When planning a family vacation parents want, above all, to give their family a great time. Recreation, of course, comes in all shapes and sizes and can refer to relaxation, leisure, entertainment and sport. While a stay at a beach resort offers a pleasant break, an adventure vacation provides something extra special for family members, no matter what their age. Here are five distinctive destinations for an exciting and unforgettable family trip.
Tanzania – African safari
When it comes to glimpsing wildlife in action, a family safari in Africa beats a trip to the local zoo any day. Seeing animals in their natural habitat fascinates children, and exploring the national game parks in Tanzania lets them spot tree-climbing lions in the almost impenetrable forests around Lake Manyara, huge herds of elephants and the best of the prolific wildlife in areas such as Arusha National Park and the Serengeti. The evocative landscape in the children’s movie The Lion King is echoed in real life at the extinct volcano the Ngorongoro Crater. It is abundant with exotic wildlife and is bathed, every evening, in the light of a glorious sunset.
Southern California – Disney thrills
For a whirl of family adventure that includes entertainment, amusements and spectacular rides, Southern California is the place to be. Bargain Disney tickets are available offering admission to both Disney Park, the original theme park with its traditional rides and experiences, and the fabulous new Disney California Adventure Park. Here, the championship race environment and the adventures of the Disney-Pixar Cars movie come to life. Besides the theme parks, kids of all ages will love a tour of Universal Studios, San Diego Zoo and the SeaWorld Adventure Park; all are nearby.
Spain – sporting heaven
A specialist sports venue, La Manga Club in Murcia on the coast of Spain has a host of facilities to offer budding young athletes, making it an ideal destination for families that love outdoor activities. The tennis center has 28 courts and there are three golf courses of championship standard. The club runs junior academies for young people in cricket, dance, football and golf, plus there are facilities for swimming, squash, soccer and rugby. Besides catering for all this, the area around Murcia has some great routes for mountain biking and hiking.
Montana – ranch vacation
Horse riding together is a fun family activity, especially in the Yellowstone area in the fall with its glorious spectrum of colors among the foliage. English and Western styles of riding can be accommodated at the specialist equestrian center called Lone Mountain Ranch, Big Sky. Lessons and treks are available for beginners and experienced riders. Come back in winter and the sport switches to skiing and snowshoeing, with lessons aimed at young people and daily fun activities being provided for all ages.
Central America – exploring ecology
English-speaking Belize is a favorite destination for vacationers interested in scuba diving and snorkeling in what is an extraordinarily ecologically diverse country. Older kids will get a thrill from caving, zip-lining through a real rainforest or exploring an underground river with its impressive stalagmites. Belize has an interesting archeological heritage with more than 600 fascinating sites dotted about this small country. Very small children might prefer to focus on some gentle paddling and making sandcastles on the beach; however, the whole family will enjoy the regular local festivals and other regular cultural events.