skiing equipment that is best for beginner skiers.
Lapland is also famous for the magnetic (and magical) lights of the Aurora Borealis, so after your snowy adventures, you can stand in awe and have a real bonding moment with your family as your watch the lights dancing around the sky.
Lapland truly is a wonderful place to visit, and your kids will absolutely love the opportunity to visit Santa if you can head here over the Christmas period. You can book a visit here if you are interested. Just don’t forget to pack your snow boots and mittens!
Travel Destination #2: Disneyland (any of them)
It’s the circle of life! You always wanted to go when you were a kid (we are assuming), and now your children probably do too! So, after you have had your fill of the new Disney + streaming service and rewatched many of the classics Walt produced – Dumbo, Snow White, Cinderella, etc. – bring the magic to life by visiting one of the Disney resorts.
The oldest Disney park is Disneyland in Anaheim, California, where you can explore 9 different themed zones, including Adventureland, Fantasy Land, and Frontierland. Visit Mickey’s Toontown, climb aboard the Finding Nemo submarine, and step into the world of Star Wars and Marvel with the park’s new additions.
Alternatively, check out Walt Disney World in Florida, Disneyland in Paris, or get your fill of Mickey Mouse and co in Tokyo! Many of the attractions are similar so you won’t have to worry about missing out on something awesome. Check out the Disneyland locations here, and book a stay on-site at one of the hotels available to you or incorporate a day trip to Disneyland if you’re enjoying the other attractions in the destination you are visiting.
Travel Destination #3: New York
‘New York New York, it’s a wonderful town,’ sang Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly, and they were right! Well, kind of, New York is actually a city (and is part of New York State), but quibbles aside, if you’re looking to visit America with your family, then New York has much to offer.
There are all the usual tourist attractions for a start, including the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty. You could take the kids to see a Broadway show, which could include The Lion King, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and School of Rock. Your kids might moan about this, but there are some great museums in NYC and they are not at all boring (so tell that to your kids). The Children’s Museum of the Arts is a great place for your kids to get creative (and messy). The American Museum of Natural History features some stunning dinosaur exhibits. And the Museum of the Moving Image showcases over a thousand movie exhibits, including those from the world of Jim Henson and Star Wars. There is also the Museum of Mathematics which is supposed to be a lot of fun as well as being educational, but you might have a hard time convincing your kids of that one!
You could also take the family to see a Yankee game, take a ride on the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island, and pay a visit to the Bronx Zoo. To be honest, there is far too much to do in NYC than we have room for here, but you can add to your New York itinerary by picking other activities from this family-friendly New York Guide.
Travel Destination #4: South Africa
There are all kinds of reasons to visit South Africa – the beautiful scenery, the fascinating culture, the hot climate – but especially when you are visiting as a family, the best reason to go is the wildlife. South Africa is the perfect place for rugged safaris, whale watching, and elephant riding!
Kruger National Park is a must-visit place for any wildlife lovers, as you will be (safely) surrounded by warthogs, hyenas, lions, rhinos, buffalo, and more. There are safari lodges and camping grounds available if you choose to stay, and stay you should, as you won’t be able to see everything in just one visit. There are ruins to explore too, as well as opportunities for mountain biking and golf (be mindful of the animals when you take a shot), so your days will be packed with things to do. You can learn more here.
Other highlights include the Madikwe Game Reserve, which is a remote park and less touristy than most, but with all of the animals you would ever want to see, including rhinos, lions, and leopards. The beautiful town of Hermanus is another highlight, as it is here where you will get to whale watch from one of the region’s incredible beaches. And the Addo Elephant National Park will give you an opportunity to get up close and personal with these magnificent beasts, alongside a range of other animals that can be seen when hiking, driving, or horse riding around the park.
Check the following link for more information on family holidays in South Africa, and then pack your Safari hat and shorts if you decide to pay a visit.
Travel Destination #5: New Zealand
For lovers of the great outdoors, New Zealand is one of the greatest places in the world. With magnificent scenery, wide open spaces to explore, and tons of wildlife and natural attractions to experience, the country of New Zealand is at the top of many people’s bucket lists.
And especially if you are travelling with your kids, there is much here to entertain and enthrall all of you. Lord Of The Rings fans will want to visit Hobbiton, with its rolling green holes, stunning gardens, and magical hobbit holes. You can also book a tour, and experience many of the other locations that made the film a joy to behold. Thankfully, there are no Ringwraiths to scare you away, so you can explore to your heart’s content, but if you do discover the One Ring on your travels, think twice before you slip it on. (Fans of the film will know what we mean).
There are plenty of locations for adventure seekers in New Zealand, where you can take part in such diverse activities as skydiving, white water rafting, ziplining and abseiling. Queenstown – the so-called ‘adventure capital of the world’ should be one destination of choice if you’re looking to get your fill of thrills, so check out this adventure guide for things to do. From swimming with whales to visiting some incredible theme parks, there will be much for your family to get involved in.
And then there are beaches to relax on, mountains to climb, and rainforests to explore, meaning there is much for you to fit into your itinerary. New Zealand is a must-visit destination – some might even say that New Zealand is the One Land To Rule Them All! Hobbit fans will know what we mean!
So, what destination will you add to your family bucket list? We have given you a few of our highlights, but if we have missed a fantastic place off the list, let us know in the comments section below.