5 Great Places to Start Traveling Internationally With Your Family

It’s never too late, or too early, to start traveling as a family. Here’s some inspiration to help get you started on taking the leap into traveling abroad with the fam.

Thailand: Known as the “Land of Smiles”, Thailand has friendly people (even more so with children), interesting cultural sites, and stunning beaches.  Thailand feels remarkably different from Western countries, but has enough infrastructure to make it a great first destination in Asia. You and your children will delight in exploring Buddhist temples, encountering a wide range of animals, shopping at a night markets, zooming around in a tuk tuk, and relaxing on a beach with crystal-clear water.  

England: I must admit, it took me a long time to get to England for the first time.  I worried that it wouldn’t feel different enough, maybe even boring.  But, after my first 10-day visit, I was hooked and couldn’t wait to get back.  The things that made me expect it to be boring – good public transport, shared language, relatively familiar foods – actually make it a great destination for families that are getting their traveling legs under them.  Of course, London is a great place to start with sights that the whole family is familiar with… the Tower Bridge, Big Ben and the London Eye.  But, don’t stop there! Visit a famous university town like Caimbridge, head up to York to visit their picture perfect streets and stunning cathedral, visit the Lake District to walk a llama and take a hike, and head over to Cornwall for breathtaking coastline.  Of course, these suggestions just scratch the surface of this beautiful country.

Morocco: Morocco might not seem like a first-international-trip kind of place for families, but it’s actually a great place if you want to feel like you are really somewhere far away.  Tourism is a tremendous industry in Morocco, and it is relatively affordable to hire drivers and guides.  In fact, even seasoned travelers often hire either a series of day-trip guides or even multi-day privately guided tours through the country.  This means that you don’t have to navigate the systems (or the streets of the medinas) yourself, you can have a local show you around and teach you the culture and history.  Some of the most common places people visit include Fez, who’s bustling Medina is known as inducing sensory overload, the Sahara, where you can camp in the desert after a camel ride, and Marrakech, with its famous night market in Jma el Fnaa Square.  Beyond all these places are other sights worth a visit, including ancient towns and natural wonders.  

Costa Rica: I’ve had families get hooked on travel after a visit to Costa Rica.  The country offers beautiful landscapes of volcanoes, cloud forests, beaches, and more.  In all that nature, you can take just about any type of adventure you’d like: zip lining, canyoning, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, hiking, kayaking, waterfall jumping… the list goes on and on.  Of course, the nature also provides a kid-favorite, lots of animals in the wild.  On one trip to Costa Rica, you are likely to see multiple species of monkeys, sloths, crocodiles & caymans, toucans, all sorts of bugs, bats, turtles, and more.  Eventually, after all this exploration, you’ll probably want a little down time at one of the many beaches.  While the Pacific side is more easily accessible and offers a variety of beach types, if you have some extra time consider heading to the Caribbean side where the Costa Rican philosophy of pura vida is perhaps best exemplified.  

New Zealand: New Zealand’s casual vibe and non-stop nature makes it a great place for families. New Zealand is made up of two primary islands, North Island and South Island and both offer amazing experiences for families. How about biking along a coastal path or on an old railroad trail? Or swimming with dolphins in their natural habitat? Maybe you’d like to kayak in a fjord by towering waterfalls or gape in awe at glaciers. Of course, New Zealand also has cities and towns worth visiting with cultural museums and experiences. And, if you need a break from all the action, be sure to schedule some time by the beach. Just, don’t forget that, because it is in the Southern Hemisphere, New Zealand’s seasons are the reverse of the U.S. This means they experience their summer during our winter, spring during our fall, and vice versa.

Don’t let the logistics of planning a trip bog you down! Contact me at kristin@familytravelsandadventures.com to plan your family’s dream trip to any of these places or beyond. Learn more about my services at facebook.com/familytravelsandadventures or familytravelsandadventures.com.

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