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What’s New in Family Travel: 3 Hot Destinations


We love the annual New York Times Travel Show. In the dead of winter we sample food and performances from around the world, check out new travel products and put together a mental bucket list of trips we’d love to take. Here are three destinations we discovered this year:

costa rica monkeyCosta Rica with Little Kids

We all know Costa Rica is a great place to take adventure vacations with your teens (here’s our take on Costa Rica adventure travel), but parents often want to know what this tropical destination offers for little kids.

Alberto Montoya at Green World Adventures recommends soft adventures such as safari rafting. “It’s the same rafts you use for white-water rafting but the water is calm,” and there is a chance of spotting animals and birds on shore.

costa rica beachAnimal rescue centers such as Tree of Life on the Caribbean Coast are another kid pleaser. And of course, there is the beach. Montoya recommends finding a smaller resort along the central Pacific coast, where the beach backs up against protected jungle. Families can mix their sand-and-surf time with easy nature walks.

Belize for all ages

Families looking for something more laid back and varied than the Riviera Maya, might look a little further down the coast to tiny Belize, where upgraded roads have made getting around more realistic for families than it would have been just a few years ago.

belize horsesFly into Belize City and head 2 hours inland to San Ignacio for horseback riding, easy cave exploring and an impressive collection of Mayan Ruins. The moderately priced Lodge at Chaa Creek is a good base for these activities.

A short drive south brings you to the Jaguar Reserve at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Reserve. Further on you can spend the day or an overnight in an authentic Mayan Village; learn to make tortillas by hand and to farm and cook with local produce.

Then take a puddle jumper to any of several small islands for laid back beaches and amazing SCUBA diving and snorkeling along protected reefs. (Here’s what we have to say about family friendly Ambergris Caye).

Europe on a Budget in Croatia

Europeans have long headed to Croatia for inexpensive beach getaways. Now travel agents are urging Americans to try this non-Euro-zone country as a cheaper alternative to Western Europe.

man on a unicycleZagreb offers plenty in the way of food, history and culture. But the real draw is Adriatic coast with its clear azure waters and historic towns like Istra and Dubrovnik. Sibenik has a children’s festival in June and July with performances, games, workshops and more both by and for children.

For a unique cultural experience, head north to the historic town of Varazdin. During a street performer festival at summer’s end, the squares abound with free entertainment. Look for food and drink specials then, too, to lure you in off the streets.

 

 


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4 Comments

  1. February 16, 2015 at 12:29 am — Reply

    These are great family destinations. We’ve been to Belize and it is wonderful. Costa Rica and Croatia are at the top of my travel wish list. Safari rafting sounds so exciting.

    • February 23, 2015 at 1:20 pm — Reply

      i would very much like to get to both belize and costa rica. Croatia is a bigger trip, but seems so worthwhile.

  2. February 2, 2015 at 1:45 pm — Reply

    Last year, I started linking up with a Croatia based travel blog, Chasing the Donkey, and I began to realize what a fantastic, “undiscovered” place it is. Now, I want to go there but the rest of my family who doesn’t read travel blogs is wondering why. I’ve also been wanting to go to Costa Rica. I keep mentioning it, so hubby got me a novel set in Costa Rica for Xmas. I’m still waiting for actual plane tickets.

    • February 3, 2015 at 11:40 am — Reply

      costa rica does seem like it has so much to offer and croatia just seems to be what more of Eastern and southern Europe used to be: all the culture of Europe at half the price.

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