Giving your little ones the gift of travel gives them a head-start on learning how to live life to the fullest.
When children travel, they have the opportunity to explore their natural curiosity past its normal limits. Travel opens their minds to the fact that the world is a place filled with endless opportunities— that discovering and learning can be a lot of fun!
Exposing them to new places, cultures and ways of life humbles them, and helps build their character while teaching them tolerance and respect.
There are tons of options for safe, family-friendly destinations, in the USA and beyond, just waiting to be explored! We spent time in Bali this past Summer. Let's see where we will plan for this year!
Here are some extra special destinations worth considering:
1. Sun Valley, Idaho
For a plethora of outdoor adventures that change with the seasons, Sun Valley is an endlessly action-packed choice for kids. The ice rink, open each winter, is a great place to whirl around. Spend an afternoon channeling your inner artists at Local Color, the paint your own pottery studio, which offers more than 200 pottery shapes to paint. Put on your suits in the summertime and head to the Rainmaker Splash Park to cool off. The Botanical Gardens feature thousands of impressive plants and flowers, and also a giant sized sandbox play space for children. Each winter, Sun Valley Resort offers a wonderful kids program which teaches them to ski and includes other fun activities like snowshoeing, a horse-drawn sleigh ride, singing songs, and making ice sculptures. The activities offered in Sun Valley are truly endless!
2. Tokyo Japan
For a truly cultural experience, where ancient and modern day worlds collide, where the tap water is drinkable, the streets are magnificently safe, and the locals are polite and helpful towards tourists, Japan is a great place to visit with kids. Wander through the fish market, visit ancient shrines, have your little ones dress up in a kimono with a mini photo shoot. Encourage your kids to try out new healthy Japanese foods, like dumplings and mochi! And take in the view of the city from the tippy-tops of the miraculous Tokyo Sky Tree tower.
A relatively short plane ride from the US will land you in the otherworldly scape of Iceland. Packed with adventurous opportunities for exciting new outdoor adventures. Go for a dip in the stunning blue waters of the Blue Lagoon. Marvel as the massive Great Geysir explodes from the earth! Watch puffins take flight on the Westman Islands. See massive blue glaciers in Jökulsárlón. Explore the colorful and charming city of Reykjavik. The adventures are endless!
4. London, England
London is just a skip across the pond, a city bursting with Victorian history and chock-full of things to do in this cultural hub. Perhaps the best way to travel with kids in London is just wandering the central streets, finding all the best sights, exploring museums, and people watching. Gawk at the grand Victorian Buckingham Palace and take a photo in front of Big Ben. For fantastic views of greater London, take a ride on the iconic London eye. Visit the science museum, which offers interactive exhibits for children of all ages. Or, visit lions and gorillas at the infamous London zoo!
5. O'ahu, Hawaii
If you’re looking for a cultural adventure that in the USA, Hawaii is a wonderful family-friendly option. O'ahu is packed with outdoor possibilities and stretches of picture perfect beaches.
The Paradise Cove luau is one of the best anywhere in Hawaii. Visit the Dole Plantation and wander the garden maze and take the Pineapple Express. Learn about the Polynesian culture at the History of the Polynesian Cultural Center with island exhibits and hands on activities.
6. Bali, Indonesia
There is no shortage of entertainment for the whole family in Bali. From visiting rice terraces, to swimming in turquoise waters, and enjoying the unique colorful culture of the island, Bali is an inexpensive and easy place to travel. A plethora of charming accommodation options are available, as well as countless westernrestaurant options for picky eaters, although more adventurous children will love sampling the healthy Asian cuisine. There are also an array of fun activities and attractions available on the island, so each day is guaranteed to be adventure packed.
Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos should be at the top of everyone’s list looking for a safe, quiet family-friendly destination that’s just a few hours away from the USA in a plane. Visit a conch farm. Play in the white sand all day or snorkel in the tranquil clear blue waters. There are many eco-tour operators available to give a proper tour of the island and include fun activities. Eat delicious and fresh seafood for breakfast, lunch and dinner! For adults looking to slip away for a few hours to a nice dinner or to grown-ups only activities: many resorts offer a kids club secure with movies, games and crafts!
Bioluminescent Bay, Fajardo, Puerto Rico
This experience is best for older kids, but it might be one of the most magical adventures available: kayaking at night through a glittering, glow-in-the-dark lagoon of phytoplankton. The phosphorescent plankton blink whenever the water is agitated from movement, and look like a million neon stars lighting up the water. Kayaks have clear glass bottoms so that you can watch the light-show up close. For younger children, motor boat tours are available. This experience is true magic that your children will never forget. Puerto Rico also has many lovely areas to explore such as the colored Spanish architecture of Old San Juan and its beautiful beaches.
9. Vancouver, Canada
This fun, super safe city is situated on the West Coast of Canada right along the Pacific Ocean. There are so many places to visit and things to do that you could spend an entire summer here and still not manage to finish them all! Visit the Roundhouse, the local community center in Yaletown for a scheduled daily play time for kids in the gym, which features a bouncy castle! An entire day can be spent exploring the impressive Vancouver Aquarium, the entry fee might sound steep but is worth every penny. Science World museum has interactive exhibits that kids can’t get enough of. And picnicking at the Sea Wall in Coal Harbor while watching the sea planes take off is a ton of fun and a memorable experience for kids!
10. Yosemite Park, California
Only by spending time in nature can children truly feel and relish their connection with the earth. The idyllic views and adventures that await in Yosemite Park are an experience the whole family will love. Watch the wildlife graze in the endless, green, flower-filled meadows. Take in the high-up view from Glacier Point to the valley floor — don’t worry, the viewing area is totally safe and secured! Go for a light hike in stunning Tuomlumne Meadow, which has flat trails suitable for small children. Camp out, roast marshmallows, and read bedtime stories aloud over a campfire. Hug the massive and impressive Sequoia trees, which grow over 200 feet high! And to cool off after all the action, head to the Half Dome Village for big, delicious scoops of ice-cream!
Don’t waste another moment! Start exploring and creating lifelong memories with your family!