I don’t even want to admit how many times I have googled – best family trips. meaningful family travel, where you must travel with kids etc. etc. etc. I have tried them all. It is pretty bad when you see that you have visited the same website over and over and you are still seeking that one stand out place, that maybe someone else knows of; that I don’t. I have stopped (well.. mostly). I have learned a few things since we started this blended family travel stuff. This is my new go to criteria.
- a different language – my kids love trying out new words, succeeding in buying a toothbrush on their own, ordering their own food, negotiating with numbers, saying hello and goodbye to strangers in their own language
- a different experience from previous – Jade had been to Guatemala so I wanted to mix it up for her next trip and chose Morocco (different language, customs, tradition, clothing etc. from Guatemala).
- markets... lots of them… (Jade will disagree) but the other kids will agree, everything is more interesting in a market
- activities – trekking, hiking, biking, swimming, sandboarding, boating, fishing, anything that involves moving
- a meaningful activity – in Guatemala we visited a NGO that supports children and families who previously have lived off of the Guatemala City garbage dump – we saw the dump, the neighborhood, and the kids and their school; it was simply the most memorable activity we did in Guatemala (Safe Passage)
- museums maybe – check with the kids first as it depends on their tastes – we usually don’t spend much time inside on our trips but a museum such as Anne Frank’s or The Hiding Place in Holland are very interesting for kids
- change up the transportation options – tuk tuks, bikes, motos, trains, chickenbuses- travel like the local people do
- vary the accommodation options through out the trip – we like a range of places from super budget to homestay to a bit more costly (medium range) so the kids meet many other travellers, get to meet local people, get to eat with others, make their own food in their own kitchens, and overall… it never gets dull
And when all of the above fails, you will still discover that a trip to anywhere new is usually wonderful but remember to expect the unexpected!