The 20 Best Family Travel Experiences in the World
Throughout 2015 the newspapers were rife with article upon article highlighting that experiences are much more conducive to happiness then material items and goods. We are keen believers in this philosophy and want to change our attitude towards holidays and travels. I have seen bucket lists galore and decided I wanted to make one containing the 20 best family travel experiences in the world which I would love to do with my children. This list is very much things that I would love to do with my own children and I hope it provides inspiration to all of you.
Sitting foot on Antarctica
With the ever increasing globalisation, the world is becoming a smaller place everyday and there are not many places left that have not been fully explored. Antarctica however, still remains a land undiscovered and really off the beaten path. The chance of visiting and experiencing one of the world’s last untouched wildernesses would be truly amazing. The cost of the trip is ridiculously expensive but I think it would be an amazing once in the lifetime opportunities. Its on my Maya’s wish list!
Completing the Annapurna Circuit
The Annapurna Circuit is almost always cited as the number one trek to complete in the world. The circuit consists of a collection of 6 mountains in Nepal which look stunning and would be a real adventure walking through some of the worlds most stunning scenery. The circuit takes several days to complete and trekkers pass through some of the most gorgeous landscapes and beautiful villages. I think it would really showcase to the children how beautiful mother nature really is. (Plus Doc has always wanted to go to Base Camp so this will be a more family orientated alternative)
Visit the Olympics
The Olympics remain the highlight of the sporting calender and watching it live would be a real family experience. I have watched the Olympics from home always wanting to actually be there and being part of the best sporting events. When the Olympics were on in London we applied for several tickets but were unsuccessful for them all. The events that I would love to see would be the opening ceremony which always is a spectacle and gymnastics!
Campervan across New Zealand
New Zealand is a country that truly stole my heat and I have been edging to return back with my little adventurers in tow. NZ offers so much to families and every corner of it is filled with so many experiences that you can easily spend months touring the country and still only manage a small part. From glaciers to mountains to Fjords to some of the most stunning crystal blue waters. NZ is a must for all families. We did a road trip last time but I think hiring a camper van would make this country even more enjoyable with true flexibility of being in control of where you stay, stop and play!
Machu Picchu (& Peru)
The above picture should say it all, a lost civilisation built atop a huge mountain is the place to truly to enchant your children (and adults alike). The more I have been reading about the site, the higher it is moving on my wish list. I think Machu Picchu would be one of those experiences that will stay with you for a long time and sharing it with your children would be a truly amazing experience. Every time I see the pictures I get goosebumps. This is definitely on for the bucket lists but the whole of Peru is a treasure trove of Inca history and unique culture, so I would love to do this visit as part of a bigger trip to the country.
Family volunteer project
Through our travelling I want to help raise our children to learn that we each have a role in making our communities and the world in general a better place by helping where we can. A family volunteer project would be a perfect example of where we can showcase this idea in a practical way. Doc would be really beneficial to many developing countries but even if it was a placement helping out in a school, or helping a community in some small way I would love to give it a try and getting our children to live with the locals. I would love to do an experience like this in somewhere like Ecuador or somewhere else off the beaten track.
Holi in India
Having been brought up on Indian films, Holi was a festival that always captured my imagination. Festivals are a fantastic way to immerse children into the traditions and culture of a country and Holi would be the festival that I would to love to take my little adventurers to. Holi events are becoming more and more common in countries like the US and UK but I think taking children to an actual holi event in India would be the best way to enjoy this family fun activity.
Learning about a lost civilisation and visiting the country
I think it would be a great learning experience to head down to the library, spend time researching on the internet, hunting for information about a lost civilisation and then to actually make the trip to the country and learn about the history hands on. We have chosen the Persian civilisation as the Zoroastrian era really interests Doc, and we like to do things which are a little different and not quite the norm. Lots of the Zoroastrian era was lost through history but there is remnants of one of the greatest civilisations known to mankind. Iran looks like an amazing country to visit and I think this combined with a mission to hunt out a lost civilization would be such a great experience.
I remember studying about Pompeii in history at High school (many, many moons ago) and the story of the city always fascinated me. The tragic event that befell the city so many years ago has now resulted with it remaining one of the best preserved examples of Roman life. Walking through the cobbled streets and showcasing the lives that the Romans would have enjoyed would be the most hands on history lesson I can give my children.
