It’s almost time for summer holidays! – and for us that means enjoying all the little pleasures of this season – blue skies, bare feet, sunshine, ice-cream, carefree days, kids laughing, fresh mountain air, and a sense of freedom like no other time of year.
So if you’re looking for fun-filled family time, we’ve got some ideas. Need some kid-approved travel destinations? We have some suggestions for that. Or are you determined this year to earn the title of ‘Best Parents Ever’? Then yes, we know just where you should go this summer.
1. HONG KONG
For a holiday of amusement parks, adventure rides and ultimate thrills, Hong Kong guarantees a magical time for kids – of all ages. Spend a day at Ocean Park where you’ll find pandas and sea lions, along with rides and shows the entire family will enjoy. Then, a trip to Disney World where everyone can meet Mickey Mouse himself! Finally, complete your visit with a day trip to Macau, walk through the streets of Rua da Tercena, and don’t forget to try the famous Portuguese egg tart. Your kids will have the time of their lives here.
2. THE ANDAMANS
Nothing says summer like a holiday by the sea, and there’s no better place than the Andamans for children aged 4 and above. Here, you can laze on the beach, soak up the warmth and help the kids build a ginormous sandcastle, leaving your skin speckled gold with sand and sunshine. Or jump into the cool blue waters and snorkel with your family in turquoise reefs full of colourful fish. Or watch your kids’ face light up with delight as they help release newly born turtles into the sea. The memories you make will keep you warm, lingering far longer than your tan.
Earn your stripes by visiting one of India’s premier wildlife sanctuaries Ranthambore and give your kids the chance to see Sher Khan right in front of their eyes. Here, they will get to discover the wild side of India on safari excursions, during which they’ll get to see an abundance of birdlife and deer, as well as crocodiles and Royal Bengal Tigers. From the shades of blues and greens of the sky and shola to the orange flame of a tiger’s stripes, relish the colours and charisma of India’s wildlife.
4. THE NETHERLANDS
There’s so much more to the Netherlands than Amsterdam, and especially for children. Depending on the interests and ages of your kids, there’s something for everyone. Take your aspiring knights and princesses to the De Haar Castle or medieval castle of Muiderslot or take a boat-trip from Amsterdam to get a front-view of the charming countryside dotted with windmills, wooden houses, battered fishing boats, and tulips of all colours.
5. YAS ISLAND
With high-octane rides, an ultimate shopping paradise, and desert safaris – at Yas Island, there’s an exciting ride and an unforgettable sight for everyone in the family. You can go on a desert safari adventure complete with dune bashing, camel rides and a belly-dancing performance. Then, head to the amusements parks where parents, you can challenge your kids to a race down giant water slides, watch them drive and then for the ultimate thrill, ride the Formula Rossa aka the fastest rollercoaster in the world at Ferrari World! Trust us, this is one experience they’ll be talking about for years to come.
6. SRI LANKA
For an adrenaline adventure, head to Sri Lanka. The south coast of this island nation offers the ideal combination of hikes through lush tropical jungle and an exciting white-water rafting experience on the Kelani river, which has levels based on age and experience. Choose the level suitable for first-timers and children aged 12 and above; it’s more fun than furious. Together, you’ll work as a team to paddle your boat along the running water that runs, swerves, drops and bumps like a rollercoaster, leaving everyone whooping and cheering for more.
7. SOUTH KOREA
For a slightly offbeat family vacation, Seoul is just the ticket. There are plenty of places to visit that will keep the adults interested, the teenagers entertained and the children happy. At the Korean Folk Village, your kids can participate in the many folk games from Korea’s past, while at The Suwon Hwaseong Fortress, the entire family can take a dragon train around the fortresses walls. For a hands-on art experience, visit Haslla Art World, where you can create your own masterpieces. And there are plenty of Hello Kitty cafes, historic sites and seafood stalls to explore in between.
Feel on top of the world whilst taking your family cycling through the mountains of the Himalayas (best suited for older teenagers). The path you will cycle winds around the hillside and lead you through little forests of pine and by small villages. You will eat packed lunches on hillsides, breathe in fresh mountain air and learn to appreciate the simpler things in life: the scent of pine, the crest of the mountain, the tastiness of an egg sandwich, and the smiles of kind people; experience happiness in its most natural form.
There you go. Use this list to jumpstart your summer travel planning and get the most out of your holiday. It’s time to remind your family just how much fun spending your break together can be!