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When most people go on a family vacation, they make it as easy as possible. A beach… maybe the mountains. But these traveling families take family vacations to a whole new level! Some bloggers tell me all about their favorite adventure travel with family.
Do you ever feel like you spend so much time driving or taking the train from A to B on vacation that you miss all the beautiful places in between? We do sometimes, and biking on vacation is one of our favorite ways so slow down and really take in the scenery.
Our recent trip to Croatia was no exception. We spent an awesome afternoon exploring the back roads near Vodice, just an hour north of Split. During our sometimes-off-road adventure we visited a Roman cistern, saw ponds full of just-hatched tadpoles and even hiked up to the site of an archeological dig site of Liburnian ruins. Our guide, Ivan of Karika Vodice, was thankfully able to help Ronnie (and his 90lb trailer load) up some of the bigger hills and over the rocky terrain.
While we’ve done plenty of biking at home, we always stay on paved trails with easy riding. We hadn’t expected to explore such rough terrain, and perhaps we would have chosen different plans if we had known about the technical challenges beforehand. However, having done the ride we know now that we can try those tougher rides and now there are even more adventure opportunities open to us!
**fun fact – Melissa and her family are going on a round the world trip Starting at the end of August. Be sure to follow her!
The Ice Hotel: A Cool Experience for the Entire Family
The Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden is the largest ice hotel in the entire world and lies in the far North of Sweden, well above the Arctic Circle. Here, there are two separate buildings to hold all of the ice rooms in this hotel. Just be warned that some of the rooms have electronic key card locks on the doors, while some rooms have a curtain over the door. Therefore, I would ask before making a reservation because I was glad that I had a room with a key card.
Each cold room has a theme, with intricate carvings that appear to leap out of the ice. And since there are lights in each of the rooms, the ice shimmers and sparkles with its glowing reflection. Our room had jellyfish that appeared to float in the air. The figures were so life-like and exquisite that it felt like they could breathe out the cold, arctic air. Take some time to explore the hotel and check out the unique set of carvings in each of the ice rooms. Truly a unique hotel experience that is fun for the whole family since the staff expertly prepare you for your icy stay with a plethora of information and insulated sleeping bags that make your stay both fun and comfortable.
But the beauty of this winter wonderland is not just in the hotel. There are an assortment of activities here that are fun for children and parents alike. From feeding reindeer, to riding on a dog sled, to exploring local Sami culture, to renting a snow mobile and watching the Northern Lights, there is something for everyone here. Just book ahead because this hotel is a popular family destination throughout the winter.
When our son turned one, we decided it was time to take him on our first big adventure outside of Europe as a family. Spending our holidays in all inclusive resorts was not an option before and we were not planning on changing that just because we had a baby on board. Searching for something more exiting we looked at the world map and about an hour and a glass of wine later there it was. We were going to Oman!
In two weeks we drove around 2000 kilometres with a rented 4WD car and, besides spending a couple of days in the country´s capital Muscat, we also swam in wadis and sinkholes, got lost in narrow souq streets in Sur, climbed fort walls in Nizwa and Bahla, experienced a rain shower in Wahiba Sands desert, admired a spectacular canyon from Oman´s highest mountain peak and chased seagulls on empty sandy beaches in Ras al Hadd.
The best thing about Oman besides its stunning nature? The local people. They are one of the friendliest we have met so far and most importantly, they absolutely adore children. We were treated like royalty, were given free bread at bakeries and got invited for a cup of tea on a daily basis.
This trip remains to be one of our favourite ones, it gave us a great cultural experience and the chance to spent quality time together in unspoilt surroundings while feeling perfectly safe and very much welcomed as a family.
You can read about Kat’s adventures on Finding Malokoko.
There are times when I wonder if taking a family trip is worth it. With all of the planning, packing, and adjusting to new surroundings, it can seem easier to just stay home. But the memories are usually worth the effort.
In September 2016, we took our almost 4-month old triplets and our 3-year-old to Yellowstone National Park. We’ve gone there a few times in our marriage and what’s nice is it’s stroller friendly. There are trails around most of the sites, especially Old Faithful, which makes it easy to go with little kids.
We stayed in West Yellowstone for this trip but we want to stay in the park next time we go. Getting from geysers and other attractions takes a little bit of driving, but it will save time to stay in the park and enjoy the scenery.
The biggest thing when taking small kids is to be prepared. Bring a lot of snacks and find ways to make it fun. We brought some toy binoculars and our 3-year-old would look for animals through them, which he thought was fun. We were able to see several herd of elk and plenty of bison.
It can be hard to remember that it’s okay not to see everything in one trip. Sometimes your family wants to stay in a certain area longer than planned and those can make for some of the best memories of all.
You can read about Brittney’s family adventures on Marriage Family Strong.
Summer of 2017 saw us planning our first family trek, EVER ! I chose a 4D/3N trek route, from Jalori Pass to Lambri hills, to explore the lower Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh. Jalori Pass, a high mountain pass, is at an elevation of 3120m. Lambri mountain top, at 3600m, is considered as the abode of the most powerful Gods.
Day 1 was a 3 hour walk and an easy trek. We camped near the holy Serolsar lake. It resembled a mirror and was super clear. It is believed that birds pick up any leaves that fall in the lake.
Day 2 was tough and we trekked for 7 hours. In some stretches, we had to make our own way as there was no defined path. We came down steep slopes covered with leaves and loose mud, crept sideways along really narrow ledges and climbed down steep stone cliffs. Our guide (and team) was excellent and they guided us well. Our campsite for next 2 days was an amazing green meadow with a panoramic view of the snow clad Himalayan range. On Day 4 we made a 600m decent to a village which had drivable roads for the vehicle to pick us up.
I admired my children’s (aged 6 and 11) attitude and resilience, who managed this trek fabulously. We camped in meadows and admired nature at her wondrous best. We lived out of backpacks and relished food made at the camp.
Life lesson – live the moment you are in!
You can read about Swati’s family adventures on Recipe 4 Travel.
We lived in Bangalore India for nearly a year when our oldest children were 4 and 1. During this time, we found lots of exciting activities, beyond our everyday Indian adventures, that make for a fun visit if you’re in the Bangalore area.
Bannerghatta Biological Park, aka the Bangalore Zoo, is an unforgettable experience. You can feed animals, ride elephants, and take a bus tour to see sloth bears and tigers up close.
Just outside of Bangalore is an amusement and water park called Wonder La. There is an assortment of carnival rides and small roller coasters, as well a great water park. Expect that most will be swimming in clothing!
Innovative Film City is another amusement park near Bangalore. They offer some larger rides, a Ripley’s Believe it or Not, bounce houses and slides, an animatronic dinosaur park, and a wax museum.
The Bangalore Industrial and Technological Museum has a many hands on exhibits, perfect for school aged children. It’s located in the city center, at Cubbon Park. Cubbon Park also has an aquarium, a children’s library, and Bala Bhavan children’s park, complete with boat and train rides, a stone fortress, and playgrounds.
A few hours south of Bangalore is the city of Mysore. If you’re traveling in the area, Mysore Palace, Rail Museum and Zoo are all worth a visit. Seeing the palace light up at night is fun, and they also offer elephant and camel rides.
You can read more from Susie at Photojeepers.
I’ve been preaching about family travel to interesting and far away places for years! These travel bloggers prove it can be done!