Imagine your kids complaining when you wake them up predawn hours, but then about an hour later saying “wow” with wide open eyes as they gaze the majestic wild animals from the tops of Kilimanjaro mountain. Or their shrieks of glee when they stare at the acacia trees silhouetted against orange-purple sunrise in Tanzania. The essence of family adventure vacations is to instill in your kids the beauty of Mother Nature.
Families come in different shapes, colors and budgets. Today’s family adventure travel market caters everyone by offering anything from guided cycling tours, private lodges to camping under the stars.
Scientific Benefits of Taking Adventure Trips for Families
While lazing around on the beach and sipping juices can be fantastic, there are more benefits for family adventure vacations than meets the eye.
Going on a vacation which includes extreme outdoor activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking or kayaking will improve your health. If you can’t take these extreme sports while traveling with your family, just run on a trail with your kids. This simple run will boost your cardiovascular system,
Strengthen family bonds
A Purdue University study says that performing activities in a group while on vacations will encourage bonding between family members. As a result, these shared adventures enhance communication, creates a stronger sense of shared memories, promotes harmony and builds a better family dynamic.
Staying active during your vacations helps you to recuperate from work stress, and you will feel refreshed when it is over.
Staying physically active during your vacations can help you to sleep better once you return to your daily routine. Researchers found that people who took vacations experienced an average of an hour or more of sleep once they returned from their holidays.
The scientists gave the participants sleep monitors that tracked the quality and quantity of sleep. Their sleep was measured three days before the trip, three days during the trip and three days after the trip. By taking adventurous vacations, the participants were able to improve and even extend their quality of sleep.
Adventure trips pull you out of your comfort zone. Without a doubt, it leads you to do many things that you usually wouldn’t do. You try to achieve new goals and gather exhilarating experiences, which will ultimately boost your self-confidence. Researchers say that people who participate in adventurous activities become more confident than those who never try such activities.
The best payoff of adventure vacation is that it increases your energy reserves. Tel Aviv researchers found that taking adventurous vacations optimizes your productivity. It leads to significant improvements in your job performance even after your vacation is over.
Adventure vacations make you a happy person
While on your vacation whether you see the breathtaking view of the Grand Canyon or the ethereal beauty of the Aurora Borealis you’ll experience an overwhelming sense of awe. Scientists say that this awe-moment influences your decisions adjusts your perceptions and makes your life more satisfied.
Many psychology studies have found that being one with nature increases your happiness and heightens your sense of wellbeing. The feel-good spillover from your adventurous activity increases your vitality.
How to Plan a Family Adventure Vacation
If a family adventure vacation is appealing to you, here are some tips that’ll make your vacation fun without being exhausting.
Choose your destination
After you’ve decided on the vacation budget, it’s time to get your kids involved. Ask your kids to vote on destinations and choose the ones that suit your budget. Most of the travel websites will provide you with low-cost deals on trips. Check out vacation packages for families because they will consider kids of all ages as well as parents.
Allows kids to take part in the itinerary
Once you’ve decided on the destination, let your kids research the place and put each child in charge of some duty concerned with the trip. Get a child-friendly map and allow them to guide you to museums, zoos or amusement parks. You can even ask your kids to take photographs and make scrapbooks.
Pack magnetic checkers, license plate bingo, and some deck of cards and plenty of good books. Audiobooks and music can please a wide range of kids. If you’re going on a long car ride, take some breaks to freshen up and pack healthy lunches. If you’re stuck in an airport, walk from terminal to terminal and watch the planes take off.
You made it
Once you reach your destination, try to be flexible. Make your kids comfortable by keeping them informed. Plan some downtime, so your kids get the much-needed rest. Try to apply the same rules of discipline followed at home even on vacation.
Best Family Adventure Vacations You Can Afford
Vacationing with children can be the most satisfying as well as the hardest thing in the world. Here are some destinations that are convenient, affordable and offer heaps of activities for your kids.
White Mountains (New Hampshire)
Mountain Washington is the king of the White mountain range. In fact, twenty-seven towns dot this mountain valley. The area is famous for backroad drives through scenic farmlands, over covered bridges and natural swimming holes.
Tiptoe over wooden walkways to have a glimpse of the underground waterfall of Lost River George. Enjoy winter skiing with your family at the Waterville Valley. The White Mountains offers plenty of camping opportunities in the backcountry and at national forest campgrounds.
Estes Park (Colorado)
Nuzzled in the heart of the Colorado Rocky mountains the Estes Park is found 7,255 feet above sea level. Families can enjoy exceptional outdoor adventures. Your kids can enjoy wildlife sightings such as elk and bighorn sheep. Hiking, rock climbing, backcountry skiing and scenic drives around here.
Lava Hot Springs (Idaho)
The geothermal hot springs, the outdoor waterpark, and the Portneuf river all these makes Idaho an exciting family adventure destination. These hot springs are world famous and are laden with minerals. The spring waters lack Sulphur, and all you smell is the scent of the vast wilderness. Summer is excellent for mountain biking and fishing rainbow trout in the nearby Blackfoot River.