Camping in the red centre
Uluru will always hold a special place in my heart but the whole of the Red Centre is eerily impressive. That feeling of being out in the middle of nowhere, with no one, nothing in sight for miles and miles around is frightening, humbling and exhilarating at the same time. We camped in the middle of the red centre and as the sun went down you are greeted with the most amazing sight of a star filled sky. Doc is space mad and his eyes were literally full of glee as he was mesmerised by the stars all around. I would love to take the little adventurers and lie under a true starry sky, learning about constellations, showing them how little we know about life and how small our part is in the whole universe. It is truly breathtaking.
Seeing the Northern Lights
I have been eyeing up this trip for as long as I can remember and even though there are organised tours I would love to do this on our own. Whether it be by car or camper van to go on an adventure and enjoy one of natures most amazing optical show would be a wow moment to really excite the little adventurers. Doc loves natural optical occurrences and loves looking at rainbows and I think the Northern lights would truly blow him away.
Visiting Santa in Lapland
I love snow, I love Santa and both of these combined would totally get me excited. Mention Lapland to my little adventurers and they go wide eyed and start to talk about how they would love to go. Yes it is commercialised but it truly brings the magic of the whole festive period to light in a way that nothing else will compare. Being in the snow, log cabins, seeing reindeer and having a husky ride through endless snow covered land would be truly magical. I would love to do this when the children are still enough for the magic of it all to still be real
Taking a camel trek and staying in a camp in the middle of the desert
Travelling by camel is a little uncomfortable but camel travel always gives that feeling of olden day adventure and makes you feel like a real explorer. It always makes me think of times when people set out without much but hope and the desire to discover something new. I think it would be an fantastic experience to travel out to the desert and spend a few days in a tranquil and secluded desert camp site. The desert offers such crazy weather conditions it would be a unique and enjoyable experience for all.
Visiting Maldives before they Sink and walking in Plankton
Maldives needs little introduction and all the islands are breathtaking. As many of you know the Maldives are sinking so if its on your wishlist you need to get there soonish! I have put this in my list of experiences as the Maldives is a perfect example of a lost, paradise island and all families should visit at least one of them! Also, as I was looking at the National Geographic photos in 2015, I cam across the beautiful picture the sea aglow with a magical blue from Plankton. Even though this picture was taken in Iran, Maldives s another place where Plankton can be seen and taking a walk through this mystical blue light at night would enthral all little adventurers.
The Salt Flats of Bolivia
The salt flats of Bolivia look like something out of a storybook and is a true natural wonder which are not only only awe-inspiring but you can play with perspective and create some truly hilarious and beautiful pictures. We love taking photos and I think this would be a fantastic experience for the children to learn about how light, elections from the ground can play tricks on the eye. I think this would be a truly fun activity to do as a family and create some wonderful pictures to look back over the years and laugh about.
Great Wall of China
Mulan is my favourite Disney princess and the Great Wall of China was something that a young me would always dream about visiting but that ever becoming a reality seemed so unlikely. Given the age, size and scale of the wall, it has always been on my wish list to go and walk on one of greatest wonders of the world created by man kind.
Becoming Percy Jackson in the Parthenon
Reading Greek Myths are a fantastic way to spend quality family time and Greek mythology has again become cool with the younger generation with the hit book and film series Percy Jackson. Our 2 year old now has visions of himself as Perseus setting off on a mission to battle with Medusa and I think taking children to the place which inspired all these stories would be really cool!
Learning a language as a family in another country
I am trilingual and having the ability to speak another language cannot be underestimated. I think going to a country and taking lessons in a new language for you all would be a really enjoyable and worthwhile experience. I would love to go to South America and learn Spanish with my little adventurers. Learning whilst staying in the country should really help to bring the language along and would mean so much more then learning a language in a classroom setting.
Watching the Serengeti Migration
Visiting a safari and seeing wildlife in its natural habitat should be on everyone’s list. I have been waiting to do this for so many years and I think the most awe-inspiring of these would be to have a safari combined with the experience of seeing the mass migration of animals across the Serengeti. Thousands of animals moving across beautiful landscapes must breathtaking and an image that you r sure to remember for sometime.
A round the world trip
A round the world trip is my ultimate experience to enjoy as a family. Family Gap years are increasing year on year and I think the experience of spending a length of period travelling together will be the most amazing experience that you can enjoy as a family. Taking some time out from your busy daily lives and spending it seeking daily adventures, exploring new cities and countries and building memories to last a lifetime. These trips are great to really build strong bonds between each and every member of the family and for children to learn how little you need to survive and be happy. We hope to do a trip like this in a few years and I think it would be truly amazing to share this with my little adventurers.