15 Bucket-List Ideas for a Family Vacation
What will next year’s family vacation be for you? Another week at the beach? A first trip to Disney? Heading home to the family? How about something more exotic? Family vacations can–and should–be about experiencing new things and having adventures together. Even if you don’t have the trip of a lifetime coming up, it can be fun to talk about dream about the destinations and activities that would be on each family member’s wish list.
Here are 15 destinations and activities to give you some ideas. We start far away in Australia and work out way back the to U.S. Which ones would top your family’s vacation bucket list?
15 Bucket-List Travel Experiences for Families
1. Swim in a Pink Lake in Western Australia
Hillier Lake in Australia is beautiful, serene and calming, surrounded by lush green vegetation with the ocean nearby. It’s also pink!
Tourists come from near and far to float and bob in this salt lake, located on Middle Island, off the country’s soutwest coast. A special algae makes the water pink, even in a container.
(Read about Senegal’s pink lake, too.)
2. Breakfast with Giraffes in Kenya
Giraffes are stunning creatures, not only because of their long legs and protruding necks, but because they’re gentle and surprisingly graceful mammals.
In Kenya, one can practically have breakfast with them as they stick their necks through the windows of the manor house (top). It makes for an utterly unique and fascinating experience– and an epic photo!
Your kids will make an intimate connection with these animals, even as they try to steal your breakfast. (Read what to expect on a safari.)
3. Trekking with Gorillas in Uganda
There are only 800 mountain gorillas left in the world. They’re rare and endangered (due to poaching).
You and your kids can observe them and learn on how to protec them on a spectacular walking adventure with the Gorillas in Uganda.
4. See the Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto, Japan
The beautiful cherry blossom flowers cover Japan in spring turning places like Kyoto into a pink fairyland The cherry-blossoms are deeply symbolic to the Japanese, representing the beauty of life and new beginnings of spring.
The lessons of cherry blossoms: Life is beautiful, fragile and short lived, so slow down once in a while to look around and enjoy it. (Read more on what to do with kids in Kyoto.)
5. Visit Hindu Temples in the Indian Himalayas
The Himalayas are vast, straddling 1,500 miles across India, Pakistan, China, Bhutan and Nepal.
The Indian Himalayas hide a series of remote and startling Hindu Temples, open to anyone willing to make the trek to the roof of the world.
6. Walk on Diamond Beach in the Maldives
Firstly, the Maldives are absolutely exquisite, the definition of paradise, with crystal clear waters and pristine beaches.
But the most impressive is Diamond beach, where the water glistens at night with bioluminescent plankton. It can look as though it has thousand of diamonds floating ont eh surface.
Your kids will think it’s magic but you can tell them it’s something even better: Nature.
7. Hot Air Ballooning in Turkey
Picture hundreds of multi-coloured hot air balloons floating in the sky above an enchanting town built into solid rock.
It sounds outer-worldly, but you can experience this magnificent sight in Cappadocia, central Turkey. The prettiest times of the day are sunrise and sunset.
If you prefer to stay earthbound you can enjoy a rooftop picnic that allows you to look up at the balloons and down at the town.
8. Husky Sledding in Finland
If your family doesn’t mind the cold, husky sledding can provide an extraordinary ride through a breathtaking winter wonderland. What better way to see the snow-filled Finnish country side?
The sledding happens in Lapland—pretty close to the north pole, and only from January to May. Plan ahead and bring your warmest clothes!
9. Witnessing the Northern Lights, from an Igloo, in Finland
Finland is the only country to appear twice on the list.
After your sledding, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to experience the Northern Lights, a natural phenomenon of greens, blues, pinks and reds dancing in the sky with an electric glow. The best time to see them is in winter, also the best time for sledding.
And one of the coolest ways to do it is by staying in a glass igloo. You and your kids can cuddle in bed while staring up at the colourful swirls in the sky. Pure perfection!
If you asked me which of these 15 spots are top of my bucket list, I’d say this one. Absolutely!
10. Blue Lagoon Iceland
Iceland is one of the most breathtaking places in the world, filled with waterfalls, glaciers, mountain ranges and natural warm-water lagoons.
The most famous of its geothermal spas, the blue lagoon is also the biggest. There is room for young and old in this pool that’s surrounded by eerie volcanic landscape.
It’s close to Keflavik airport. So the next time you fly IcelandAir schedule a few-hours layover to work out those airplane kinks.
(Read more about Iceland.)
11. Visit StoneHenge in the U.K.
Mysterious Stonehenge often tops of the list of history enthusiasts. The prehistoric monument dates back to 3100 BC and we still have not unlocked most of its secrets.
Visit on a day trip from London to decide how you think it got there and what it was for.
Bring a zoom lens and don’t plan to get up close with the stones; ropes now keep tourists at a safe distance from the stones.
(Read about 20 more things to do in London.)
12. Kayak through the grottos of croatia
Croatia is full of hidden gems, which is why it’s fast the rise as a popular European destination. One experience that stands out even her is kayaking through the underground turquoise waters of the Blue Grotto.
It’s an unique and captivating journey that you won’t easily find anywhere else in the world! Best dress in layers, it can be chilly down there.
13. Experience the Rio Carnival in Brazil
Carnival in Rio De Janeiro is the biggest and most popular pre-Lenten celebration in the world.
It’s an exhilarating street show that features overwhelmingly large man-made floats, women dressed in their most glamorous, glitzy dance attire, and lots of samba music.
Thousands of people turn out to watch, cheer, dance and sing along. It might be overwhelming for young children but for you are and your teens it can be an awe-inspiring experience.
14. Iguazu Falls in Argentina
No, it’s not Niagara.
For the nature lovers, Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil can be a magical experience. The largest waterfall system in the world, Iguazu is made up of 275 falls that span two countries.
You can experience the falls from the sky by helicopter, from various lookout points, or from below by speedboat. This bucket list experience shows your family the power and beauty of nature.
15. Snorkel with Turtles in Hawaii
You can snorkel in crystal clear water with some of the rarest marine life on earth without leaving the U.S. On Oahu and Maui families can take snorkel trips to bays and coastal areas where turtles make their home.
Nothing gets kids as excited on a snorkel tour as seeing these impressive shelled creatures swimming by. Your kids will want to take one home, but it’s best to take a good long look and leave them undisturbed.
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