The other family-friendly adventure destinations include:
- Kennebunkport, Maine
- Mendocino, California
- Blue Ridge Mountains, South Carolina
- North Cascades, Washington
5 Bucket list Family Vacation Ideas
There are lots of family adventure vacations that are suited for families of all ages, interests, and budgets. Here are five once-in-a-lifetime trips that’ll give your family a fresh perspective on life.
The Oahu’s famous North Shore offers lots of unforgettable, action-packed experiences for your family. The Central Oahu provides a perspective on World War 11 with a visit to Pearl Harbor. The Leeward Coast offers picturesque towns, rural landscapes, and beautiful beaches.
Enjoy rip-roaring adventures that cater to even the littlest adventurer in your family. Enjoy the classic attractions such as the Sydney Opera House, Harbour, and Bondi Beach. As a family, you can swing across a zip line in the Sydney Olympic Park or enjoy thrilling pursuits like hiking in the Blue Mountains.
The fascinating landscapes, awe-inspiring wildlife, and dramatic glaciers captivate nature lovers of all ages in Alaska. Your kids can have a glimpse of the Northern Lights, and cruise past the glaciers and whale-filled waters in the Kenai Fjords National Park. Take guided hikes to Denali National Park and take a cruise in Kenai Fjords where you can spot orca, sea lions, and humpback whales.
This place offers unique experiences for nature-loving families. The agriculture is the core part of the local economy so you can visit working farms. In the Sao Miguel Island, you can swim with dolphins along the coast or hike up the majestic volcanoes.
Add Switzerland to your bucket list because it is a quintessential Alpine gateway with glacial lakes, snow-capped peaks, and serene meadows. If you choose to go on guided tours to the Swiss Alps, you can find glistening glaciers and enchanting waterfalls.
The Best National Park Vacations for Families
The National Parks preserve much of the country’s beauty. The best time to visit national parks is during spring because the parks can be congested during summer. If you visit these parks in spring, fall or winter, you can experience these scenic spots just the way pioneers did.
Some of the best national parks for families include:
- Yosemite National Park
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Arches and Canyonlands National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Yellowstone National Park
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Zion National Park
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park
- Acadia National Park
- Shenandoah National Park
- Haleakala National Park
- Redwood National Park
- Everglades National Park
- Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
- Capitol Reef National Park
Best REI Travel Packages
These travel packages will make planning your family adventure trip a whole lot easier.
Amazon Basin and Galapagos Islands
Ten days of family adventure that includes hiking, biking, kayaking, rafting and some peaceful relaxation in between. The journey starts from the thick jungles of the Amazon Basin to the islands of Galapagos. You can relax in hot springs and mingle with an ancient tribe to learn about their customs. Kids will receive an REI pack for their adventure.
If you want to visit Africa epically and authentically, then Tanzania is your best bet. You can stand atop on the Kilimanjaro mountain and gaze in awe the wild beasts stampede across the plains. REI Adventures offers you thrilling safari rides where you can see majestic views of flat-topped acacia trees outlined against orange-purple sunsets and powerful animals racing across the expanse of Savannah.
Home to some of South America’s spectacular National Parks Patagonia entices you with granite peaks and blue-white glaciers. The package provides comfortable accommodations, tough hikes and some quiet personal moments away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Camino de Santiago
When you visit Camino de Santiago, you’re in for spectacular ocean views and scenic inland trails. You can visit the tomb of Apostle St. James. The tour packages offer a trip to the Northern Spain’s treasured coves and ancient fishing villages. There’s plenty to do in Camino de Santiago: explore Spain’s uninhabited regions where wild horses live. Dine on tapas, fresh seafood, and ham (Jamón ibérico).
The moment you step into Myanmar you feel like entering a different world. Myanmar is a magical destination where you’ll be immersed in ancient history and breathtaking landscapes. Trip highlights include exploring the floating villages and gardens by kayak on the Inle Lake. Visit an elephant sanctuary and let your kids feed and bathe the rescue elephants.
Safety Tips for Family Adventure Vacations
While on a family adventure vacation, it is necessary to know some safety tips. Before you visit contact the concerned authorities and get all the details of the place you’ll be visiting. Make sure you carry your cell phones and preview the map for any potential dangers.
Also, make sure you take your first aid box, hat, sunscreen lotion, mosquito repellent cream, sunglasses, sports shoes, and plenty of water. While trekking, carry a sleeping bag on your backpack. Collect survival tips in case of forest fires. If you’re mountain climbing, check safety knots before climbing without fail.
When you’re whitewater rafting, make sure, you always have lifejackets, paddles, rafts, and wetsuits for safe travel. Ask the local authorities if they have any other tips for you.
Get Out There and Have Some Fun
Family adventure vacations are not about the destination, but the memories you create that can be kept in your heart forever. These vacations promote family bonding, expand your social awareness, helps you to relax and gain insight about yourself. Also, the kids will learn about different cultures through experience.
If you’ve had any exciting experiences during your vacation, share them with us in the comment section below.
Featured Image: CC by 2.0, Mike Baird, via Flickr